Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Disappearing Opportunities

Freshwater Availability

70% of Earth's surface is water of which 97.5% is salt water and 2.5% is freshwater. Less than 1% of this 2.5% amount of freshwater is accessible (the majority is frozen in ice caps or exists as soil moisture). Below is a further breakdown of freshwater use and availability.

  • about 110,000 cubic km of precipitation fall on the world's continents each year, most of which is absorbed by plants and/or evaporated back into the atmosphere
  • 42,700 cubic km of this precipitation flow through river (the Amazon carrier 16% of global runoff)
  • 9,000 cubic km of freshwater are readily accessible for human use
  • another 3,500 cubic km are captured and stored in dams and reserviors

We currently use about 50% of the world's readily available water.


Continued: Extinction


Other pages in this section:

Consequences of Deforestation
Erosion
Loss of Renewable Resources
Atmospheric Role
- - - - -
References
References
References
References
References
Local Climate Regulation
Loss of Species, Disease
Climactic Role
Extinction
- - - - -
Kids version of this section
- Why are rainforests important?
- Climate
- Home to wildlife
- Water cycle
- Erosion control
- Extinction


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Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2013

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect,
an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region.
Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.

"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.