I am not an expert in deforestation and from my small town we have plenty of trees, but I have noticed that to expand our town we are having to destroy forests to get soccer fields or anything else we need. When I think of deforestation I think of a funny cartoon that has a bulldozer ripping through a forest. I know there is a need for change in my hometown. In my school alone we have an award for most printer paper used. There should be no award, but the person who does use the most paper does get a tree that they can plant. While this is a comical idea of a tree for paper it is not enough; trees take many years to become actual trees. This is where we go wrong we think okay we can just plant a tree, but that will not change the fact that we just destroyed more than we planted.
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Deforestation is good and bad at the same time but i am going to discuss why I think it is bad. Deforestation destroys habitats for different wildlife in our environments. Therefore, the wildlife in our environments are lacking a safe home and eventually dying out.
Because I am so fortunate to have grown up in a place that values environmental education I often forget that this opportunity is relatively rare. My name is Ana Sofia and for the past four years I have been part of a small organization dedicated to teaching kids in Borneo, Indonesia about the devastating effects of deforestation on the world’s green house gas emissions and global ecosystems. Borneo is home to an incredibly large rainforest which is home to thousands of species some of which are only found in Indonesia. Increased logging both legal and illegal as well as the rise of palm oil plantations has greatly affected the habitats of Bornean animals as well as the lives of people. The programs goal is to bring pride to Indonesian students on an elementary to high school level and encourage them to make a difference in the future of their own rainforest.
Despite attempts to recuperate the forested land of earth, deforestation has taken it’s toll on both local ecosystems, and on a global scale. It is estimated that 15% of the worlds greenhouse gas emission are derived from mass deforestation. Areas which are being deforested are primarily tropical, and therefore essential on a global and local scale.
Tropical rain forests are among the environments with the largest biodiversity in the world. They are being cleared for industries which rely on conditions found in these areas (i.e. humidity, and heavy rainfall). These industries would include beef, palm oil, soy and wood, varying by region. It is integral that efforts are made to replant Earth’s forests and retain only manageable deforestation, so that these environments can return to their natural state over the course of the following thousands of years.
Deforestation is the silent enemy of the environment. When people think about the ecosystem, deforestation will often cross their mind. They think about how trees are being killed and how habitats are lost and that’s really sad. But then it’s on to global warming and it’s like they had never heard the word.
Forests cover over 30% of the earth’s landmass (that’s around 44 1/2 million KM^2), but are being cut down by the thousands of acres per day. While new plantations are being created, trees are dying faster than they’re growing. Rain forests will be gone within 100 years at this rate. Trees are a huge part of our carbon cycle. If this continues, we may just asphyxiate as a species
For this discussion, I shall be tracing the effects of deforestation. First of all, deforestation will, as the term expresses, shall lead to less trees and therefore less CO2 depletion in the atmosphere.
This slight decrease in CO2 depletion leads to more greenhouse gases in the air, which could lead to warmer temperatures. Those warm temperatures can cause certain species on land, who are used to the temperature in the past, to start depleting in population. The ecosystems that have these organisms will have their food chains tweaked to the point of possible species extinction from extinction or scarcity of food source, which could lead to overpopulation of another species which competed against the previously alive species for other resources that are separate from the possibly extinct food source of the now dead species. This dominant species could completely destroy their ecosystem by consuming resources faster than they previously did so due to competition from the now dead species. This could lead to the destruction of the resource in that area and, eventually, the destruction if the whole ecosystem.
Another consequence of CO2 levels being risen is the increase in acidic rain. H2O(water) could interact with CO2(carbon dioxide) and create carbonic acid(acid rain). This acid rain could increase acidity in the soil in which it lands on. Some consequences for this can be seen in the link: (http://soilwater.com.au/bettersoils/module2/2_3.htm.) If the plants in the area where to die because of the acidity, there would be a smaller amount of CO2 consumers AND a decrease in the overall food supply of that ecosystem. Consequences of that are shown in the previous paragraph. Also, if that was the primary food source of the entire ecosystem, then the ecosystem would die in an even simpler way, by lack of food.
