In Brazil, which houses 30 percent of the remaining tropical rain forest on Earth, more than 50,000 square miles of rain forest were lost to deforestation between 2000 and 2005. Biologists worry about the long-term consequences. Drought may be one. Some rain forests, including the Amazon, began experiencing drought in the 1990s, possibly due to deforestation and global warming. Efforts to discourage deforestation, mainly through sustainable-logging initiatives, are underway on a very limited basis but have had a negligible impact so far. The rain forest is nearly self-watering. Plants in the rain forest grow very close together and contend with the constant threat of insect predators. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 70 percent of the anti-cancer plants identified so far are rain forest plants. Many trees and plants, like orchids, have been removed from the rain forest and cultivated.
• Environmental Concerns
• Y8 I&S Adaptation