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Charcoal

Charcoal is formed when wood gets heated in the absence of oxygen. Many people use the product on weekends in their BBQ grills. Casually speaking, we also refer to charcoal as the remains of incompletely burned wood.

Charcoal floats and, at times, it occurs in abundance washed ashore on our beaches here in Florida, USA. Sure, you'll get the occasional piece washed ashore from someone's old campfire down the beach. However, the majority of the charcoal that washes ashore in Florida has its source down in South America:  the rainforests!

This charcoal is generated from the massive destruction of the rainforests via the slash and burn process. This generates lots of burned pieces of wood that floats away with torrential rains, making its way down streams to rivers, then to the ocean, and eventually to local and distant beaches.

One web site states: Unbelievably, more than 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day. That is more than 150 acres lost every minute of every day, and 78 million acres lost every year! More than 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest is already gone, and much more is severely threatened as the destruction continues. It is estimated that the Amazon alone is vanishing at a rate of 20,000 square miles a year. If nothing is done to curb this trend, some people calculate that the entire Amazon rainforest region could well be gone within fifty years.





Links

  • The Disappearing Rainforests

  • Human Threats to Rainforests

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