Q:

How many rain forests are left in the world?

A:

Quick Answer

A count of the number of rain forests left in the world is not available, but as of 2014, rain forests account for less than 2 percent of the Earth and are habitat for 50 percent of animals and plants. Several thousand years ago, rain forests covered about 12 percent of the Earth, or 6 million square miles. The largest continuous rain forest is near South America's Amazon river.

Continue Reading
How many rain forests are left in the world?
Credit: tauntingpanda CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

About 20 percent of the world's rain forests are in the Congo Basin and Indonesia, and the rest are in tropical regions around the world. Rain forests typically receive between 90 and 177 inches of rainfall each year. Climate conditions necessary for rain forests are largely created by the monsoon trough, an area where wind patterns of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres meet. Tropical storms frequently form near monsoon troughs and can quickly produce high levels of rainfall.

Between 40 and 75 percent of all species of plants and animals in the world are native to rain forests, and millions of undiscovered species may exist there. One-fourth of natural medicines have been discovered in rain forests, and the plant life found there cause more than 25 percent of the planet's turnover of oxygen by processing through photosynthesis. Jungles occur when low areas of rain forests do not get enough sunlight and tangled vines and shrubs take over.

Learn more about Trees & Bushes

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a king cobra's natural habitat?

    A:

    The natural habitat of king cobras is the rain forests and plains of the Indian subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia. King cobras tend to live in dense highland forests and gravitate toward areas with lakes and streams. Their coloring varies from region to region.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a group of trees called?

    A:

    The name for a group of trees depends on the number of trees in the vicinity: small groups of trees are called groves or copses, while forests refer to larger groups of trees that cover landscapes and may include entire biospheres, such as rainforests and tiagas. Groups of trees exist around the world and vary in name depending on size of the tree lot as well as region of the world.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the slowest living creature on Earth?

    A:

    The slowest living creature on Earth is the sloth, which is an herbivorous mammal that is primarily found in South and Central American rain forests. Sloths are especially slow on land because they have weak hind legs that provide little strength and because they have large claws that also hamper their ability to move.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the rain forest so important to the world?

    A:

    Rain forests are important to the world because they provide a habitat for millions of species of organisms, they regulate the world's climate, they store nearly half of the world's rainwater and they contain plants that are used in modern medications. Rain forests also absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore