Good Research Paper On The Amazon Basin
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“Man can only feel the forest when the forest cannot feel man.” These words of GonzoBilly reveal a modern ecological situation that is current for the Amazon basin. In this essay, I would like to analyze the existing problem of deforestation in Columbia and the regions of the Amazon basin. In order to fulfill an overall picture of the current situation, we shall look into the geography of the basin and its importance for our planet and ecology. Moreover, this essay covers the current problem on deforestation and its consequences on Columbians. The Amazon River is the most water-bearing river in the world; it carries to the ocean the fifth part of fresh water in the world. The flow of water is so huge that, pouring into the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon changes the salt composition and color of the ocean over 320 kilometers. In all respects, it is the greatest, one of the longest rivers in the world. Therefore, the study of this issue is important both for the scientific world, and for all the inhabitants of planet Earth.
GEOGRAPHY OF THE AMAZON BASIN
Amazon is a river in South America, the world's largest-size basin due to the depth and the length of the river system. The Amazon basin is formed by the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers. The length from the river head of the Marañón is 6992.06 km, to the open at the end of the XX century river head of Apacheta is about 7000 km, and from the head of the Ucayali is over 7000 km. The Basin area occupies about 7180 thousand square kilometers (and according to other sources it occupies about 6915 thousand square kilometers) (Davidson 321). This significantly exceeds the basin of La Plata estuary (4140 thousand square kilometers) and the Congo (3700 thousand sq. Km). In 2011, according to the results of the World contest, Amazon was recognized as one of the seven natural wonders of the world (Barthem 2015). Most territory of the Amazon basin belongs to Brazil, southwestern and western regions belong to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia respectively. Flowing for the most part on the Amazon in sublatitudinal direction near the equator, the Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean, forming the world's largest delta (over 100 thousand sq. km and includes the world's largest river island Marajó). Amazon is fed with numerous tributaries; about 20 of them are longer than 1500 km. The most important tributaries are Juruá, Purus, Madeira, Tapajós, Xingu, Tocantins on the right; and Isa Japurá, Rio Negro on the left. According to the Department of Geophysics of the Brazilian National Observatory, the underground river Hamza flows in the same direction with Amazon, but at a depth of 4 thousand meters, it is fed by groundwater. Its stock is estimated at 3 thousand cubic meters. Average charge of the undercurrent reaches about 220 thousand cubic meters (seasonal ranges from 70 to 300 thousand cubic meters and more). The average annual runoff is of about 7,000 cubic kilometers (about 15% of the total annual flow of all rivers of the world). The sediment runoff is more than 1 billion tons. Tides penetrate upriver for about 1,400 miles in the mouth and is often accompanied by flood-tides. Together with the tributaries, the Amazon forms a system of inland waterways with a total length of more than 25 thousand kilometers. The main canal of the Amazon is navigable for 4,300 km (to the Andes). Ocean-going vessels can go till the city of Manaus (1690 km from the mouth). The main ports of the Amazon basin are Belém, Santarém, Óbidos, Manaus (Brazil), and Iquitos (Peru). The area of the basin is almost equal to the area of Australia. The rise of water in the northern and southern tributaries of the Amazon happens at different times of the year. It smoothes fluctuations in the Amazon, so it is full-flowing all year round. When the level of water increases, the river floods vast areas, forming impenetrable swamps. The world's largest rainforest stretches through the Amazon basin, covering an immense territory (almost 6 million square kilometers), that divides nine different countries. The “circulatory” system of endless forests is the mighty Amazon and its tributaries; together they are contain about 25% of the water of all world rivers. Amazon lowland area is prolonged immersion within the platform, and almost the whole of its territory has a small height and monotonous flat relief. Even at the foot of the Andes, the height of its surface does not exceed 100 meters above sea level. On the banks of the rivers are located intrazonal-alluvial soils, most of the territory is represented by a red-yellow lateritic soil of moist forest, while in the south and the northeast are represented by patches of red-laterite soil of savannas.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AMAZON BASIN
According to history, Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana was the first European who stepped down on the lands of the Amazon basin and in 1542 gave to it its present name. But why it was Amazon? As stated Orellana, his team was attacked by a tribe of female warriors who reminded him of the Amazons of Greek mythology. Brave and strong warriors reminded Spaniards of ancient myth of the Amazons, and thanks to them, the river got its name. It is home of flora that is studied by scientists only for 30% (Olivares 50). Twenty-five percent of the world's medical substances, which are used in medicine, are extracted from plants of the Amazon forest. 1,800 species of birds, 250 different mammals, 1,500 different species of fish - all this makes the flora and fauna of the Amazon. The Amazon River and its tributaries occupies 20% of the fresh water in the world. It is one of the 20 longest rivers in the world, 10 of which are situated in the Amazon. It is home for pink dolphins and fish-bull, the length of which reaches 4 meters, and weight - 500 kg. The famous predator of these waters is piranha fish. All these animals and fish are protected by the World Wildlife Fund. For example, pink River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Orinoco, the Amazon river systems and Araguaia / Tocantins Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. It is included in the Red Book as a representative of vanishing species.
