• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Destruction of tropical rainforests

Extracts from this document...


Destruction of tropical rainforests "Tropical rainforests are found in places of high rainfall, high humidity and low seasonal variation, which promote luxuriant growth throughout the year". Deforestation is the large scale removal of forest, like the Amazon in the South America, prior to its replacement by other land uses. Currently deforestation is taking place at about "17 million hectares" each year; this is an area larger than England, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined. This vast destruction is not only having a detrimental effect on the environment but also on the people who live there. The forest is being cut down because it is seen as a "get rich quick idea" by many developing countries that need the money to help to salvage its economy from debt. The land, which is left, is used for the building of roads (e.g. Trans Amazonian highway), cattle ranching, farming, for housing and for many other applications. The tropical forest is also cleared for its products such as timber that the developed world demands, rubber and food. ...read more.


For example, the "US National Cancer Institute has catalogued some 3,000 plants with anti cancer properties. 70 percent of these are found in tropical rainforests." Over half of our modern medicines originate in the rainforest. "Recently one plant, periwinkle, has been used successfully to treat child leukaemia reducing deaths from 80% to 20%." There are almost endless medical possibilities to be found in the rainforest and if the deforestation is not stopped these possibilities will be lost forever. Another negative effect is that the climate can become more extreme in nature. The probability of flooding increases because the forest is no longer able to store the rainwater. This means that water returns to the river quickly and thus a build up of water. Flooding can cause the loss of animals habitats and can kill the forest as well as the people who live in it. Global warming has become more apparent since deforestation has accelerated. The forest stores large amount of carbon, which are eventually released as carbon dioxide when the trees are burnt. ...read more.


Developing countries will continue to destroy the rainforest until they can afford not to. The trees in the rainforest provide fruits, spices, medicines and fibres. If some of these are put on the "international market it is estimated that each hectare of land could produce �5000." This is much more money than the amount that is made in cattle ranching and commercial logging. If this was done then the rainforest could remain and could continue to produce goods. Shifting cultivators should be taught to practice alley cropping in which they leave rows of trees between crops. This improves fertility of soil, keeps some plants out of extinction and increases yields. In conclusion it can be seen that deforestation has many economical, environmental and social effects. However there are ways to slow the process so that future generations are not drastically affected. Word Count: 1127 Sources: 1. www.ontheline.org.uk/explore/nature/rainforest/prdeforest.htm 2. www.aquapulse.net/knowledge/deforestation.html 3. Microsoft Encarta 2000 edition CD Rom. 4. Dudley, Nigel, Jeanrenaud, Jean Paul and Sullivan, Francis. Bad Harvest? The Timber Trade and the Degradation of the World's Forests. London: Earthscan Publications, 1995. 5. The Wider World, Heinemann, 1997. 6. Hutchinson's Encyclopaedia CD ROM, 1998. Mark Russell 2524 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Epping Forest

    They are easy to analyse because you only need to look at the line, which way it goes- up or down. 21 Hypothesis 1 There will be less soil compaction at Rushey plain Soil compaction Number of co-ordinates 1 2 2 4 3 4 In the beginning the soil compaction is very high.

  2. Is the Destruction of the Amazon Rainforest a price Worth Paying for Brazil's Economic ...

    The diagrams on the next page show how vital plant life is to support the other plants in the ecosystem. After a plant dies or leaves fall to the forest floor, decomposers in the soil break down the dead matter into humus.

  1. How The Management Of The Amazon Rainforest Is Being Affected

    More of the forest is destroyed by the need to build roads for exporting of wood. The wood is mainly sold abroad for furniture and this makes a lot of money and creates jobs for many people. Cattle ranching. They see no value in the forest but on in the land.

  2. To what extent are cities of the developing world governed by the neo-liberal conventions ...

    The IMF came about through following the Bretton Woods United Nations conference in July 1944, it supplements the efforts of the World Bank in shoring up the world economy. The IMF's current mission statement is: 'The IMF works for global prosperity by promoting the balanced expansion of world trade,....'

  1. The Direct Environmental Causes and Effects of Deforestation When one hears the word 'deforestation' ...

    Trees provide oxygen, shelter, food and resources for all living beings. Likewise, research has shown that without trees to shade river banks and streams, the waters will effectively increase in temperature, killing off wildlife (Wood 63). Furthermore, cutting forests increases soil erosion, since there are no longer root systems to hold the soil in place.

  2. Destruction of Amazonian Rainforest and its effect on the environment

    Most of England's woodlands were deforested by 1350. In continental Europe and North America, deforestation accelerated in the 18th and 19th centuries to clear land to grow food for industrial cities, and to meet fuel and construction needs. Rising agricultural productivity has since allowed much temperate farmland to revert to forest.

  1. Deforestation In The Amazon Rainforest.

    Nobody benefits. Soil Loss In Tones Per Hectare Per Year. : Bare Soil : Pasture : Crop Land : Rain/Forest As you can see when a area of land is bare the soil erosion is at its highest and when it's left alone as Rain/Forest it's at its lowest the

  2. Physical Geography Earth revision notes

    Another one for the national rail . There is also one for airports. Weathering Warning Guide Red: extreme weather is expected , listen to emergency services as you are at risk . Avoid dangerous areas. Roofs may be blown off , phones could be overturned and power lines may fall down .

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work