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

"The Impact of Deforestation on Global Warming"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

“The Impact of Deforestation on Global Warming”

The clearing of tropical forests across the Earth has been occurring on a large scale basis for many centuries. This process, known as deforestation, involves the cutting down, burning, and damaging of forests. The loss of tropical rain forest is more profound than merely destruction of beautiful areas. If the current rate of deforestation continues, the world's rain forests will vanish within 100 years-causing unknown effects on global climate and eliminating the majority of plant and animal species on the planet.

Deforestation occurs in many ways. Most of the clearing is done for agricultural purposes-grazing cattle, planting crops. Poor farmers chop down a small area (typically a few acres) and burn the tree trunks-a process called Slash and Burn agriculture. Intensive, or modern, agriculture occurs on a much larger scale, sometimes deforesting several square miles at a time. Large cattle pastures often replace rain forest to grow beef for the world market.

Our atmosphere works much like a greenhouse. The sun emits short-wave radiation which passes through the atmosphere to Earth. The Earth then radiates some of the sun's energy back into the atmosphere in the form of long-wave infrared radiation. Although nitrogen and

...read more.

Middle


The process of greenhouse gas increase is quite simple. Carbon dioxide levels increase for a number of reasons; but one of the main factors contributing to the increase of carbon levels is decay of woody material. The only way to help moderate the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is through plant life. Alive plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide from decaying plants and trees. With a decrease in trees and plant life (due to deforestation) it is much harder to moderate these levels. Ultimately, the amount of carbon will increase due to a lack of plant life present to keep the carbon dioxide levels in check. This whole process leads to an "albedo” effect which reflects more heat and light back into the atmosphere than would be the case if the sun shone on green trees. The bottom line is that the increase in the carbon level and other greenhouse gas levels into the atmosphere leads to an increase in temperature, and eventually a change in climate and weather.

Clearing and burning rainforests releases vast amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Each year deforestation contributes 23-30 percent of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, in turn, is believed to be responsible for approximately half of global warming.

...read more.

Conclusion

Total global food production is not expected to change substantially as a result of climate change, but regional production will probably change dramatically. Some areas will have increasing crop yields. Others will decline, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. The flexibility in crop distribution (the variety of crops that can be grown in a region) is predicted to decline. Developed countries may be better able to adapt to these circumstances. Developing countries, currently struggling with food supply, may suffer even more.

There is no one easy solution as deforestation is caused by many things. One option is decreasing the need for the amount of products that are harvested from the rainforests. If all countries, especially developed ones, enforced programs that used recycling, the need for disposable products would be diminished. The immediate effects of deforestation may not yet be felt, but if this generation doesn’t feel it the next generation and their children will be the ones to suffer. It is the actions of the human race that can make or break the future of the planet. In the end everyone loses unless a solution can be reached. This is easier said than done but the choices that lie ahead on this matter carry severe consequences that will forever change they way that all things live if they are able to live at all.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Earth and Beyond 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 The Earth and Beyond essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Global Warming - Is it man Made?

    The sand is at times highly degraded, so that often sand bags to use, to stop the "waves" a little bit. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8586961/Sea-levels-rising-at-fastest-rate-in-2000-years.html http://www.globaltrees.co.uk/dev/UserFiles/Image/sealevel_resized.jpg 2001: St. Mark's Square attracts the biggest crowds in one of the world's most popular tourist cities, Venice.

  2. Mars - The red planet

    A cork-like material covering the aluminum would burn off during intense heating, carrying away the majority of the excess heat. A parachute would be ejected at just the right moment to slow down the lander. Finally, the touchdown would be accomplished by a set of three rocket engines, burning hydrazine propellant, and providing a total of 7800 newtons of thrust.

  1. Global Warming Our planet's atmosphere traps energy just like a greenhouse. Energy from the ...

    Sea level rise is another effect of climate change. This will happen as temperatures rise, and warm water will occupy more space than cold water, flooding low lying areas (sea level rise is not primarily due to melting polar ice caps).

  2. Would Using alternative sources or energy dramatically reduce the need to burn fossil fuels ...

    Consequently, the farmer is forced to clear another patch of forest using the degraded land for cattle raising. Many parts of North America and Western Europe have become deforested due to unsustainable agriculture, leading to severe soil degradation and in many cases abandonment of the area by the farmer.

  1. "Earth's climate has always been changing; it is the rate of change that is ...

    parallel increase in temperature, could lead to a rise in the sea level and thus the flooding of low-lying areas. Also, with the greater temperature, the rate of evaporation will increase, leading to more precipitation. These changes could have a wide range of impacts, ranging from affecting crop yields, water

  2. The greenhouse effect

    These extra clouds would then reflect a greater proportion of the sun's energy back to space reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere and Earth's surface. With less solar energy being absorbed at the surface, the effects of an enhanced greenhouse effect may be counteracted.

  1. Tropical Deforestation.

    For example, Brazil had an international debt of $159 billion in 1995, on which it must make payments each year. The logging companies seek to harvest the forest and make profit from the sales of pulp and valuable hardwoods such as mahogany.

  2. Sustaining life on Mars - the survival of the human race.

    If enough of these factories were built, the atmosphere would surely change over time. Another possible way to create an atmosphere also includes melting the ice caps. But, instead of giant mirrors, giant heating stations could be applied to the surface of the ice caps.

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