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(birds chirping)
- [Narrator] Shrouded in a blanket of clouds they awaken.
Their canopies of green glitter in the sun.
Their wildlife start to slither.
(snake hissing)
- Chirp. (birds chirping)
- And growl. (growling)
- And one of the planets richest ecosystems
comes to life.
(crickets chirping)
Rainforests are the oldest living ecosystems on the planet.
Some can trace their origins to over 70 million years ago.
Back to a time when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.
While the giant reptiles have disappeared
rainforests continue to thrive
growing on every continent except Antarctica.
Two types of rainforests are scattered across the globe.
Temperate and tropical.
Temperate rainforests are mainly found in the mid-latitudes.
Often near cooler, coastal, mountainous regions.
Tropical rainforests are primarily located
in warmer climates between the Tropic of Cancer
and the Tropic of Capricorn.
(thundering)
As their names imply, temperate and tropical rainforests
are the wettest forests on earth
receiving up to about 33 feet of rain per year.
This precipitation plays a critical roll in creating
an exceptionally lush and biologically diverse habitat.
While rainforests only make up about 6100:01:35,770 --> 00:01:38,300 of the Earth's surface area, they are home
to over half of the World's plant and animal species.
This biodiversity creates benefits
that extend far beyond the rainforest boundaries.
Rainforest plants produce an assortment of food items.
In addition to ingredients useful
in everyday products and medicines.
In fact, an estimated 70% of the plants used
in cancer treatments are only found in rainforests.
On an even larger scale, rainforests help
to stabilize the planet's climate.
It's lush, green vegetation regulate global temperatures
by absorbing massive amounts of radiation from the Sun.
They also absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide
and convert them into oxygen,
about 40% of the planet's breathable air.
Over the past few centuries, rainforests have disappeared
at an alarming rate.
Factors such as economic inequalities, human development,
and demand for natural resources have fueled
the deforestation of these rich ecosystems.
At the current rate, rainforests, which have survived
for over 70 million years
may completely disappear within the next century.
But through educational campaigns,
sustainable logging practices,
and cooperation with local communities,
deforestation may begin to slow down
helping to preserve rainforests
for many generations to come.
(dramatic music)
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Rainforests 101 | National Geographic

36 分類 收藏
Courtney Shih 發佈於 2020 年 1 月 21 日
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