A rainforest is an area of tall, mostly evergreen trees and a high amount of rainfall.
Rainforests are Earth's oldest living ecosystems, with some surviving in their present form for at least 70 million years. They are incredibly diverse and complex, home to more than half of the world's plant and animal species—even though they cover just 6% of Earth's surface. This makes rainforests astoundingly dense with flora and fauna; a 10-square-kilometer (4-square-mile) patch can contain as many as 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds and 150 species of butterflies.
Rainforests thrive on every continent except Antarctica. The largest rainforests on Earth surround the Amazon River in South America and the Congo River in Africa. The tropical islands of Southeast Asia and parts of Australia support dense rainforest habitats. Even the cool evergreen forests of North America's Pacific Northwest and Northern Europe are a type of rainforest.
Rainforests' rich biodiversity is incredibly important to our well-being and the well-being of our planet. Rainforests help regulate our climate and provide us with everyday products.
Benefits of Rainforests
Rainforests are critically important to the well-being of our planet. Tropical rainforests encompass approximately 1.2 billion hectares (3 billion acres) of vegetation and are sometimes described as the Earth's thermostat.
Rainforests produce about 20% of our oxygen and store a huge amount of carbon dioxide, drastically reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Massive amounts of solar radiation are absorbed, helping regulate temperatures around the globe. Taken together, these processes help to stabilize Earth's climate.
Rainforests also help maintain the world's water cycle. More than 50% of precipitation striking a rainforest is returned to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration, helping regulate healthy rainfall around the planet. Rainforests also store a considerable percentage of the world’s freshwater, with the Amazon Basin alone storing one-fifth.
Rainforests provide us with many products that we use every day. Tropical woods such as teak, balsa, rosewood, and mahogany are used in flooring, doors, windows, boatbuilding, and cabinetry. Fibers such as raffia, bamboo, kapok, and rattan are used to make furniture, baskets, insulation, and cord. Cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and ginger are just a few spices of the rainforest. The ecosystem supports fruits including bananas, papayas, mangos, cocoa and coffee beans.
Rainforests also provide us with many medicinal products. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, 70% of plants useful in the treatment of cancer are found only in rainforests. Rainforest plants are also used in the creation of muscle relaxants, steroids, and insecticides. They are used to treat asthma, arthritis, malaria, heart disease, and pneumonia. The importance of rainforest species in public health is even more incredible considering that less than one percent of rainforest species have been analyzed for their medicinal value.
Even rainforest fungi can contribute to humanity's well-being. A mushroom discovered in the tropical rainforest of Ecuador, for example, is capable of consuming polyurethane—a hard, durable type of plastic used in everything from garden hoses to carpets to shoes. The fungi can even consume the plastic in an oxygen-free environment, leading many environmentalists and businesses to invest in research to investigate if the fungi can help reduce waste in urban landfills.
ECO BOOM plant-based diaper's backsheet is made from 100% EcoCosy® fiber. EcoCosy® fiber is made from selected wooden cores from sustainable managed plantation with a high purity, which makes it 100% biodegradable. It joined a lot of programs to protect biodiversity like animal habitat protection. The protection zone is more than 2 times larger than Singapore's national territory area.
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