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2015

HOW DOES DEFORESTATION


AFFECT THE AMAZON RIVER?

Jack Allen

1/12/2015

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

Introduction
In this report I will be talking
about how deforestation
affects the Amazon River and
what other problems are
affecting the river and also
how all the problems link to
one another. I will talk about
how the river is used by
different groups of people and
who is affected by these problems (eg. Wildlife, people and
environment).
The Amazon River runs through most of South America. It has the
biggest drainage area out of all rivers and is the biggest river in the
world. Many people learn about different river systems in
school/college/university and even in jobs. It is mostly taught in
geography but may be mentioned in history.
The Amazon river is very useful to many places throughout South
America as its the biggest river in the world. Many people use the
river for many different causes and I will be mentioning some of
these causes and why some of the causes are actually bad for the
river and the rainforest.
The Amazon River is very important to
the people of South Americ a and this is
because so many people use it for
various reasons. It provides lots of water,
food sources and it provides energy that
is conducted from hydroelectric dams
and infrastructures.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

How does deforestation affect the Amazon River?



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Key facts about the Amazon River


The Amazon River is located throughout most of South America. It mainly flows through
Brazil but also flows through Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Columbia and Ecuador before flowing
into the Atlantic Ocean. Its total length is 6,457km long and 4,010miles in length. The
amazon has the biggest amount of drainage area out of all rivers in the world, its drainage
area is 7,050,000 km2 and it also has the largest discharge of all rivers with 209,000 m3/s. It
flows out into the Atlantic Ocean.
One issue for the Amazon River would be deforestation. Deforestation is when forests are
destroyed to make more space to build houses and work places for civilisation.
Deforestation affects the Amazon River because it causes a chain reaction as it affects one
thing which affects another and another. Deforestation affects tree life, trees absorb some
of the rivers water to keep hydrated and moist so it can live and provide animals and
humans with oxygen.
The numbers on the map show the main river sub-basins. 1 is the Llanos de Moxos
Savannas, 2 is the Maranon-Ucayali palm Swamps, 3 is the Bananal Savannas, 4 is the Negro
Campinas, 5 is the Roraima Savannas and finally 6 is the Campos Marajogras.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

The Amazon River is suffering from quite a few issues but most of the issues are caused
from other problems that the Amazon Forest is facing. The Amazon River faces problems
with deforestation, which causes problems for the river, wildlife
and humans. Also, it faces problems with pollution, which affects
the wildlife and human life and also the forest life. (Trees can be
killed by absorbing the polluted water). The Amazon River faces
problems with mining and overfishing and damns are also causing
problems for the river. Mining is affecting the river by polluting it
with mercury and other chemicals used for the mining. Overfishing
is also polluting the
water as some people kill the fish but leave them
floating, when the fish starts to decompose, they
release toxins and pollute the water. Also,
overfishing is allowing one or more species of fish
to reproduce more often as their predator is
being hunted by humans and if one species over
populates, another species depopulates. Dams
cause a lot of problems for the river, it changes
the waters temperature due to the change of movement, and fish are blocked from
traveling upstream/downstream, chemicals composition and dissolved oxygen levels change
life for the river itself and the living species around and inside the river. The Amazon River is
also facing lots more problems such as oil extracting and conversion (Changing river into a
waterway, ETC.), over-harvesting and lots more problems. The ones mentioned above are
the most important impacts that are affecting the river.

Deforestation is leading to problems with the life


of humans and animals in and out of the Amazon
River. Deforestation would lead to soil erosion in
the river as the roots can no longer anchor to the
soil and then the soil erodes and is carried by the
run-off into the river creeks. The eroded soil is
carried downstream by the river and eventually it
would reach a hydroelectric project and this
would cause siltation in the irritation
infrastructures and then this would cause loss of
productivity for the infrastructure.

Possible species of fish in the future, this would be


caused by overfishing a certain species of fish.

