Deforestation and its Environmental Impact
Deforestation is the process by which forested areas or trees are transformed to produce land for other human activities, such as settlement and agriculture. The Planet has a forest cover of about one third, which offers various environmental benefits, such as regulating the cycles of hydrological carbon, fostering animal and plant biodiversity.
The Carbon Cycle and Deforestation
The Carbon cycle is the movement of carbon in the environment. Forests absorb the ambient oxide of carbon IV. Via photosynthesis, the gas is then taken up and used to produce food. They die and decompose once the trees are mature, releasing the carbon atoms back to the earth. A combination of these processes balances the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Deforestation offsets that balance as it increases the amount of carbon IV oxide gas in the atmosphere.
Impact on the Hydrological Cycle
Destroying the forested areas has a negative impact on the movement of water in the ecosystem through the hydrological cycle. Trees take up water from the soil through the roots. At the same time, their leaves release water by transpiration back to the atmosphere. The water vapor induces the formation of clouds through cooling and condensation to cause rainfall. Cutting down of these trees will reduce the moisture that is released into the atmosphere, thereby reducing the amount of rain.
Threat to Biodiversity
Deforestation poses a significant threat to different plant and animal species. Cutting down forests disrupts the main food supply to herbivore animals. The scarcity of food can directly lead to the extinction of those animal species. Apart from that, cutting down of some tree varieties have led to their extinction, decreasing biodiversity of vegetation cover.
Protecting our Environment
To protect our environment from degradation, people need to be educated on the importance of protecting our forests, for our benefits. Additionally, state laws and policies aimed at regulating deforestation should be formulated and implemented.