Essay by Anonymous UserJunior High, 9th gradeF, February 1997

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The destruction of the rainforest is a problem that the people of the world can not continue to ignore. 14 percent of the Earth's land used to be covered by rainforests yet this number has dropped significantly to only about 6 percent (http://www.ran.org/ran/info_center/index.html). Rainforests provide the people of the world with many necessities, some of which would no longer be available if rainforests did not exist. In the last 50 years, rainforests have declined at a terrifying speed of 150 acres per minute or 75 million acres per year (http://www.ran.org/ran/info_center/index.html). People must open their eyes to the horrible tragedy that will inevitably occur if the citizens of the world do not realize the seriousness of this problem.

To better understand the importance of the rainforest, one must be knowledgeable about what a rainforest actually is. The two main types of rainforests are temperate and tropical. Tropical rainforests are located in Latin and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other areas in which temperatures stay above 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

They can be found in 85 countries all over the world, however, 90 percent of them are concentrated into fifteen countries, each containing over ten million hectares. Tropical rainforests receive 160 to 400 inches of rain each year. Although these dense, damp forests cover just 5 percent of the Earth's surface, they can provide homes for between 50 and 90 percent of the Earth's plants and animals (http://www.davesite.com/rainforests/review1.shtml).

Tropical rainforests consist of three distinct layers referred to as the forest floor, the understory, and the canopy. The forest floor contains very poor soil which is mainly due to the trees not allowing for ample sunlight to reach the ground. Because only one to two percent of the light at the top of the forest's canopy manages to reach the...