Deforestation And Global Warming: Two Peas To The Same Destructive Pod

Deforestation Global Warming

Deforestation refers to the annihilation of forests as a result of human actions. Man pursues deforestation for the purposes of farming, cattle ranching, mining, the construction of roads, and commercial agriculture. Deforestation is the single most prevalent source of global greenhouse gas emissions. These gases are present in the earth’s atmosphere and help keep the land beneath warm. However, an abundance of greenhouse gas emissions has the potential to raise global temperatures to a fatal level.

Trees and vegetation store mass amounts of greenhouse gas in a form known as carbon dioxide. As plants age, the recurring act of photosynthesis gradually leaks the CO2 back into the atmosphere. However, the manual removal or burning of a tree causes CO2 to enter the atmosphere much quicker than nature intended. If the world’s forests continue to be destroyed, we may one day have an Earth devoid of any vegetation. And without vegetation, there will be no place for the Earth to store all its CO2.

The Earth’s landscape is currently covered with over two million square miles of rainforest. Within the last two thousand years, nearly four million square miles of rainforest have been destroyed. According to tqnyc, Between 1998 and 2004, South America alone lost approximately sixty thousand square miles of rainforest. At this rate, all the rainforests across the globe will be eliminated in just thirty-three years, if not sooner. This will lead to an over-abundance of CO2, threatening to envelope Earth in unimaginable heat and devastation.

One might one be tempted to blame deforestation on developing countries such as Brazil. However, keep in mind that prior to the 20th Century, most of the world’s fully developed nations underwent extreme deforestation. Nowadays, countries like the United States and Great Britain have been so deforested that there is barely anything left to cut down. That which remains is heavily protected by environmental agencies intent to preserve at least some remnant of nature.

The good news is that many developed countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and China are now pursuing reforestation. Reforestation, also known as afforestation, involves planting new forests and refurbishing old forests. Sadly, planting a new tree takes much time to make up for the ejection of another in regards to CO2. It may take over one hundred years for a new and maturing tree to reabsorb the CO2 released by a fully developed tree being chopped down.

Thankfully, many developing nations such as Brazil are beginning to report a drastic recline in deforestation. From 2004 to 2008, South American deforestation has decreased by nearly forty percent. Unfortunately, it is too premature to conclude whether this represents a continuous trend or merely a political scheme meant to appease environmental lobbyists.