Physical Features & Environmental Concerns
Brazil's Physical Features
The Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River, & Iguazu Falls
There are many physical features in Brazil, but we will focus on three today: The Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River, and Iguazu Falls. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. It is 1.2 billion acres big, (wow!) and 60% of it is located in Brazil. The other countries that have part of the Amazon Rainforest in them are Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Bolivia, Suriname, and French Guiana. It is also called the Amazon Basin. The Amazon River is the second largest river in the world, following the Nile River in Egypt. It is 6,400 kilometers long, and during the wet season, it can get as wide 160 kilometers long. No wonder it's the second largest in the world! It runs through Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela. I would like to see Iguazu Falls, which is a system of 275 waterfalls on the Brazil-Argentina border. The highest fall is 64 meters tall and the rest are 20-30 meters tall. Imagine being there and feeling the spray of water and moisture in the air as the water cascades down!
Brazil's Environmental Concerns
Deforestation is a huge problem in Brazil, specifically in the Amazon Rainforest. Brazil is now second in the world for deforestation, following Russia, who is number one. (Uh-Oh!) Most deforestation comes from cattle ranchers who cut down trees for paths. Sometimes they do it legally, sometimes they do it illegally. There must be a way to let the cattle through without cutting down all those trees! Since 1970, over 600,000 square kilometers of the Amazon Rainforest has been cut down and destroyed. The level of deforestation in protected areas has increased by 127% in 2000-2010. There are solutions to this problem. The government could put guards around to protect the forest or they could put guards around who check if you have a permit to log. Who knows? Maybe we could put a stop to this once and for all!