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Why is the rain forest so important to the world?

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Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

Rain forests are important to the world for a variety of reasons, including the way they can regulate the world's climates and reduce the greenhouse effect. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Rain forests also act as pumps, pushing and pulling heat and moisture into the air and around the world. The forests pull in moisture as rain, which then evaporates into the atmosphere. Without rain forests, moisture does not fall in this predictable pattern and cannot cool rising temperatures. The rising temperatures result in drought and eventually the formation of deserts. For instance, experts believe that the drought just south of the Saharah Desert is directly caused by destruction of that continent's tropical forests. In fact, between 18 and 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation.

Rain forests are also hotbeds for biodiversity, providing homes for millions of plant and animal species. Between 50 and 90 percent of all organisms can be found in rain forests. Furthermore, many of the plants found in rain forests are used in modern medicines and pharmaceuticals.

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