Issues that the Amazon River is facing

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

Why is deforestation occurring in the Amazon Rainforest and how is it affecting the
Amazon River?
The

majority of the trees that are cut down in the Amazon Rainforest are illegal deforestation
groups. Not a lot of the people cutting down trees have legal authority and do it illegally.
The main reason the illegal groups are destroying the forest is that they want fuel. Illegal
deforestation groups want to sell fuel to earn money and so if the government declines
their request, the groups will seek to deforest the Amazon illegally. This is causing major
threats towards the Amazon River
because the roots are anchoring
the soil and keeping it alive, if the
soil is to lose its anchor (roots of
tree) then it makes it easier for
the soil to erode and then the soil
can be carried by the run-off into
the river and this would cause
siltation. When siltation takes
place it causes problems loss of
productivity infrastructures. It also
causes problems for clean water
as the soil is polluting the water
and causing it to have dirt inside.
Siltation can also reduce a population in the river as it smothers the fish eggs and the larvae
and this obviously kills off the fish and causes loss of some species. Siltation causes severe
pollution in many rivers all of the world and its not only caused by deforestation. It can be
caused by severe weather and storms. The storms still destroy trees and this still causes
siltation which causes many other problems for the river and the forest and all the wildlife.


Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

Who is affected by deforestation and other problems inside the Amazon Rainforest and
the Amazon river?
Forests cover 31% of the worlds land and most of our wildlife
live in these forests. Humans rely on forest for water sources,
clothes, food and some even seek shelter in the forest such
as natives. Forests are destroyed almost every year and we
deforest at least 45-60 thousand square miles. Deforestation
not only affects wildlife and us but also the weather. The
forest is practically a carbon sink for the weather. The
amazon forest has lost almost 20% of its forest over the past
50 years. Deforestation comes in a few forms, some groups
burn the forest which is even worse than using the machinery
as burning the forest would be leaving decaying bodies and releasing gas into the
atmosphere. If there are many decaying bodies, then this could spread diseases and cause
sicknesses throughout the entire world possibly. Using the machinery is also bad as it still
releases gasses into the atmosphere which are affecting the climate and the world.
Ranching is also another reason why the amazon is destroyed yearly.
Most wildlife is affected by the issues that are affecting the river and the rainforest. Animals
that live in the rainforest such as monkeys, snakes, bears, crocodiles, frogs, leopards and
any other animals are affected by deforestation as its destroying their homes where they
live, their habitat. The animals are therefore forced to move into a different area that will
probably be destroyed by deforestation soon after their first habitat is destroyed. Many
animals die during deforestation as they
cant run away from the machinery and
also he babies die because the adults
leave them behind and they die during
the process. Animals in the river are also
killed because of the deforestation. The
deforestation causes siltation and the
siltation kills the fish eggs and larvae
and this causes loss of a population. This
would eventually lead up to an over
population of another species of fish
which could then cause more loss of a
certain population and the cycle would
repeat if it was to reach an extreme level. For humans deforestation is causing loss of
oxygen and oxygen is vital for human life, without oxygen we cannot live because our body
requires it. Humans are also affected by when the deforestation occurs, it affects climate
change and this can affect our daily life. Climate change means bigger storms, extreme
winds, heavy rain, floods and just more natural disasters that are helped by mans work.
When deforestation occurs we are giving the natural disasters a bigger space to destroy, we
are guiding natural disasters and causing more just by destroying forests.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C


Plant life is vitally harmed by
deforestation. We are destroying the main resource which we require for living and
breathing. We are also affecting animal health in the process as some animals are
herbivores and without plants to eat, grass to eat these animals are going to starve to death
eventually and possibly become extinct and this would create a chain reaction and possibly
cause more death. The environment is affected quite a lot. Climate change, possible
extinction of wildlife, cities/towns being destroyed by
floods and extreme storms. All these topics are caused
of our actions, deforestation, mining, dams, pollution,
littering and other reasons. Many cities, towns, native
homes and animal homes are destroyed by climate
change and this could be a dramatic flood from a river
that swallows a forest, city or town even. This can
cause places to go bankrupt and people/animals to die.

Climate change affects almost


everything, it can drain a river completely
and it can destroy an entire eco-system.
A forest could be naturally destroyed by
extreme storms and extreme floods that
destroy the entire eco-system. Rivers can
be destroyed by extreme temperature
change, if the weather heats up rapidly
all the water would evaporate and then
all the marine life would die as there is no water. This could also destroy plant life as the
plants have no water source and then the roots would dry out and shrivel and eventually
die, unless it were to rain again.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

What are some uses for the Amazon River?


