What are the causes and effects of DEFORESTATION ?

Deforestation is the huge destruction of trees in the forest. Trees are usually cleared to make place for farmland, roads and urban growth. Deforestation refers to the decrease in forest areas across the world that are lost for other uses such as agricultural croplands,urbanization,or mining activties.The construction of human infrastructures has also been driving to deforestation.The populational shift that is leading from rural to urban areas is also contributing to deforestation. Deforestation also has serious environmental impacts. Although forests still make up 30% of the Earth, deforestation activities are losing an estimated 18 million acres of land each year. It has caused the degradation of land and soil while displacing animals and plants that depend on forests

WHY ARE FORESTS IMPORTANT ?

  1. Forests battle climate change by removing greenhouse gases and act as a carbon storehouse.
  2. They are the source of fresh oxygen,Medicine,clean water etc.
  3. In forest areas, the large mass of trees combats soil erosion by providing the soil with mechanical support.
  4. Forests are home to more than 50% of all species on the planet.
  5. Forests play an important role in the water cycle. They work to add water through the transpiration process to the atmosphere.
  6. They are also a source of raw materials for many commercially important products such as paper, wood and fabric.
  7. They account for more than 80% of land-based biodiversity. Forests provide home to various flora and fauna worldwide.

CAUSES FOR DEFORESTATION:

Deforestation is caused by either human actions or natural. Natural disasters like natural forest fires or parasite related diseases can lead to deforestation. However, human activities are important causes of deforestation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), almost 80%of deforestation has been caused by agricultural expansion. Some of the main causes are as follows:

AGRICULTURE:

Agriculture is the main cause of deforestation and responsible for almost 80% of deforestation. In developed countries,33% of the deforestation caused by agriculture results from subsistence agriculture, such as local peasant agriculture.About 40% of forest destruction is caused by commercial or industrial agriculture searching space for fruit, fiber or biofuel production like beef, maize, cotton, soybeans, palm oil, and sugar cane. It is also interesting to note that about 14% of global deforestation is assumed to be caused by livestock. The key reasons they have to do with broad areas include raising livestock and growing their food.

FOREST FIRES :

Fires burn million of hectares of forest worldwide each year. Fires are a part of nature, but forests that are degraded are mostly vulnerable. These involve heavily logged rainforests, peat forests, or forest fires that have been suppressed for years, causing unnatural vegetation that makes the fire burn more intensely.

MINING :

Due to rising demand and high mineral prices, the effect of mining on tropical forests is increasing. Significant building, such as bridges, railway lines and power stations, also follows mining projects, placing more strain on forests and freshwater habitats.

CLIMATE CHANGES:

The destruction of forests is both a cause and a consequence of climate change. For example, by drying out tropical rain forests and growing fire damage in boreal forests, climate change will damage forests. Climate change is already affecting biodiversity in the forest, a danger which is likely to rise.

EFFECTS OF DEFORESTATION :

It has many effects on natural resources and ecosystems and creates serious problems for the adaptability of the planet. Some of the main effects of deforestation are as follows:

SOIL EROSIN :

Trees are also important to our local water cycles, as they keep returning water vapor to the atmosphere. The soil stays moist as the rainwater flows through the soil. The fertile soil of several layers of trees is kept in place by complex root systems. The land is directly exposed to the sun with the clearing of tree cover, making it dry. Without trees, erosion also happens, sweeps the land into surrounding rivers and streams. Forests function as natural water purification plants. Soil erosion causes soil to be exposed to pollutants that spill into the water system, which damages our drinking water quality.

ACID RAINS :

The oceans become more acidic by increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere due to deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. Beaches are now 30% more acidic after the Industrial Revolution, that have ocean organisms and their habitats at extreme risk.Acid rains damage forests,especially those at higher elevations.The acid properties rub the soil of essential minerals such as calcium and cause aluminium to be released in the soil,which makes it hard for trees to take up water.

INCREASE IN GLOBAL WARMING :

Trees perform an important role in controlling global warming. The trees use greenhouse gases to maintain the balance of the environment. With the continuous deforestation, the ratio of greenhouse gases has increased in the atmosphere that increases global warming problems.Global Warming the gradual heating of earth’s surface,ocean and atmosphere,is caused by human activity.As the earth’s surface temperature becomes hotter the sealevel becomes higher.It is also partly because warm temperatures makes glaciers and ice caps to melt.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR DEFORESTATION :

REFORESTATION :

For certain purposes, reforestation is a process of planting trees in a forest region where the trees have been cut. To save the world, we all need to realize the value of reforestation and enforce it. Tree planting will reduce the various causes and impacts of deforestation, global warming, pollution, greenhouse effects, etc.Afforestation is a proces where new forests are planted across land without trees.As a forest grows,naturally removes co2 from atmosphere and stores it in its trees.

USE OF RENEWABLE FOREST RESOURCES :

We can grow plants as a source of wood from secondary forest growth. The use of renewable local wood and charcoal resources for cooking or heating is an excellent alternative to fossil fuels.Renewable resources include biomass energy,hydro power,geothermal energy,wind energy and solar energy.Biomass refers to organic material from plants and animals.These resources are capable of Regeneration.These are renewed along with exploitation and hence,availble for use.The regeneration of these sources involves some ecological process on a time scale.

EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGNS:

Deforestation can be fought via awareness. Educational campaigns can only be a clear example of deforestation awareeness.By educating people on the importance of our environment and sustainable logging practices,deforestation may begin to slow down.Hence,Educational programmes and campaigns are so important-they increase public awareeness,teachers critical thinking and enchances an individual’s problem-solving skills.

THANK YOU !



Categories: Science