Will Our Rainforests Disappear This Century?

The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation.

It is impossible to overstate the devastating impact of humankind’s clearing of the forests. The transformation of forested lands by human actions represents one of the great forces in global environmental change and one of the great drivers of biodiversity loss.

The earth’s forests are being cleared on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but regions the size of Panama ( 75,416 km² ) are lost each and every year.

The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops such as corn, soy & palm oil or grazing livestock.

Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year.

Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species.

70% of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.

Deforestation also drives climate change. Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out.

Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere. Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts.

Removing trees also deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds in heat at night. This disruption leads to more extreme temperatures swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.

Trees play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming. Fewer forests means larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere—and increased speed and severity of global warming.

Source: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/5-big-causes-of-deforestation-and-how-you-can-stop-it/

© 2013 www.urbangypsyaustralia.com – UGA blog

Add your comment…