Deforestation is when forests are lost and not replanted. Sometimes deforestation happens when people change the land into farms, ranches and cities. A lot of deforestation is from removal of all the trees from a forest for wood or fuel. Without the forest, the habitats of the animals are lost and many animals die. It also results in global warming.
The opposite of deforestation is afforestation.
Cause of deforestation [change]
Deforestation is the removal of trees for requirements of growing population. They remove the trees and use the land to make farms. They also use the wood from the trees to make buildings or to burn the trees for heat. Sometimes, forests are lost because people want to make cities bigger: this means building roads and buildings on the land where the forests are.
Forests have the following functions:
- regulation of the water cycle
- production of soil
- provide habitat for animals
- provide most of our oxygen
- maintain the oxygen and carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere
- regulation of temperature
- prevent soil erosion
Forests are often planted to protect against natural disasters. When forests are lost, very often the soil they protected is also lost. This loss of soil is often called erosion. We give out carbon dioxide when we breathe and plants and trees take it in by photosynthesis.
Trees are also important for storing carbon. Deforestation causes the carbon in the trees to go into the air again, and this causes more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, deforestation causes global warming. In fact, 20% of global warming is caused by deforestation.[source?]