Deforestation its effects on the environment, which include

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Deforestation can be defined as the
clearing of the forests, usually large scale, by various methods for various
purposes and the trees never replanted. Forests act as a home to the countless
numbers of flora and fauna but when humans destroy the forests, these plants
and animals lose their habitats. This essay will discuss the principal causes of
deforestation in terms of logging, commercial agriculture and social and economic
problems and its effects on the environment, which include climate change, biodiversity
loss and the dust bowl and provide explanations to support the points.


The first cause of deforestation is
the practice of logging operations, usually illegal logging cut down countless
trees each year in order to gain timber and produce mahogany to be sold at the
marketplace. “‘Of course, it is not good to chop the
rain forest’s living wood but
sometimes one is obligated to do so,’ said Atunez, a father of seven, pointing
to a cluster of small children playing outside the family’s one-room shack”,
(Golden, A. and Miller, M. , 1994, p. 47-53). Illegal logging has
remained widespread in the Amazon forests located in South America. For example,
Golden and Miller (1994) stated that in Honduras, there is a family that burns
tree branches and sold them for charcoal to be used in cooking. The original
area of the Amazon rainforest was 550 million hectares but over the years, as
deforestation rate becoming more alarming, the area has left to only 2.3
million hectares today, this is a reduction in 5.5 million hectares of the


Next, commercialization in
agriculture prompted the destruction of forests mainly due to soya cultivation.
Stenstrup (2009) claimed that soya cultivation was driven by two linked factors,
one being the extension in market demand and scientists have developed that
soya cultivation would flourish in the rainforest climate compared to other
places. These factors forced the forests to be converted into soy fields that
can grow high quality crops. For instance, Brazil allocates 25 million hectares
of forest for soya cultivation. More specifically, Elizabeth (2010) claimed
that Mato Grosso, a Brazilian state contributes to 17% of total forest loss
because of the cultivation. Other than soya planting, other type of crops also
caused people to clear the forest and provide farms for these crops such as
rice, corn and sugar cane, which ate up the land values.

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Equally important, economic and
social problems cause deforestation. Referring to social problems, there is an
increase in the number of global population. Science Heathen (2012) stated that
the number has exploded from 15 million people in the ancient times to the 7
billion people of today. Such large number of population evidently makes people
very reliant on agricultural products and there is also an increase in
urbanization, which forced further impulsion of deforestation. Eventually,
these will cause more demolition to the land to make room for the settlers. For
example, Indonesia’s massive clearing of the forests was intended to provide
home for approximately 6 million people to the new area of urban life and to
reduce population strain in the archipelagos. As for economic problem, McLeish (2007)
suggested that debt is also a burden to developing countries that owe a
significant number of money especially to countries with a higher currency.
Debt will cause the authority to consider short-term measures and one of the
ways is to clear the forests, gain timber and sell them in the market.


Unquestionably, the causes of
deforestation that were mentioned above surely will bring number of
consequences along with it such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the
dust bowl.



The biggest impact that
deforestation could have on the environment is climate change. Carbon dioxide is the main contributor to
the release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, which cause change in
climate and scientists have proven this. Lindsey (2007) explained that trees absorbed
carbon dioxide that was release from the atmosphere and the trees stored this
gas to produce glucose for the tree to grow. For example, a healthy growing
tree can produce oxygen for people to live. But when the trees are burnt down,
they are no longer capable of producing oxygen and the burning of the trees
only cause the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to rise. The carbon
dioxide will then mingle with greenhouse gases from other sources; they will lead
to global warming, which is a rise in the world temperature and cause ice in
South Pole to melt.


The second effect of deforestation
is biodiversity loss. According to The World Wildlife Fund, over 5,526 species
of animals live in the Amazon rainforest. These species are vulnerable to
substantial deprivation of biodiversity when humans start to interfere,
overexploited the forests, and destroy their habitats. Animals that live in the
forests are very dependent upon the availability of plants, which act to them
as a source of food. For instance, the destruction of forests such as cutting
down the trees, food source starts running low and these animals, especially
herbivores, would starve for a period of time before eventually die. The longer
this situation occurs, the higher the death rate of forest animals. Another
point is, animals in the forest can possibly be extinct in future times to
come. A study stated that although animals that are larger in size could
migrate to distant forest can survive, there is still less number of animal
species and lack biodiversity than ever before deforestation began. This circumstance will then result
in interspecific competition. Interspecific competition between animals will
foresee animals fighting and killing each other for survival, and those animals
that survived the brawl would have less potential mates, which would ultimately
lead to total extinction over the long-term (Biodiversity and Tropical


Lastly, the dust bowl is also one
of many effects of deforestation. Dust bowl can be defined as a period of
drought-stricken and severe dust storms hit the ecology, which killed people
and destroyed livestock. There are different causes of dust bowl such as
farming and drought. Relating to the first factor, poor or inefficient farming
techniques such as improper tool usage and rampant farming methods would cause
depletion of nutrients in soil that can no longer be kept in place. This will
see a shift or movement of the landscape. Furthermore, drought usually emerge
as a result of a very parched land, especially if the area has low volume of rainfall,
the prevailing winds will turned the soil to dust and blew away to the air. For
example, a study explained that choking dust hits United State region in 1930s
killed many people and the amount of livestock decreased dramatically (History
Channel). This disastrous event forced many farming families to migrate in order
to search for work.


In conclusion, the previously
mentioned principal causes such as logging, commercial agriculture and social
and economic problems will, either directly or indirectly, bring about
catastrophic implications such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the
dust bowl, which will in the end drive towards deforestation. It is hoped that
the people of the world could synergize to put an end to deforestation and
ensure the well being of the next generations.

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