deforestation by Eshandeep

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Deforestation: A Threat to Our Planet Eshandeep Boparai, Joseph Ku Assile AP Biology/ 6-8-07

What is Deforestation?: 

What is Deforestation? Deforestation is the process of clearing large areas of forest across the earth and involves the cutting down, burning, and damaging of forests

Causes of Deforestation I: 

Causes of Deforestation I Fuel: Half of all the trees cut down in the world are used for fuel. Burning wood is common in developing countries where there are often no readily-available alternatives. This in itself is not a huge problem; only, most of these trees are not replaced, which is a problem. Use of Wood and Paper Products is a huge factor driving deforestation all over the world. Cattle-ranching: Areas of rainforest, generally in developing countries, are cleared by cutting down all the vegetation and then burning it. Pastures of grass are then grown and used for grazing cattle. After a few years, all the nutrients have been removed from the already poor soil and the land is useless, so another area of rainforest has to be cleared.

Causes of Deforestation II: 

Causes of Deforestation II Farming: Large areas of rainforest are cleared for farmland all over the world and the soil becomes devoid of its nutrients. Mining and Infrastructure: Rare minerals such as gold and iron ore are often discovered in areas of rainforest. Population Increase: With a population increase the amount of land needed for humans to live on also increases; in developing countries people are moving into previously undisturbed areas of rainforest to log, mine or farm.


Deforestation in the Amazon

Effects of Deforestation: Effects on the Carbon Cycle: 

Effects of Deforestation: Effects on the Carbon Cycle When forests are cleared, the carbon from the trees and plants is released as Carbon Dioxide, leading to an increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Alive plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide from decaying plants and trees to moderate the levels of CO2 Ultimately, the decrease in plant life and trees leads to an increase in CO2 levels From 1850 to 1990, deforestation released 122 million tons of carbon Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere enhances the greenhouse effect and results in extreme temperatures, contributing to the global warming phenomenon

Forests Contribute to the Carbon Cycle : 

Forests Contribute to the Carbon Cycle Source: Earth Observatory

Effects of Deforestation: Soil Erosion: 

Effects of Deforestation: Soil Erosion Most of the nutrients in a forest are stored in the vegetation and the trees Once trees and plants are cut down, essential nutrients separate easily and are washed out by rainfall Without the shade of the trees, the soil dries and cracks under the sun’s heat Due to deforestation, currently 80% of tropical forest soil is infertile

Effects of Deforestation on Bio-Diversity: 

Effects of Deforestation on Bio-Diversity Over half of the total worldwide species live in tropical forests, which only cover 7% of the planet’s surface Deforestation disturbs the animals' habitat and may force them to enter habitats which are already occupied.  This can pose many problems such as territorial conflicts, homelessness (loss of habitat), lack of food availability, migration disturbances, etc. Estimates indicate that up to 137 species disappear worldwide each day due to deforestation Deforestation is removing species that might hold the key for curing a whole spectrum of diseases such as cancer and AIDS; thus the losses are incalculable

Plants Used for Medicine: 

Plants Used for Medicine

Social Effects of Deforestation: 

Social Effects of Deforestation Deforestation is hardly hitting the living conditions of indigenous people who consider forests as their primary habitats. People who live in the rainforest depend on the natural environment for food, shelter, materials for cooking, clothing, etc.  If the forest is cut down or if their environment becomes polluted from oil extraction and mining, they are forced to move and face risks such as starvation and sickness Social conflicts and struggles over land and natural resources.

Overview of Worldwide Deforestation: 

Overview of Worldwide Deforestation Between 1960 and 1990, most of the deforestation occurred globally, with an increasing trend every decade. Brazil has the highest annual rate of deforestation. Atlantic coast of Brazil has lost 90-95% of its rainforest. Central America has lost 50% of its rainforests. South America has lost 70% of its rainforests.  The Philippines has lost 90% of its rainforests Madagascar has lost 95% of its rainforests El Salvador has lost 70-85% of its rainforest Only 6% of Central Africa's forests are protected by law.

Worldwide Comparison of Deforestation: 

Worldwide Comparison of Deforestation

Interesting Numbers: 

Interesting Numbers In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. When a forest is cut down, 20% of the stored Carbon is released into the atmosphere It is estimated that 15% of the GHG effect between 1990-2025 will be caused by deforestation The worlds largest stand of tropical rainforests are in the Amazon Rain Forests. (About 30%) It is estimated that 27 million acres of tropical forest disappear each year

Possible Solutions to Deforestation: 

Possible Solutions to Deforestation What we can do: Use wood sparingly, Purchase the most ecologically sensitive products Recycle paper Reducing consumption of wood related products Plant more trees What the governments can do: Forest Protection Schemes Provide education regarding the importance of forests and trees


If we do not put an end to deforestation, all of earth’s forests will disappear within the next 100 years. “Plant a tree and breathe oxygen for free.”

The End: 

The End



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