In addition, this is the greatest hydrographic system in the world; there are more than 25,000 kilometers of shipping ways, and that plays a critical role in the lives of local residents. This natural “marine highway” is used by millions of inhabitants of the Amazon. Boats and vessels and all shapes and sizes, including huge transatlantic liners, which rise to 1,500 kilometers upstream to Manaus, furrow the expanse of the great river. Smaller vessels rise even further, right up to Iquitos (Peru), located at 3700 km from the mouth of the great river. Most of the natural resources of the Amazon is transported by the river, as well as all kinds of products from all over the world are delivered to the Amazon itself. A great reanimations reigns on the river Madeira, it is the longest tributary of the Amazon basin (stretching over 3,000 kilometers). Approximately two million tons of cargo is transported through the Amazon basin every year. The busiest part of the route runs from Manaus to Belem, the city, located at the mouth of the river. It is impossible to imagine modern economic life without this basin, but the ecologists raise the alarm. All the emissions spoil the Amazon waters and destroy flora and fauna of the basin. The fact that people settle mainly along the river, shows how much they depend on water transport and fertile valleys, which are fertilized with river silt. According to the locals, people in these parts cultivate small plots of land on the banks of the river and grow mainly cassava tubers, from which they cook their traditional dishes. Cassava and fish are a staple kind of food of local residents. In addition, they grow watermelon, banana and corn, and bred cattle. But as soon as the floods start, cattle is transported to safer areas, sometimes even on rafts.
Humankind has long been cutting down the forest of Amazon basin for a very long time, the forestlands were given for agriculture needs and for the production of simple wood. Later, humans were in need for infrastructure (cities, roads) and mining that “spurred deforestation areas” (Bagley 350). However, the main cause of damage to nature lies in need for food, that is, areas of grazing and planting crops, both permanent and removable. Forestry is not able to produce as much food as ground cleared of trees. Subtropical forests of the Amazon Basin is unable to maintain the human population because the edible resources are too scattered. The planet would not be able to maintain the current population and standard of living, if there was no the anthropogenous factor. Since our society is unable to stop the scientific and technical progress, a human has no choice but to learn how to live in harmony with the laws of nature and not to cross the limits impacts on the environment. This is important for the future of our civilization, as this problem can be solved only on the basis of society’s transition to the concept of sustainable development with the use of new environmental technologies, taking into account the adjustment strategy of natural resources, training people for reasonable limitation of human needs. Consequently, the development of environmental management strategies, solution engineering and biomedical problems of nature protection, development and implementation of programs of environmental education, the development of legal and socio-economic mechanisms of environmental management should be solved by environmentally responsible professionals.
THE PROBLEM OF DEFORESTATION
Deforestation is the process of converting the land occupied by forests in lands without tree cover, such as pastures, cities, and other wastelands. The most common cause of deforestation is logging without adequate landing new trees. In addition, the forest may be destroyed due to natural causes such as fire, hurricane or flooding, as well as anthropogenic factors, such as acid rain. The process of deforestation is an urgent problem in many parts of the world because of their impact on the environmental, climatic and socio-economic characteristics that reduce quality of life. Deforestation leads to a reduction of biodiversity, timber resources, including for industrial use, as well as the greenhouse effect due to lower volumes of photosynthesis.
“Expansion of agricultural land due to the reduction of tropical forests leads to climate change in the region” (Marengo 1835), and has a negative impact on crops of soybeans and forage crops. Brazilian researchers predict a situation that may arise in 2050, when an increase in acreage in half will reduce the yield by 30%. In the Amazon jungle, 2 + 2 is not necessarily four. Expansion of arable land and pastures will reduce the production of agriculture and animal husbandry. This seeming paradox is caused by climate changes as a result of deforestation. The study shows that in addition to reducing the ability of the Amazon absorb carbon dioxide, under all possible scenarios of land, the forest will give less soybeans and forage crops. Only forest restoration can increase yields, which is unlikely.
Amazonia Legal is a territorial-administrative unit created by the Government of Brazil. It consists of nine states in the country, is fully or partially in the Amazon jungle. It is about 5 million square kilometers, or almost 60% of the Brazilian territory (Schmidt 7). These dimensions are aimed at addressing three important tasks: global climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and - already at the regional level - the land and its use are of fundamental importance for the future of Brazil. That is, the progressive development of Brazil is heavily dependent on the state of the jungle.
