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Environmental Issues: Deforestation

Essay by   •  June 15, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  800 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,306 Views

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Deforestation is one of the world's largest environmental threat. This occurs when a forest is permanently destroyed or converted into another form such as subdivisions, farmlands or industries. Whether the area is an indigenous forest (their crowns touch to form a single canopy) or a woodland (trees grow far apart), when these are destroyed, it is considered deforestation (Collins, 2002).

A deforested area looks very bare and hot. It is like suddenly getting a skinny head after years of having long hair. The usual coolness in the area evaporates and the wildlife species such as birds, snakes and other animals that used to live there are now left without a home...and food. When these areas are deforested, many of these animals die because of the sudden change in environment or are left to look for a new habitat. According to National Geographic, around 70% of the species that are affected by deforestation are not able to survive.

There are a lot of factors that can cause deforestation. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, agricultural is one of the overwhelming causes of deforestation. This includes subsistence farming, commercial agriculture, logging, and wood removal.

The continuous increase in population is also a major cause of deforestation. The increase in population makes way for the clearing of forests to build more residential areas as well as industrial areas. Once these forests are cleared, there is a very low chance that they will become forests again.

Another main contributor in deforestation is people's want for money. A lot of businesses especially in the paper and coal industry are cutting up thousands of trees every year. Aside from just logging at a certain area, they also remove trees in able to build roads to gain more access to the deeper parts of the forests (National Geographic, 2012).

The worst thing about deforestation is its effect on the environment. According to Greenpeace International, deforestation, or even forest degradation, can cause a huge change in the Earth's climate. This happens because a deforested area releases a great amount of carbon into the atmosphere. This therefore, helps in contributing to the greenhouse effect. (Greenpeace, 2012).

Deforestation can also permanently damage the quality of land, thus it would not be useful in growing trees in the future. According to National Geographic, both human and natural factors such as overgrazing and wildfires could inhibit young trees from growing (National Geographic, 2012).

Deforestation has a lot of other environmental effects such as severe flooding since there are no trees left to absorb the water when it rains. As a result, water goes directly to lower areas, which are usually occupied by human residents.

Aside from causing flooding, deforestation can also bring about certain dry spells. According to the National Geographic, rainforests



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