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Increased deforestation brings irreversible damage to the earth

See Article History Deforestation, the clearing or thinning of forests by humans. Deforestation represents one of the largest issues in global land use. Estimates of deforestation traditionally are based on the area of forest cleared for human use, including removal of the trees for wood products and for croplands and grazing lands.

Deforestation Impacts on the Earth’s Water Cycle.

In the practice of clear-cutting, all the trees are removed from the land, which completely destroys the forest. In some cases, however, even partial logging and accidental fires thin out the trees enough to change the forest structure dramatically.

History Conversion of forests to land used for other purposes has a long history. Most present-day croplands receive enough rain and are warm enough to have once supported forests of one kind or another.

  • The study said that wilderness was being loss faster than pristine places were being designated as protected areas, at 3;
  • Forests and climate change Forests play an important part in climate change mitigation;
  • Areas of cleared land appear bluish green;
  • Tropical forests and deforestationTropical forests and deforestation in the early 21st century;
  • Studies in the Amazon reveal that about 5,000 square km 1,931 square miles are at least partially logged each year.

Only about 1 million square km 390,000 square miles of cropland are in areas that would have been cool boreal forestsas in Scandinavia and northern Canada. Much of the remainder was once moist subtropical or tropical forest or, in eastern North Americawestern Europe, and eastern Chinatemperate forest. Cattle or sheep pastures in North America or Europe are easy to identify, and they support large numbers of animals. At least 2 million square km 772,204 square miles of such forests have been cleared for grazing lands.

Less certain are the humid tropical forests and some drier tropical woodlands that have been cleared for grazing. These often support only very low numbers of domestic grazing animals, but they may still be considered grazing lands by national authorities. There, goatssheepand cattle may harm what few trees are able to grow.

BrazilThe coastal forest of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, badly fragmented as portions were cleared for cattle grazing. Pimm Although most of the areas cleared for crops and grazing increased deforestation brings irreversible damage to the earth permanent and continuing deforestation, deforestation can be transient. About half of eastern North America lay deforested in the 1870s, almost all of it having been deforested at least once since European colonization in the early 1600s.

Modern deforestation

Few places exist in eastern North America that retain stands of uncut old-growth forests. The greatest deforestation is occurring in the tropics, where a wide variety of forests exists. They range from rainforests that are hot and wet year-round to forests that are merely humid and moist, to those in which trees in varying proportions lose their leaves in the dry season, and to dry open woodlands.

Because boundaries between these categories are inevitably arbitrary, estimates differ regarding how much deforestation has occurred in the tropics. Tropical forests and deforestationTropical forests and deforestation in the early 21st century.

A major contributor to tropical deforestation is the practice of slash-and-burn agricultureor swidden agriculture see also shifting agriculture.

Small-scale farmers clear forests by burning them and then grow crops in the soils fertilized by the ashes. Typically, the land produces for only a few years and then must be abandoned and new patches of forest burned.

  • Studies in the Amazon reveal that about 5,000 square km 1,931 square miles are at least partially logged each year;
  • Much of the remainder was once moist subtropical or tropical forest or, in eastern North America , western Europe, and eastern China , temperate forest.

Fire is also commonly used to clear forests in Southeast Asiatropical Africa, and the Americas for permanent oil palm plantations. Deforestation of the Amazon River basin increased deforestation brings irreversible damage to the earth followed a pattern of cutting, burning, farming, and grazing.

This process is then repeated on adjacent plots of land, steadily pushing back the borders of the Amazon Rainforest. Additional human activities that contribute to tropical deforestation include commercial logging and land clearing for cattle ranches and plantations of rubber trees and other economically valuable trees. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest remaining block of humid tropical forest, and about two-thirds of it is in Brazil.

Studies in the Amazon reveal that about 5,000 square km 1,931 square miles are at least partially logged each year. In addition, each year fires burn an area about half as large as the areas that are cleared. Areas of cleared land appear bluish green. Some of this replanting is done to replenish logging areas for future exploitation, and some replanting is done as a form of ecological restoration, with the reforested areas made into protected land.

Additionally, significant areas are planted as monotypic plantations for lumber or paper production. These are often plantations of eucalyptus or fast-growing pines —and almost always of species that are not native to the places where they are planted. The FAO estimates that there are approximately 1. Many replanting efforts are led and funded by the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations.

  1. In North and Central America, the forest area remained fairly stable, while in Europe it continued to expand, although at a slower rate than previously. With the significant exception of the forests destroyed for the oil palm industry, many of the humid forests that have been cleared are soon abandoned as croplands or only used for low-density grazing because the soils are extremely poor in nutrients.
  2. The world's total forest area is just over four billion hectares or 31 percent of the total land area.
  3. Many replanting efforts are led and funded by the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations. History Conversion of forests to land used for other purposes has a long history.

However, some national governments have also undertaken ambitious replanting projects. For example, starting in 2017, the government of New Zealand sought to plant more than 100 million trees per year within its borders, but perhaps the most ambitious replanting project took place in India on a single day in 2017, when citizens planted some 66 million trees.

Effects Deforestation has important global consequences. Forests sequester carbon in the form of wood and other biomass as the trees grow, taking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere see carbon cycle.

Deforestation Impacts on the Earth’s Water Cycle.

When forests are burned, their carbon is returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has the potential to alter global climate see greenhouse effect ; global warmingand the trees are no longer present to sequester more carbon. As deforestation proceeds, it has the potential to cause the extinction of increasing numbers of these species. On a more local scale, the effects of forest clearing, selective logging, and fires interact.

Selective logging increases the flammability of the forest because it converts a closed, wetter forest into a more open, drier one. This leaves the forest vulnerable to the accidental movement of fires from cleared adjacent agricultural lands and to the killing effects of natural droughts. As wildfireslogging, and droughts continue, the forest can become progressively more open until all the trees are lost. Additionally, the burning of tropical forests is generally a seasonal phenomenon and can severely impact air quality.

Record-breaking levels of air pollution have occurred in Southeast Asia as the result of burning for oil palm plantations. In the tropics, much of the deforested land exists in the form of steep mountain hillsides. The combination of steep slopes, high rainfall, and the lack of tree roots increased deforestation brings irreversible damage to the earth bind the soil can lead to disastrous landslides that destroy fields, homes, and human lives.

With the significant exception of the forests destroyed for the oil palm industry, many of the humid forests that have been cleared are soon abandoned as croplands or only used for low-density grazing because the soils are extremely poor in nutrients.

Although forests may regrow after being cleared and then abandoned, this is not always the case, especially if the remaining forests are highly fragmented.

  • All the trees will have disappeared;
  • Globally, carbon stocks in forest biomass decreased by an estimated 0;
  • Effects Deforestation has important global consequences;
  • Cattle or sheep pastures in North America or Europe are easy to identify, and they support large numbers of animals.

Such habitat fragmentation isolates populations of plant and animal species from each other, making it difficult to reproduce without genetic bottlenecks, and the fragments may be too small to support large or territorial animals.

Furthermore, deforested lands that are planted with commercially important trees lack biodiversity and do not serve as habitats for native plants and animals, many of which are endangered species.