Does Brazil have to choose between economic growth and preserving the endangered Amazon?http://www.economist.com/world/la/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2597880Deforestation patterns in the Amazonhttp://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=16511The causes of Deforestation are Complexhttp://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Deforestation/New highways drive accelerating deforestation in Amazonhttp://www.scienceblog.com/community/article2744.htmlStanford scientist develops satellite to study Amazonhttp://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=12852&repository=0001_articleAmazon drought emergency widenshttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4344310.stmDespite earlier claims by the Brazilian government that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon had fallen by as much as 50%, scientists from the U.S. and Brazil have found that the Amazon Rainforests are being depleted more rapidly than previously thought. The deforestation is so rapid and expansive that the only effective means by which to measure is by using satellite imagery. Satellite imagery not only detects vast tracts of clear cutting, it is also able to detect selective logging. Selective logging is a process in which loggers only cut down valuable trees, leaving the remainder of the forest alone. Logging companies claim that this process is much more environmentally friendly than clear cutting. While this may be true, environmentalists believe that tree removal of any kind can be detrimental to an ecosystem. They claim that the process of building roads and bringing heavy equipment into these forests is disruptive and damaging. The scientists producing this study claim that deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has been underestimated by as much as 60%. The Brazilian government stated that although they welcomed the research the numbers were exaggerated. Deforestation is only one of many environmental calamities causing harm to the Amazon. A severe drought, coupled with severe cases of industrial pollution, is making the Amazon a severely endangered ecosystem. [CMH]The first link is to a BBC News article on the new evidence on “stealth” logging as well as the new deforestation numbers based on the satellite images. The second link is to an article studying the economic issues of deforestation. The third link illustrates the deforestation patterns in the Amazon using the satellite images. The fourth is a link, which examines the many issues surrounding deforestation in social, economic, and environmental terms. The fifth link is an article discussing issues of highway construction and its connection to deforestation and pollution. The sixth link is to an article detailing the satellite developed at Stanford University designed to study the Amazon. The final link is an article by the BBC with information on the severe drought plaguing the Amazon. [CMH]


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