Juan Martin Abrales 10th grade
Several weeks ago, a fire caused by farmers and ranchers looking for jobs started in the Amazon forest. The rainforest contains about 20% of the world’s oxygen and during the first few weeks, about 10,000 trees were burned down, causing the fire to spread.
But the important question here is; Was the threat actually real, or was it just fabricated by the media?
No, it definitely isn’t a threat. The oxygen lost is a very insignificant amount, since the generated amount per year is way more.
I want to start off by saying that Amazon fires are not a rare thing. Every year multiple fires are caused in the area, this year barely made a record, but just barely. During the recent fires, about 80,000 trees burned down, while in 2016, the fire burned 76,000 trees, which was a fire almost as damaging as the most recent one, yet it was not publicized as a threat contrary to this one.
Another big question people have is “How much of the rainforest was damaged?”. Well, to summarize, about 17% of it has been destroyed during the last 50 years. That is 1.1% of the world’s oxygen lost in Amazon fires in half a century, an estimate of 0.02% global oxygen lost each year. If we compare this to the millions of trees planted each year that generate 2.6 tons of oxygen, a vast amount when compared to the loss.
Instead, people should focus on cleaning the seas, which has already become an actual threat. In twenty years we will double the plastic in the seas. Consequently, in thirty years we will use triple the plastic we do today. At the end of the century, there will be more plastic than marine species.
As a consequence, whales, which contribute more to the environment than people think, will start dying. They contribute several things to the world; like a balance in the ocean environment food chain.
There are also small plants living in the seas called phytoplankton, which produce about 50% of the world’s oxygen. If we keep polluting the sea with plastic, these plants will perish. If that happens, humanity will be facing a much more dangerous threat.
Amazon fires may be horrible for the environment, but they are definitely not a threat since there is 5,000% more oxygen available.
To sum it up, the Amazon Fire was not a unique thing and did not take any significant amount of oxygen from us, making the threat meaningless. Instead, we need to pay more attention to the problem of plastic polluting the seas.
So in the end, what is a bigger problem, a common fire that takes almost no oxygen from us or the plastic pollution on the seas that may eradicate half of our global oxygen?
How do they start and how normal are they? https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1170538/amazon-fires-cause-how-did-amazon-rainforest-fire-start-normal-fire-season
How much has been burned and how much is left?
Tree Oxygen Facts: