Lesson 3 of 5
In Progress

3. Rainforests And Oceans

Graham Soper 7 January 2021
  • An estimated 50,000 species of plants and animals inhabiting our tropical forests become extinct annually. That’s an average of 137 species a day – and it’s a sobering thought that any one of those lost plants could have held the key to a cure for cancer, for example. 
  • Rainforests are cut down at a rate of 100 acres per minute.  And less than 4% of USA forests remain today.  The majority have been cut down for building and fuel.  Despite this, the world’s oldest trees are 4,600 years old and grow – guess where?  In the USA. 
  • We have already destroyed 27% of our coral reefs which is home to 25% of our marine life, and by 2070, the world’s coral reefs could be gone altogether. 
  • Nearly 80% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse. Globally, 90% of large predatory fish, such as sharks and tuna are gone.  This, in itself, is very alarming as 20% of the world’s population relies on fish and seafood for the main source of protein.                               
  • The equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans every single minute. By 2030, it will be two truckloads per minute and by 2050, four.  By which time, there could be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.  
  • Cotton production requires so much water that it emptied a whole sea (the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan). It has been called one of the worst environmental disasters in history. 
  • Can you believe that we have explored more of Space than our terrestrial oceans. 
  • The Ice in Antarctica is as much as the water in the Atlantic Ocean.  And if the entire world’s Ice melted, our sea levels will rise by 66 meters. 
  • Our oceans have an average depth of 12,400 feet. This means that most of the living things on our planet live in total darkness.  If you go to the deepest part of our ocean, the pressure can be compared to a human being trying to hold 50 jumbo jets! 
  • Over 50% of the world’s oxygen is produced by sea-plants and marine life, and a further 10%  or more is produced by the world’s rainforests.  Furthermore, 25% of prescription medication comes from the rainforests.  So, the disappearance of the rainforests and a deterioration of our oceans and marine life could have very serious implications for the health and wellbeing of everyone on the planet.