Deforestation

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A deforested area

Deforestation is when forests are destroyed by cutting trees (logging) and not replanting them. Sometimes deforestation happens when people change lands into farms, ranches and cities. The most common cause for deforestation is obtaining wood and fuel. This destroys the habitat of many animals, leading to their death. Deforestation also releases sequestered carbon.

Restoring trees in deforested places is called reforesting.

Causes of deforestation[change | change source]

Land has other uses besides growing trees. The biggest uses of land that was once forested are for farming and ranching. Some land is also used for roads and buildings, especially in urban areas. As the population grows, people need to remove more trees. They also use the wood from the trees as lumber to make buildings and other things, or they burn the trees as firewood.

Forests have the following functions:-

  • regulation of the water cycle
  • production of soil
  • providing habitat for animals
  • providing most of our oxygen
  • maintain the oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • balance in the atmosphere
  • regulation of temperature
  • prevention of soil erosion
  • tree diseases [1]

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 called erosion.

Trees are also important for carbon sequestration. When the trees burn or rot, the carbon in them returns to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. Since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, deforestation causes global warming. Tropical deforestation is responsible for about 20% of world greenhouse gas emissions.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Deforestation Around The World -". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  2. "Fondation Chirac » Deforestation and desertification".

Other websites[change | change source]