Reflections on the mighty Amazon © Art Wolfe/Danita Delimont
For World Rainforest Day we take you below these clouds to the Amazon River Basin and the largest rainforest in the world. Numbers help the story of this extraordinary place: At more than 2.1 million square miles, the Amazon accounts for half of Earth’s remaining tropical rainforests. And a fifth of the world’s fresh water flows through this river basin. Perhaps a tenth of the planet’s known species call it home, many of which have yet to be identified—that’s trees, plants, fish, mammals, and a third of Earth’s bird species. Now take a deep breath. The ‘Lungs of the World’ produces 20 percent of Earth’s oxygen, while storing vast amounts of carbon dioxide, earning it an all-star ‘carbon sink’ status.