The Amazon River is a home to many wildlife and different species of
fish and marine life. All this marine life is hunted daily by many different
people. Some people are illegal fishing, some are legally fishing. Natives
to the Amazon River dont have anyone to guide them or govern them.
Natives have free access to the river and they use the river as a water
source and food source. They fish for families and themselves and some fish for hobbies.
The illegal groups who fish are fishing just to earn money and maybe sell on the black
market. They tend to sell the rare fish that are becoming extinct, these types of fish tend to
sell for a lot of money. The legal people are usually people who sell fish in shops and
markets, they have been given the right to fish in the river. All groups of people, the natives,
illegal groups and the legal groups all cause problems for the river as all groups overfish.
Overfishing is one of the main issues for the amazon river and it causes a lot of disruption
towards marine life.
Agriculture is when people grow crops near the river, to do so they need free land so
deforestation has already occurred before hand. Agriculture is when they divert water from
the river and then transfer and use it to grow crops. Billions of
litres of water are diverted from the river and then used for
growing the crops, the billions of litres of water are not
repossessed by the river and therefore its losing billions of
litres of water. Fertilizer is required for growing crops and
when the fertilizer leaks into the river it causes the river to
develop and grow algae. The algae causes the oxygen in the
water to diminish and this leaves places in the river where aqua
life cannot breathe and if they swim in this particular area, they
will die as they cannot breathe.
The Amazon river has many dams being built so that people can create
hydroelectric power. This hydroelectric dam captures the kinetic energy
moving in the water as its falling and turns it into mechanical energy. A
generator then converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy and
thats where most of our power comes from. Many dams are bad for the
river as they block fish migrations, traps sediment, temperature changes
occur and oxygen levels change to a state where plants and animals
growing in the river cannot breathe. When the dam stops fish migrations
this is bad because the fish cannot move from spawning habitats (This
spawning habitat is vulnerable to land development because it is on the receiving
end of the most of the water's drainage, and the spawning and nursery areas are
limited in size. Eggs and larvae are sensitive to increases of sediment and pollution,
and disruption of their food supply that occur once development exceeds a
watershed's limit. (http://dnr2.maryland.gov/fisheries/pages/FHEP/anadromous.aspx) to
rearing habitats (Areas where larval and juvenile fish find food and shelter.)
http://www.fishbase.org/glossary/Glossary.php?q=rearing+habitat

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

The Amazon River is a gigantic river and is used by many people as a water source. Some
people die from drinking the Amazon River as it is polluted with mercury, eroded soil, dead
carcasss. When people obtain the water and then consume it, they can die of mercury
poisoning and other types of diseases that are released from the
decaying bodies. The water that is consumed is usually consumed
by the natives and its normally the natives who die from
consuming the water as they dont own technology to clear and
make the water distilled. Many factories are used to distil the
water and clear the dirt from it so that it is drinkable. Many of the
natives use the water as a cleaning source for clothes they have
made/designed. The water in the river is also a good way to travel
downstream or upstream and the natives use this technique a lot.

How can the issue be resolved and what strategies can be implanted?
The Amazon river has thousands of species of aquatic life that all rely
on the river to keep them alive. Even the animals that live in the
rainforest use the river as a source of food and source of water.
Deforestation is obviously affecting all wildlife, its killing many
animals both outside and inside the river. I think that we should try
and reduce the amount of deforestation per year as this would allow
many more animals to live and would reduce the amount of siltation
released into the river. If we were to do this, many animals would be
saved also some lives of the natives would be saved as we are reducing both pollution in the
river and deforestation which destroys home for both the natives and animals that live in
the forest.
Another way to reduce the amount of deforestation would
to have more laws enforced upon the people of South
America. They should have people constantly watching the
forest as many illegal people cut down the trees for illegal
reasons. If there was guards or cameras monitoring the
area, maybe they could prevent the amount of illegal
deforesting that happens every year.
One other solution would be to move where the
deforestation is occurring, they could move it to a more
disclosed area away from most wildlife and the river so that
not as much animals would be killed and so the river is not
polluted.
Another one is they could maybe evacuate the wildlife from a specific area, animal rescue
groups could take the animals and move them to another area which is safe and the people
who are deforesting can deforest that area where no animals are found as all the animals
have been moved to a better and more safe area.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

My final solution would be to have people come and monitor the deforestation while its
happening and some other issues that are affecting the river and then these people who are
monitoring it could write a report and show it to the government officials. This would
hopefully reduce the amount of deforestation occurring in certain areas.