Researchers from several universities in Brazil and the United States constructed a model of the interaction of climate and land use in order to understand what awaits us in the future. Taking as a starting point the 2050, they proposed the following three scenarios: deforestation is stopped; shall continue in accordance with the new laws Brazilian Environmental Protection; or, as proposed by the management of agriculture, selva has to disappear for the prosperity of agricultural and livestock Brazil. They developed performance models for each of the scenarios, as primary forests and pastures and soybeans, based on the fact that it will remain the main crop of the country for the next 40 years. It would seem that everything is logical: the more hectares are pasture or crops, the higher the volume of agriculture and animal husbandry is. However, the logic of human rights and climate logic are the subjects of different laws.
During the period from 2041 to 2060, humankind will lose. If deforestation will continue to be limited, which was first reported in 2004 and reached its highest point in 2011, when it was cut down to 68% less forest than in the previous decade (19,600 square kilometers), the ability of the Amazon jungle to absorb carbon dioxide will be reduced to 39%. That is, no one can stop the rise in temperature in the area, which is in the eastern part of the Amazon basin reaches 2,3º. If there is no longer cut down a single tree, an increase in temperature and precipitation regime violation will lead to a reduction in the production of forage crops by 7%, and soybeans - by 7.4%.
However, if deforestation is stopped, these forecasts are too optimistic, since changes in land use will inevitably entail changes in the local climate, i.e., lead to the very climatic effects, which scientists say.
All indications are that the forests will continue to be cut down. Emboldened in connection with a reduction in the rate of deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian government has changed the Forest Code that was primarily intended to ensure the implementation of its Plan of accelerated development, providing as one of the priorities of the development of agriculture. Representatives of private business, intending by 2020 to double the volume of agricultural production, developed another great activity (Rosa 3-4). Unfortunately, the Amazon rainforests prevent it.
Local Indian tribes live in harmony with the forest, using it in imitation of nature, without causing harm. The only ray of hope is associated with the recognition of the Colombian government the Indians as the best guardians of forest (Monteiro 307). In 1989, the National Park was established Chiri-area of 10,000 square kilometers, in which any external use of wood is forbidden, and all the management is provided by the Indians. Despite its size, it covers only 0.17% of the rainforest. Traditional Indian method is to clear a small area known as “chagra” or “garden in the woods”, which are grown yucca, pepper, mango and other crops. After a short period of high productivity, tribe moves to a new location and clears another chagra, returning the previous one to the forest. Natural glade, which can be caused by fire, covers with forest for 40 years; chagra requires 200 years for the whole restoration, but it is better than the complete destruction caused by clear cutting.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the main problem of the environment in Brazil is that we do not think about the future. People usually come after the problem has already occurred, and spend billions of dollars to try to correct the situation. The Amazon basin is widely regarded as the seventh wonder of the world, because of its richness provides life both to the locals, fauna and flora, and to our planet. The problem of deforestation affects every person on Earth. The financial crisis and economic collapse together with a number of very serious environmental problems do not allow the Brazilian authorities to solve numerous challenges that the country had faced. Despite the fact that the Brazilian government was forced to slash its budget, foreign funding and consistent understanding of the world community that the environmental problems of the region are global in nature, let us hope that in the near future environmental agencies in Brazil with the help of other countries will be able to solve the current difficult situation.
Bagley, Justin E., et al. "Drought And Deforestation: Has Land Cover Change Influenced Recent
Precipitation Extremes In The Amazon?" Journal Of Climate 27.1 (2014): 345-361.
Barthem, Ronaldo. Amazon basin. Kalmar, Sweden: University of Kalmar on behalf of United
Nations Environment Programme, 2015.
Davidson, Eric A., et al. "The Amazon Basin In Transition." Nature 481.7381 (2012): 321-328.
Marengo, Jose, et al. "Development Of Regional Future Climate Change Scenarios In South
America Using The Eta CPTEC/Hadcm3 Climate Change Projections: Climatology And Regional Analyses For The Amazon, São Francisco And The Paraná River Basins." Climate Dynamics 38.9/10 (2012): 1829-1848.
Monteiro Júnior, Cláudio da Silva, Leandro Juen, and Neusa Hamada. "Analysis Of Urban Impacts
On Aquatic Habitats In The Central Amazon Basin: Adult Odonates As Bioindicators Of Environmental Quality." Ecological Indicators 48.(2015): 303-311.
Olivares, Ingrid, et al. "Effects Of Warming And Drought On The Vegetation And Plant Diversity
In The Amazon Basin." Botanical Review 81.1 (2015): 42-69.
Rosa, Isabel M. D., et al. "Predictive Modelling Of Contagious Deforestation In The Brazilian
Amazon." Plos ONE 8.10 (2013): 1-14.
Schmidt, Caroline A, and Constance L McDermott. "Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon:
Local Explanations For Forestry Law Compliance." Social & Legal Studies 24.1 (2015): 3-24.
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