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Deforestation

Deforestation is the permanent

Sustainable deforestation refers to the removal of tree cover for urbanization, commodity production, and some types of small-scale agriculture, so that the previous tree cover does not return. It does not include temporary forest loss due to felling or forest fires in the forestry sector. Destruction of forests to make land available for other uses. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, roughly equal to the size of the country of Panama, are destroyed each year.



Causes

There are many causes of deforestation . The reports that half of the trees illegally removed from forests are used as fuel .


Some other common reasons are :

  • To make more land available for housing and urbanization

  • To harvest timber to create commercial items such as paper , furniture and homes

  • To create ingredients thatare highly prized consumer items , such as the oil from palm trees

  • To create room for cattle ranching


Common methods of deforestation are burning trees and clear cutting .These tactics leave the land completely barren and are controversial practices .


Clear cutting is when large swaths of land are cut down all at once . A forestry expert quoted bythe Natural Resources Defense Council describes clear cutting as an ecological trauma

that has no precedent in nature except for a major volcanic eruption .


Burning can be done quickly , in vast swaths of land , or more slowly with the slash - and -burntechnique . Slash and burn agriculture entails cutting down a patch of trees , burning them and growing crops on the , land . The ash from the burned trees provides some nourishment for the plants and the land is weed - free from the burning . When the soil becomes less nourishing and weeds begin to reappear over years of use , the farmers move on to a new patch of land and begin the process again .



Deforestation And Climate Change

Deforestation is considered to be one of the contributing factors to global climate change . According to Michael Daley , an associate professor of environmental science at Lasell College in Newton , Massachusetts , the No. 1 problem caused by deforestation is the impact on the global carbon cycle . Gas molecules that absorb thermal infrared radiation are called greenhouse gases . If greenhouse gases are in large enough quantity , they can force climate change , according to Daley . While oxygen ( 02 ) is the second most abundant gas in our atmosphere , it does not absorb thermal infrared radiation , as greenhouse gases do . Carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) is the most prevalent greenhouse gas CO2 accounts for about 82.2 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas , according to the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) . Trees can help , though . About 300 billion tons of carbon , 40 times the annual greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels , is stored in trees , according to Greenpeace .


The deforestation of trees not only lessens the amount - of - carbon stored , it also releases carbon dioxide into the air . This is because when . trees die , they release the stored carbon . According to the 2010 - Global Forest Resources Assessment , deforestation releases nearly a billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere per year , though the numbers are not as high as the ones recorded in the previous decade . Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic ( human - caused ) source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere ( after fossil fuel combustion ) , ranging between 6 percent and 17 percent , according to a study published in 2009 in Nature .


Carbon isn’t the only greenhouse gas that is affected by deforestation . Water vapor is also considered a greenhouse gas . " The impact of deforestation on the exchange of water vapor and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the terrestrial land surface is the biggest concern with regard to the climate system , " said Daley . Changes in their atmospheric concentration will have a direct effect on climate .


Deforestation has decreased global vapor flows from land by 4 percent , according to an article published by the journal National Academy of Sciences . Even this slight change in vapor flows can disrupt natural weather patterns and changecurrent climate models .


Other Effects Of Deforestation

Forests are complex ecosystems that affect almost every species on the planet . When they aredegraded , it can set off a devastating chain of events both locally and around the world .

1. Loss Of Species : Seventy percent of the world's plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation, according to National Geographic . Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction . It also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations that rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine.


2.Water Cycle : Trees are important to the water cycle . Theyabsorb rain fall and produce water vapor that is released into the atmosphere . Trees also lessen the pollution in water , according to the North Carolina State University , by stopping polluted runoff . In the Amazon , more than half the water in the ecosystem is held within the plants , according to the National Geographic Society.


3. Soil Erosion Tree roots anchor the soil . Without trees , the soil is free to wash or blow away , which can lead to vegetation growth problems . The WWF states that scientists estimate that a third of theworlds arable land has been lost to deforestation since 1960. After a clear cutting , cash crops like coffee , soy and palm oil are planted . Planting these types of trees can cause further soil erosion because . their roots cannot hold onto the soil .


4. Life Quality : Soil erosion can also lead to silt entering the lakes , streams and other water sources . This can decrease local water quality and contribute to poor health in populations in the area .


5. The Disturbance Of Native People : Many native tribes live in the rainforests of the world , and their destruction is the destruction of these peoples homes and way of life .




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