First, what is Deforestation?
Deforestation, also known as cutting of trees, results from the removal of vegetation which is not replanted. Every year, a large area of the world’s forests is lost to deforestation. It is either caused by natural phenomena or human activities but the blame is mostly on human activities.
Logging, fuelwood harvesting, mining, and conversion of land for different purposes are among the major human activities responsible for deforestation. The urge to learn more about why is deforestation a threat to the environment is fulfilled here.
Humans have been practicing deforestation for centuries. Throughout history, civilizations have always felt the need to clear land for different purposes and it has been carried on since then. But little do they know about the threats that deforestation puts on this earth.
Why is deforestation a threat to the environment?
Deforestation not only has adverse effects on the local level but on the global level as well.Tweet
This article will help you understand why people around the world need to pay more attention to this alarming issue and take mitigation steps. The following are some of the major harmful effects of deforestation:
Loss of Habitat and Biodiversity
This may sound insignificant to some people but it is the most threatening outcome of deforestation. We cannot deny the fact that a balanced ecosystem is a healthy ecosystem and humans are also a part of this ecosystem. Humans are as equally affected by the imbalances in an ecosystem as any other species. According to WWF, about 80% of the world’s terrestrial animals and plants are inhabited in forests. Deforestation destroys their habitat and thus it becomes difficult for them to survive. Many species have gone extinct and many remain endangered.
Global Warming and Climate Change
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps incoming radiations from the sun and increases the temperature of the earth’s surface (global warming). Forests take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester carbon in the form of biomass. When forests are cut down, there are lesser trees to sequester carbon and thus the amount of carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere. This leads to global warming which further leads to the concerns of climate change, glaciers melting, etc.
Deforestation is just one of the reasons why we are facing global warming. Read 7 Most causes of Global Warming.
When it rains or when glaciers melt, trees stand in the way of water flow as their roots absorb the water and store it. But when the trees are chopped down there is no vegetation to absorb water, which then disturbs the flow of water and promotes chances of flood in some areas.
A threat to Indigenous People
Many native people live without having legal rights to the land. The government has the right to evict them when it wants to utilize the forest for its interests. These people not only leave their homes behind but their culture as well which disturbs them both mentally and physically.
Conclusion on why is deforestation a threat to the environment
Given the above threats that deforestation puts on our environment, there is an alarming need to adapt practices at the individual and government level that can limit deforestation and promote afforestation.
Last update on 2020-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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