By World News Report Bureau
Tropical rainforests have existed on Earth for hundreds of millions of years but now it seems that their days on planet earth are limited.
A new study based on satellite-based imagery from 1990 to 2010 shows that tropical rainforest the Earth’s oldest living ecosystem are vanishing right in front of our eye all over the world.
At one point of time these tropical forests covered 14 percent of the Earth’s surface, today, they cover just 6 percent.
Every year, 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of tropical forests are lost, due to logging, burning and other destructive means, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The forest area being lost every year is almost the same size of Panama.
The rate of deforestation was found to have accelerated by 62 percent.
According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland, deforestation is the main culprit.
The researchers studied 34 countries having up to 80 percent of forested tropical lands and found that the yearly net forest loss was 15,000 square miles ( 4 million hectares) per year for all countries in the study in the period 1990-2000. The figures for the period 2000-2010 was 25,000 square miles (6.5 million hectares) being lost yearly for all countries in the study, an increase of 62 percent. This amount of forest lost each year is almost equal to the size of West Virginia or Sri Lanka.
The countries with the maximum forest area lost due to deforestation included Brazil, where 2,300 square miles of rainforest are lost every year. Likewise some 3,100 square miles were lost in Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Philippines. Africa with the exception of Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar accounted for the smallest net loss of tropical forests.
The study was fully automated and computerized to minimize human error.