When visiting Costa Rica it is important to know why the tropical forest are so important to everyone all around our globe. If you have the chance to stay in a Costa Rica ecolodge chances you will be surrounded by a tropical forest.
It has been in recent years with the study of global warming that we have seen the importance of tropical forest go beyond their rich biodiversity. With today’s use of fossil fuels and cutting down of trees in the forest the levels of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere is the most is has been in thousands of years. Contrary to what many people can make you think according to the Nature Conservancy tropical forest are being destroyed by 15 million hectares each year. With this rate we will have lost all of our tropical forest by the end of the century.
We all know that trees help us in the process of photosynthesis which allows all life on Earth to flourish. Along with giving us oxygen trees store a large amount of CO2 in their trunks and also in their roots. The trees of the tropical forest’s store up to 50% more than the trees that are located outside of the tropical regions. These are huge amounts of CO2 that is stored in these trees. All of this CO2 is released when a tree is cut down. Along with this mini-CO2 bomb that is released into the atmosphere no tree is left to absorb anymore CO2. According to Nature Conservancy a tropical forest can hold 300 tons of Carbon per hectare. Every America today releases 20 tons of carbon into the atmoshpere each year. This goes to show we need a lot of forest if we plan on living this same way.
Mangroves are the best CO2 storage centers as they can store up to 4 times more CO2 than most tropical trees. There are a number of mangroves in Costa Rica and if you head to many of the Costa Rica ecolodges on the southern pacific during your Costa Rica vacation you will see and learn about this amazing ecosystem.
In our next blog we will talk about the economic value to allowing tropical forest to just stay as they are giving them a value.
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