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Daniel Beltra Freelance for Greenpeace

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The Amazon Rainforest represents over half the world¹s remaining tropical
forests. This primeval wilderness harbors the greatest biodiversity on
earth. At the peak of the wet season one fifth of all the planet's river
water swells the Amazon and its tributaries. A finely calibrated balance
of rainfall, transpiration and evaporation perpetuates the surrounding
weather systems in ways that scientists are only beginning to unravel.

More than 17% of the Amazon has already been cleared by loggers, ranchers
and soy farmers. Fires continue to burn, releasing enormous levels of
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Brazil is the fourth largest producer
of greenhouse gases on the planet, 75% of those result from burning the
forest. These gases contribute to Global Warming.

Thousands of miles away lies the Antarctic continent, one of the world¹s
most pristine environments. The fate of this remote wilderness hinges on
the smallest change in temperature. By documenting these changes I want to
shine a light on this crucial issue.

A river is diverted for gold mining at a prospectors' camp near Alta Floresta in Para State, Brazil, Aug. 25, 2007. These prospectors use mercury in the mining process, which pollutes the environment and affects the health of the local population.


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