The Importance of Rainforests: The #1 Reason We Need Them

What’s the importance of rainforests? You might have heard that rainforests are the lungs of the earth. But what does that mean?

Today, you’ll find out all about why rainforests are so important to humans and the planet. Read on to get all the information you need on why we need to protect them in order to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere and mitigate global warming (and a global catastrophe). 

Why are rainforests so important to us as humans?

Rainforests are ecosystems that are filled with evergreen trees. They typically receive high amounts of rainfall and because of these unique ecosystems, rainforests are centers of great biodiversity. In fact, half of the world’s animals and plants can be found in rainforests. These plants are important ingredients for many lifesaving medicines we use today, something that makes rainforests incredibly important to us.

And thanks to the way they are structured, rainforests produce, store, and filter water. They also protect against floods, soil erosion, and drought. 

Not only that, but rainforests have one more important task; they absorb CO2. Normally, plants would absorb CO2 for photosynthesis and this process would then create oxygen. Rainforests essentially do this much more effectively than other forests and plants. 

That’s why they are one of the most important CO2 regulators in the world. And this is one of the many reasons we should be extremely protective of rainforests. One way is to fight deforestation, something that is happening all over the world. That’s what we’ll look at next.

How rainforest deforestation accelerates climate change

One of the biggest threats to the rainforests is deforestation.  Unfortunately, this will have a major, negative impact on climate change.

You see, without rainforests, global warming will accelerate. This, again, will lead to changes in the climate; changes that we can’t even fully foresee yet. However, the impact can already be seen and felt. Extreme weather phenomena and changes in ecosystems are all in part due to rainforest deforestation.

Why rainforests are cut down 

But why are rainforests being destroyed? The majority is happening because of human activity. Logging, mining, ranching, and agriculture all benefit from the deforestation of rainforests. In fact, around 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed in the past 50 years. And the pace at which deforestation is happening is only increasing.

Primarily, deforestation takes place in Brazil and Indonesia. Together, these countries accounted for 46% of tropical rainforest loss in 2018. But rainforest deforestation is also increasing in Colombia, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Côte d’Ivoire.

The worst part about deforestation is that rainforests are difficult to replant. They have a hard time regenerating because of soil damage and that’s why the loss of rainforests is extremely serious.

The impact of global warming

Over the past 150 years, humans have caused increasing levels of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. This is due to industrialization — burning fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas. Because human-emitted gases trap heat, it doesn’t escape into the atmosphere and is instead radiated back to the earth. 

Eventually, this will warm the earth even more, which in turn, will probably lead to massive changes to the earth and its livability. For example, coastal cities and island countries will most likely be under water within the next decades. Extreme weather will become more frequent. 

And as the UN reports, we have no more than 12 years to limit climate change. 

Why rainforest deforestation has a huge impact on global warming 

How does rainforest deforestation impact global warming? 

In normal conditions, plants will reduce both natural and human-caused pollutant levels. Rainforests do this even more effectively, but because of deforestation, their capacity diminishes. The crops that are planted instead of rainforests can only absorb a fraction of CO2 compared to rainforests.

What makes the situation even worse is that by burning rainforests, humans release even more CO2 into the atmosphere. And former rainforests are often used for cattle-ranching. Cattle produce a lot of CO2, which only increase CO2 levels.

So, rainforest deforestation impacts CO2 emissions and global warming in many ways. The thing is: Global warming is an urgent issue and rainforest deforestation and releasing CO2 into the atmosphere must stop. That’s what we’ll look at here below.

What can you do to stop rainforest deforestation and reduce CO2 emissions?

Now you understand the importance of rainforests and why rainforest deforestation is a global and urgent issue. But what can we do to help protect rainforests and fight higher levels of CO2 emissions? 

Everyone can do something!

The first thing you need to know is this: 

Everyone can do something. There are multiple ways you can help, including:

  • Support rainforest conservation efforts.
  • Do business with companies that are reducing their CO2 footprint.
  • Shop ethically (for example, avoid palm oil, which is one of the main reasons rainforests are cut down in Indonesia).
  • Support communities in rainforests and their partner organizations.
  • Share information about rainforest deforestation with your friends and network.
  • Ask your local politicians to take action against rainforest deforestation and global warming.
  • Reduce your own CO2 footprint by reducing your daily CO2 output (for example, use bikes, buses, trains and other greener transportation methods instead of flights and cars).
  • Partner with sustainable businesses. 

How we at Alpin are contributing to reducing CO2 emissions 

One of the biggest reasons we humans emit so much CO2? Our industries.

You see, industries are the world’s biggest polluters. For example, the construction industry and buildings emit around 40% of CO2 worldwide. 

That’s why one of the main things we can do to fight climate change is to change the way our industries operate. 

At Alpin, our core mission is to work for a more sustainable world. That’s why we are working to make the construction industry greener and more sustainable. 

How do we do this? For example, as part of the Power Station Challenge by IES, we’ve saved over 100,000,000 Kilowatt-hours with our Energy Modeling services. 

In terms of CO2, this is what it means:

If you take 30,000 cars and line them up in a row from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, they would emit over 44,000 tonnes of CO2. That’s the amount our services have helped save. 

And with Alpin Innovation Labs, our mission is to provide innovative practices that change the way construction projects are run. This means making construction projects more sustainable and that way, reducing CO2 emissions. 

Want to learn more?

Now you know why rainforests are so important to us humans and the earth. The importance of rainforests is clear: They are a vital part of our planet’s health. We need to protect rainforests and make sure we reduce our own CO2 footprint to preserve a liveable earth for future generations.

At Alpin, that’s exactly what we do in the construction space. If you want to learn more about our mission, read all about it here.