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What If We Lost The Amazon Rainforest?

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Channel: What If
Categories: Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science  
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How long would it take for the world's largest rainforest to burn down? If we don't do anything to stop it, we'll soon find out. The Amazon rainforest creates 20% of the Earth's oxygen. It's home to 30% of the planet's species, and it holds the secrets to treating some of our most deadly diseases. If we destroy the Amazon rainforest, the consequences would be disastrous, and they'd be felt all around the world. Could we survive without it?

Correction: we got the percentage wrong at 00:16. Tropical rainforests are responsible for 20% of all photosynthesis (and not oxygen production). Academics say this is a very common misconception, and that the figure is less than 10%. For more on this and other questions, the BBC has put together a great article on the facts around the amazon fires:

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What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure grounded in scientific theory through time, space and chance, as we ask what if some of the most fundamental aspects of our existence were different.


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