Conclusion
To conclude, I think that deforestation has
an extremely big impact on both the
Amazon Rainforest and the Amazon River.
I think that there is still a possibility that
we can reduce the amount of deforesting
in many areas and we can definitely
prevent illegal groups with the right law
enforcement. I think that if we were to
move all the animals out of a specific area
and dedicate that for the deforestation, it
would save many lives for both natives
and animals. Even though some of the
issues have good causes they bad side out balances the good and the bad side also leads to
other bad thing completely outweighing the balance and this is already resulting in disaster
as the river is being polluted, wildlife and plant
life being destroyed yearly and human resources
such as oxygen are decreasing yearly. We could
even prevent disastrous climate changes if we
were to change the location and amount of
deforesting. I think that this would benefit all the
environment and it would save lots of lives and
cause less problems for the rainforest and the
river. It would also cause less problems for the
government and the natives and animals as they
dont have to worry about finding new homes
constantly after losing them to deforestation
sites and mining sites.



Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C






Amazon River deforestation NOTES AND FACTS FOR ESSAY

Flows through most of South America. Cities like:
Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia and Ecuador.
Its total length is 6,457km long and 4,010miles in length.
2

Its drainage area is 7,050,000 km and it also has the largest discharge of all rivers with 209,000 m /s.
It flows out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Food source (Fish)
Agriculture (Crops)
Dams (Hydroelectric energy)
Water source
Natives use the river to travel to different places on canoes
The river is having quite a few problems such as:
Deforestation
Siltation
Overfishing
Mining
Dams
Oil extraction
All of these problems are leading to one another and some cause even more problems.
We could stop doing these activities near the river, maybe further away.
We could try to reduce the amount of forests we cut down and the amount of mining we do.
We could make the laws stricter so that maybe we could prevent it.
Investigating and writing reports on the problems that will bring this attention to the government
officials.
Natives are given 20% of the forest.
Brazil has increased the amount of safe areas in the forest to try and protect it.
Animals, Humans and the plant life.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C


Animals are affected when the trees are cut down they lose their habitat and sources of food.
Humans are affected by loss of oxygen.
Plant life is killed and causes other problems for the rivers around because of the soil that is dying.

Research Action Plan



MYP Assessment Criteria B: INVESTIGATION

Limited attempt to / partially / satisfactorily / effectively follows an action plan to


investigate a research question
Uses methods to collect and record limited / some / appropriate / appropriate &
varied information in line with the research question
Limited attempt to / partially / satisfactorily / effectively addresses the research
question
Limited / reflection / detailed evaluation of the research process and results.

To help you successfully implement a research action plan you need to follow the steps below:


The main research
question

How does deforestation affect the Amazon river?

Sub questions
By answering these
sub-questions, you
will enable
yourselves to answer
the main research
question.

Where is the Amazon River located?


Which main area is affected by deforestation?
Why is deforestation occurring in the amazon?
Is the Amazon River being threatened by this?
If deforestation destroys the river, what would happen?
How is deforestation causing problems for the river?

Check your task


sheet and brainstorm
additional questions
with your group.
Include them all here.
Methods to be used
in the investigation

Where will you gather the information? (e.g. library)


I will gather my information from the internet, at least 10 different

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C

e.g. describe the


capture sheet. How
will it be laid out? Will
you include your subquestions? How
many websites will
you access per subquestion? Why?

Identify the relevant


sources/evidence
that you will use
Record the works
cited.

websites. Also I will gather my information from my teacher and


peers. Another way to gather my information would be to look and
read some books based on the Amazon.
How/where are you going to record any relevant information?
I will record most of my information and either transfer it straight
onto my essay or a new document. If I place it onto a new
document, I will then transfer straight onto essay.

Please check the Information Literacy Guide to do this correctly.


Easybib formatting is not appropriate.

"Amazon River Eco-systems." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.


Bradford, By Alina. "Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects."
LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 04 Mar. 2015. Web. 2 Dec.
2015.
"Deforestation Amazon." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
"Deforestation in Amazonia." Deforestation in Amazonia. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
"Deforestation." WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, n.d.
Web. 04 Dec. 2015.
"Environmental Impacts of Dams." International Rivers. N.p., n.d.
Web. 05 Dec. 2015.
"Fertilizer Runoff Overwhelms Streams and Rivers--Creating Vast
"Dead Zones"" Scientific American. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.
"FishBase Glossary." FishBase Glossary. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec.
2015.
"List of Rivers." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
"List of Rivers." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
"Project Amazonas." Amazon Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2015.
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
"Soil Erosion." Mongabay.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.
"Spawning Habitats." Spawning Habitats. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec.
2015.

Name: Jack Allen Subject: Humanities Class: E-9C