The Amazon Rainforest produces 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. Spanning across nine countries in South America, it is the largest rainforest in the world, about 2.3 million square miles (7 million square kilometers) and represents 50% of the world’s total rainforest land. The Amazon Rainforest contributes to regulating the temperature of the Earth by absorbing carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned, which is thought by scientists to cause the average global temperature to increase. If warmer temperatures dry out its water sources, the rainforest could contribute more carbon to the atmosphere than it absorbs, as it did during a 2005 drought.
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