Lastly, a consequence of the root of all these problems, deforestation, is what it is going to be used for. If it is used for firewood, firewood converts O2 and some of its carbon atoms into CO2. If it is used for building, it will eventually catch molds that will decompose it into methane and other greenhouse gases. So, in deforestation, both its absence and use create CO2 and/or other greenhouse gases. This is not good, and I would like to say that I am an advocate for the reduction and/or the destruction of deforestation.
Deforestation is a serious problem that we can not ignore. There are organizations like WWF who tries to save the amazons and other areas with important forest. To help preventing deforestation keep on going in the same speed as it is destroying the forests today, we could become members of these organizations so we officially can show that we are against it. According to WWF (http://worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation) 17% of the amazon forest has disappeared during the last 50 years. The forest provides us with oxygen and is a home for many animal species and humans. I suggest, just as WWF does, to pledge yourselves to only buy wood and paper products that have been produced in an, out of en environmental aspect, good way. You do this buy searching for the FSC label on the products. You could also, as I said above, become a member of WWF and get some great benefits that only members get to take a part of.
Deforestation does not only concern the people who lives in or by these forest that is in danger but also the whole world, therefore it is of highest importance to prevent and stop this. There are many horrible consequences coming out of deforestation, like an increase of deserts, extermination of many beautiful and unique animal species, etc. If you would like to read more about the consequences, (http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html). The fact that deforestation is considered to be the main contributor of the global climate changes going on simply explains its importance.
Recently, I stumbled upon a Greenpeace article about the effects of deforestation on the environment. Whenever I think of the term “deforestation,” I usually form images of trees being cut down. However, This article gave me an entirely new perspective on deforestation and how serious it really is. It states that when forests are destroyed and burned for human settlements, the carbon dioxide initially absorbed by the trees is released back into the atmosphere. Trees also release methane as they decay. As a result, the production of greenhouse gases from the burning of forests produce as much as “thirty percent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere over the past 150 years.” The increase of greenhouse gases combined with a decrease in the amount of trees to absorb carbon dioxide are even more damaging to the environment.
To ensure that we do not further increase the rate of climate change, we need to plant new forests, moderate the amount of logging, and protect existing forests. We also need to make sure no new forests are cut down. Check out the article below to find out more about deforestation and practices that promote sustainable forestry!
Deforestation is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere - particularly carbon. When these trees are burned or decomposed carbon is released and levels quickly rise. As stated in the link below, this traps heat and raises temperatures. Not only does deforestation raise global warming levels, but it destroys the home of many animals as well. It also alters weather patterns.
Last year in an environmental science class, I watched a video on forestry practices in Papua New Guinea (can’t link since VHS) that offers a great example of both how and why deforestation occurs and what can be done to stop it while still meeting our need for the resource.
Much of Papua New Guinea’s forests have been stripped away from the land through unsustainable forestry practices such as dragging trees out of forests whole using tractors and trucks and cutting down all the trees in one area, or clear cutting. All the potential profits that could go to the native community for their precious resource ends up going offshore to the greedy industries managing the operations. Furthermore, the loss of trees leads to enormous amounts of soil erosion that in turn causes greater harm to local communities due to the decreased biodiversity from the destruction of habitat. The dragging of trees out of the forest also led to soil compaction that created risk of flooding and less water for the people to use since the soil could no longer absorb water or replenish groundwater. These exemplify some of the most concerning effects of deforestation.
However, there is hope in sustainable forestry practices since they they allow local communities to reap the economic benefits while maintaining the environmental beauty of their forests. Rather than clear cutting and ragging trees out, the foresters selectively cut trees from various areas that can survive losing the specific tree and cut them with a portable saw mill on site before carrying them out of the forest. This ensures the forest remains healthy and supports forest conservation efforts while the community still profits, which also helps the community obtain other economic benefits from the aesthetic aspects of alternative forest products. The link below offers a video looking at some sustainable forestry practices like these that can counter deforestation while still meeting our needs and preventing its devastating effects.