The Global Effects of Deforestation
World Regional Geography 11166.201410
Professor Keith Bell
17 April 2014
Forests cover roughly thirty percent of the land on the planet. They play a vital role in producing oxygen and providing homes for wildlife and people. Many threatened and endangered animal species live in forests, and over hundreds of millions of people rely on benefits that forests offer, including food, water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter (Threats). Deforestation is the clearing of Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often damaging the quality of the land in the process. According to a National Geographic website, the world’s rain forests could completely vanish within a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. Deforestation comes in many forms including fire, the slash and burn technique for agriculture, ranching and development, logging, and natural degradation due to shifts in the climate. The impact that deforestation has on the local environment threatens the livelihood of a wide range, over millions, of plant and animal species; some fifty thousand square miles of forests are lost each year—equivalent to about thirty-five football fields every minute (Threats). Not only does deforestation effect the local environment, but also impacts the entire planet. One of the primary causes of global environment change is tropical deforestation. According to the World Car-free Network, an international network that coordinates the actions of car-free advocates from around the world, cars and trucks account for about fourteen percent of global carbon emissions, while most analysts attribute upwards of fifteen percent to deforestation; this means that deforestation in tropical rainforests add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the sum of cars and trucks on all the roads of the entire world (Scheer). With not only the local concern, but also the global effects of
Bibliography: Lindsey, Rebecca. "Tropical Deforestation : Feature Articles." Tropical Deforestation : Feature Articles. N.p., 30 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Deforestation/deforestation_update3.php>.