THE Amazon Rain Forest is remarkably special because of its impact on the world climate.

It’s gigantic, 23 times larger than the UK, though it was even bigger until us greedy humans began cutting it down to allow cattle ranching, with almost a third effected since 1970.

While Brazil has begun to slow the rate of destruction it’s still rampant in the surrounding countries. Since 1980 300,000 square miles have been destroyed, more than three times the area of the UK, to allow dams, mineral exploitation, and new settlements in addition to extensive cattle and soya farming.

More than half the world’s rain forest is in the Amazon basin, almost 400 billion trees, some 16,000 species with many hardwoods that can top 200 feet. They are each large carbon store houses with even an 80 foot example containing at least ten tonnes. This would convert to 36 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of the average annual production from four UK citizens.

Tree growth still allows this rain forest to keep on absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, up to half a billion tonnes each year, but it’s on the decline and if the temperature keeps rising it will be the end of this remarkable rain forest and carbon sink.

A rise of four degrees would kill almost 90 percent of the trees, and even two degrees would mean 40 per cent fewer by the end of the century.

The current rate of deforestation produces six billion tonnes of CO2 every year, more than the total from all the energy abusive folk in the USA. Fifty acres of trees are removed every minute, and the CO2 from just one acre is the same as a car driving around the world 32 times, some 800,000 miles.

So eat a diet without meat or soya if you care what happens to your grandchildren.