The word "Amazon" should conjur an image of a lush rainforest, equal in size to the entire United States. It is considered the most diverse ecosystem on Earth, supporting thousands of plant and animal species and home to 20 million people.
But deforestation and global warming are plaguing this tropical forest, and its very survival is at stake. In October 2005, satellite imagery revealed that the rate of logging is actually double what the experts previously believed, and one of the worst droughts ever recorded dried up the rivers and spurned devastating fires.
Take a look at these dramatic images, taken from the stricken drought areas.