As technology advances, our need for resources increases as well. Likewise, as the population on Earth increases, our energy and material needs increases as well. This is seen in the rise in urbanisation and agriculture which has resulted in increased forest clearing. One example of this is the increase in widespread deforestation. Our need for paper and furniture has led to the destruction of many acres of forests, causing enhanced global warming. This article will show you how deforestation harms our environment and our planet. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter!
#1: Enhanced Global Warming
Forests are famously known as the lungs of the Earth. As many of you have learnt in school, trees give out oxygen when they photosynthesise during the day while taking in carbon dioxide. This helps to regulate the concentration of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere. Forests are therefore also known as carbon sinks. However, rampant deforestation has resulted in an increase in concentration greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The result is enhanced global warming, whereby global temperatures are predicted to rise as a result of infrared radiation being trapped in the atmosphere. Consequently, an increase in global temperatures will cause a rapid increase in the rate of ice melting in both poles of the Earth.
#2: Many Animal Species Will Be Endangered
The image above shows a picture of the endangered Purplish-mantled Tanager. Its species are endangered as a result of widespread deforestation and habitat loss. As can be seen, deforestation might result in the extinction of numerous species which rely on forests for food and shelter. The extinction of such species will disrupt the ecosystem and destroy numerous food chains. Let’s imagine that the Purplish-mantled Tanager went extinct. The animals that used to feed on the Purplish-mantled Tanager might go extinct due to the loss of a food source. Likewise, the insects that the Purplish-mantled Tanager fed on during its existence would suddenly thrive and increase in population. The result is imbalance in our ecosystem.
#3: Soil Erosion and Flooding
Trees help to hold the soil together by anchoring the soil with their roots. Without these trees, soil erosion can occur easily. Rains and floods are now able to wash away the top layer of soil with little or no resistance, thereby also washing away the nutrients needed to regenerate plant life in the future.
Trees play an important role in the water cycle. Tree roots take in water from the ground and return water vapour into the air through transpiration. In the absence of trees, the previously forested area becomes much drier. As a result, levels of precipitation in the area will decrease due to a decrease in water vapour in the atmosphere and reduced cloud formation. As the area becomes warmer and drier, the previously forested area can become a desert, as the occurrence of drought increases.