Deforestation and Its Consequences

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Deforestation and its Consequences
On page 270 in our book it talks about deforestation. This topic really hit home with me as I have helped on a tree farm for 15 years. Our book talks about how we have lost 1% of our forests in North America between 1990 and 2010, even though this seems like a small amount (5 million hectares, or about 12.3 million acres) it is a big impact on the diversity in North America. In an article I found online about deforestation in North America, Deforestation refers to the long-term removal of the forest from the landscape. Logging practices that encourage sustainable management and regrowth of the forest do not constitute deforestation. Agricultural settlement was and still is one of the primary processes of deforestation in North America. This deforestation process is predictable since good agricultural areas tend to remain clear while marginal lands, cleared initially because of socio-economic pressures or lack of experience, are usually abandoned and revert eventually to forest. However, secondary growth may be insufficient replacement for the original forest’s role as a storehouse for biodiversity, genetic pools and their continuity. (Tara L. Tchir, Edward Johnson and Lawrence Nkemdirim)

Our book also talks about how deforestation helps with global warming, because of the lack of forests that soak up carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is apparently related to global climate change, but its overall increase may be enhanced because the smaller forests absorb less.

REGIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REVIEW: CANADA AND USA – Vol. I - Deforestation in North America: Past, Present and Future - Tara L. Tchir, Edward Johnson and Lawrence Nkemdirim Arbogast, Alan F. 2011. Discovering Physical Geography. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc