Although a tropical rain forest is merely described as a region of tall trees with year-round warmth and plentiful rain, the definition goes much deeper. Tropical rain forests, jungles that receive at least eighty inches of rain in a year, maintain the natural balance of the world's temperature and climate. Not only do they regulate climate and protect water supplies, but tropical rain forests nurture millions of species of animals, and provide homes for various tribes of people. The world's tropical rain forests represent one of the most fragile and most diverse of all our natural ecosystems, yet are least understood by today's society. Tropical rain forests are also by far the most threatened.
There are several facts and statistics that are known about the ever-important rain forests that may be shocking to the newly interested researcher, like myself. Tropical rain forests are located in warm and humid places near the earth's equator. The daily temperature averages in at seventy-five degrees, with twelve hours of sun shining everyday in the tropics. Average annual rainfall is between eighty and one hundred inches, while some forests receive four hundred inches of rain a year. "Occupying no more than seven percent of all the space on earth, they harbor at least half-possibly seventy-five percent -of all forms of life" (Stone 75). This makes it apparent that the importance of rain forests directly effects the world's ever-expanding human population and how we are linked to the massive pressures on tropical rain forests.
At one time photographs taken from a satellite of the earth a quarter of a century ago revealed a green belt widely spread interrupted only by the oceans. This expansive ring of...
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Gradwhol, Judith and Russell Greenbreg. Saving the Tropical Forests, London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1988.
Herndon, Grace. Cut & Run: Saying Goodbye to the Last Great Forests In the West. Telluride, Co: Western Eye Press, 1991.
Janzen, Daniel. "Notes From the Guanacaste", Omni, Bob Guccione, Volume 15, NY: Omni Publications International Ltd., April 1993.
Lamb, D. Exploiting The Tropical Rain Forest: An account of Pulpwood Logging in Papua New Ginea, John Jeffers, Volume 3, Man and The Biosphere Series, Paris: The Parthenon Publishing Group, 1990.
Mitchell, Andrew W. The Enchanted Canopy, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986.
Rosillo-Calle, Frank. "Biomass Energy, Forests and Global Warming," Energy Policy, February 1992: 124-131.
Stone, Roger D. "The Global Stakes of Tropical Deforestation," U.S.A. Today, March 1988: 74-76.
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