Amazon rainforest: What would happen if the Amazon was destroyed?

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Amazon rainforest: What would happen if the Amazon was destroyed?

The Amazon covers 6.9 million square kilometres (2.72 million square miles) across South America and is home to more than 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species and more than 430 mammal species. Scientists believe it provides the Earth with between six and nine percent of all oxygen, meaning it is important to life on our planet. However, between 15 and 17 percent of the Amazon has been lost to human activity, with that number continuing to rise.

What would happen if all of the Amazon was destroyed?

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For starters, there would be a huge loss of life.

Including the animals and plants, the Amazon is home to a stunning 10 percent of known insect fauna.

Every animal and insect plays its part in the natural ecosystem throughout the planet, and even if the smallest insect goes extinct, it could have a huge knock-on effect.

Sebastian Leuzinger, of the Auckland University of Technology, wrote in The Conversation: “Perhaps the most drastic, and least reversible, impact would be the loss of wildlife diversity.

“Once species are lost, they are lost forever, and this would ultimately be the most harmful consequence of cutting down the Amazon.

“It would possibly be worse than the loss of its role as a massive redistributor and storage of water and carbon.

“Last but certainly not least, there are about 30 million people living in and near the Amazon rainforest.

“The consequences of losing the forest as a provider of the ecosystem services mentioned above and as a source of food and habitat are unfathomable.

READ MORE: Bible bombshell: ‘Jesus’ appears inside tree – ‘Alien ecological SOS’

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