The Amazon River and its tributaries are important for local agriculture, for transportation and as a source of hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, the Amazon's economic value is also a leading cause of environmental degradation in the area.Know More
In Brazil, it is easy for impoverished farmers to gain and maintain rights to agricultural lands simply by living on and using a plot of land for a year and one day. Unfortunately, much of the land surrounding the Amazon is excellent for supporting a tropical forest but only marginal for agriculture. Forest land supports farming for a few years before its fertility degrades and the farmer must move on to clear new land. Fortunately, new systems of crop and livestock rotation offer the promise of better forest stewardship in the future.
For many small, indigenous villages in the Amazon River region, the river and its tributaries are important sources of transport. The forest is so impassable in areas that river travel provides the only access between villages.
More recently, the Amazon is becoming a source of hydroelectric power via the construction of dams. While this is an important source of energy for growing towns and cities, it also brings controversy. Engineers point out that construction of fish ladders provide wildlife with a means of migration, but conservationists note that local people are already feeling the strain of poorer fishing, hunting and gathering in their native home.Learn More
The land-to-water ratio on Earth is about 29 percent land to 71 percent water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Most of the Earth's water, about 96.5 percent, is saline water contained in the oceans.Full Answer >
At its deepest point, Loch Ness has a depth of approximately 788 feet. The lake is 23 miles long and contains the largest volume of fresh water in Great Britain.Full Answer >
While there is no definitive count of all the islands in the world, as of 2014, there are 443 islands in the world with a land area of 970 square miles or greater. There are at least 335 additional islands whose land area ranges from 190 to 970 square miles.Full Answer >
The Amazon River, which has its beginnings in the South American country of Peru, ends by pouring into the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil, near the city of Macapa. The river is about 4,000 miles long.Full Answer >