Discussion 6: Our Most Concentrated Life Support Systems

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Much like the body’s vital organs, Tropical Forests are small yet life determining. These ecosystems could easily be re-dubbed “Our Most Concentrated Life Support Systems.” While currently covering less than 5% of our planet, tropical forests manage to:

  • Create and sustain 50% of biodiversity
  • Sequester 18% of anthropogenic greenhouse gasses
  • Contain 55% of forest stored greenhouse gasses
  • Produce 20 to 30% of our oxygen
  • Produce +2,000 foods for human consumption
  • Produce at least 20% of global freshwater
  • Circulate water vapor and precipitation around our entire planet
  • Absorb more heat than any other land-based ecosystem
  • Regulate and reduce more storms than any other ecosystem.

Mile per mile tropical forests do more for us than any other living system. All of this life-determining productivity conspires to define the security of global food production and is tremendously impactful on all weather-reliant enterprises, such as: electricity transmission, global trade and the Internet.

Such symbiotic productivity can only take place in wilderness. It is a little known fact that wild ecosystems are our life support systems and that there is no substitute for the life sustaining services their biodiversity provide, especially those of Tropical Forests. Our biggest climate solution is to restore the tropical forests, our biggest life support system, currently 50% smaller than they were just 50 years ago.

Read the full abstract on Google docs.

See a 2 minute synopsis on YouTube:

Your comments and questions appreciated.

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