Listen as Topher White, a 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and founder of Rainforest Connection, describes how this organization is trying to stop illegal logging and stop deforestation in the rainforest. This organization works to “transform recycled cell phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity at a great distance, providing the world’s first audio-based logging detection system, pinpointing deforestation activity as it occurs and enabling real-time intervention.” 

Deforestation is one of the main contributors to climate change and the extinction of endangered species. Rainforests play an important role in the carbon cycle. Places where carbon accumulates are known as carbon “sinks” or “reservoirs.” For example, a growing forest removes large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in the structure of its wood and leaves. When these forests are cut down, they can no longer “capture” carbon, which translates into larger amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Understanding how carbon moves in and out of reservoirs on our planet is important for understanding climate change. 

Take the online course “Teaching Global Climate Change in Your Classroom” and practice innovative ways to visualize the changing climate with your students as we all seek a planet in balance.

carbon cycle
Noun

series of processes in which carbon (C) atoms circulate through Earth's land, ocean, atmosphere, and interior.

carbon sink
Noun

area or ecosystem that absorbs more carbon dioxide than it releases.

Noun

gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

Noun

management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

Noun

destruction or removal of forests and their undergrowth.

Noun

organism threatened with extinction.

environment
Noun

conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

Noun

process of complete disappearance of a species from Earth.

innovation
Noun

something new.

logging
Noun

industry engaged in cutting down trees and moving the wood to sawmills.

Noun

area of tall, mostly evergreen trees and a high amount of rainfall.