deforestation

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Deforestation is the loss or destruction of naturally occurring forests. It is primarily due to human activities such as cutting trees for fuel, slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing land for livestock grazing, oil extraction, and many others. Deforestation is considered to be one of the contributing factors to global climate change. It can occur around the world, even though it’s more common in tropical rainforests. Countries with significant deforestation currently or in the recent years include Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, and parts of Eastern Europe. Though deforestation has increased rapidly in the last fifty years, it has been known to be practiced through history. Deforestation is typically done to make more land available for housing and urbanization and cattle ranching. Most of the logging industry that contributes to deforestation is done illegally, as reports from the World Wildlife Fund state. Common methods include burning trees and clear cutting, which is the controversial practice of complete removal of a given area of forest. In Brazil, you will find the Amazon rainforest. It is 5.7 million square kilometers and the largest continuous rainforest in the entire world. Since 1970, one sixth of the Amazon has been cleared mainly for ethanol production and cattle. While techniques like slash-and-burn provide a short term boost in agricultural production, rainforest soil is typically very thin and does not support this type of agriculture over the long term. Michigan State University professor and expert on land use change in the Brazilian Amazon, Robert Walker, said that “probably 80 to 90 percent of all cleared land in the region is attributable to some form of pasture or ranching. Brazil has historically had the distinction of serving as the world’s leader for deforestation. During the last three decades, an annual average of 6,500 square miles of the Brazilian Amazon has been deforested. Satellite data indicates that the rate of

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