8 Dangers of Deforestation

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We are destroying our planet earth by cutting down trees & taking nature into our own hands. Here are the dangers of Deforestation.

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It is the permanent removal of forests from a land so that it becomes available for other uses. The trees are turned into fuel or raw materials for construction and industrial processes. The cleared land is used for plantation, as pasture for livestock or it’s converted to ranches, farms and urban areas. Approximately 31 percent of our planet’s land surface is covered by forests. The large-scale clearing of trees has resulted in the loss of fauna and flora species. It has affected the lifestyles of indigenous human populations and it’s also a contributing factor to climate change. Tropical rainforests, which are home to over half the planet’s plant and animal species, are the areas most affected by deforestation. They once covered 14 percent of the planet’s land surface but now they cover less than half of that. According to National Geographic, if current trends continue, the rainforests may completely disappear in less than a century.

A common perception regarding soil tends to be imagining something compact and unmoving but that’s not always the case. Soil’s susceptible to being washed away by running water or blown away by strong winds. Tree roots anchor the soil as they bind into the bedrock. Their removal causes soil erosion and makes an area, particularly on slopes, more susceptible to landslides.

Even though it has peaked in the modern era, deforestation has been occurring since prehistory, probably as early as the Mesolithic. At the time it was most likely done in an effort to control game animals. The emergence of agriculture accelerated the destruction of forests as more land was needed for farming. Between 2000 and 2012, nearly 900,000 square miles of forests around the world was destroyed.

Clearcutting is when the majority or all the trees in an area are uniformly cut down and it’s one of the most profitable deforestation techniques used by loggers.

The water cycle refers to the manner in which this invaluable natural resource is distributed on our planet. There’s no doubt that trees play a number of important hydrological roles in their environment. Along with other plants, they absorb precipitation and release most of it back into the atmosphere via transpiration. Their leaves control humidity by transpiring the water absorbed by the roots. Their plant litter and organic residue can also increase the soil’s ability of storing water and provides it with some of the nutrients necessary for plant growth. Their canopies intercept precipitation, which then evaporates back into the atmosphere. According to the National Geographic Society, more than half the water in the Amazonian ecosystem is held within plants. Approximately 30 percent of the planet’s fresh water is produced by tropical rainforests.

The country most affected by the deforestation process is Indonesia, which has lost 39 million acres of forest land over the course of the past century. The Amazon Rainforest includes territories belonging to nine nations and it’s the largest rainforest in the world. According to both Greenpeace and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, most of the deforested land in the Amazon is used for livestock pasture. The cattle sector, supported by the international leather and beef trade reportedly holds a great deal of that responsibility.

Life on Earth has found its way to the planet’s harshest habitats, from the Arctic tundra to the Sahara. The same is true for life in forests, where there’s a staggering amount of biodiversity. It doesn’t have to take place on a large scale since every part of a natural food chain is important. By some estimates, the planet loses about 50,000 animal species every year to the deforestation that occurs in tropical rainforests.

Deforestation is often described as one of the driving factors behind the enhanced greenhouse effect and thus as a contributor to global warming. Trees and plants act like carbon dioxide filters because they absorb it from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and store it in their tissues. It’s one of the reasons why the Amazon Rainforest has been described as the “Earth’s Lungs”. According to Greenpeace, about 300 billion tons of carbon, which is 40 times greater than the amount produced by fossil fuels, is stored in trees. A study has revealed that deforestation is the second largest source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, next to fossil fuels.

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