Deforestation refers to human activities that cause forest destruction, such as tree cutting, forest fires, and charcoal burning. Global warming and climate change have been attributed to the actions. Industrialization, especially in developing countries, is one of the major factors leading to significant tree cutting and forest clearing. Trees are essential building materials and fuel sources, so there is a strong demand for them. The establishment of factories and urban centers necessitates the clearing of natural vegetation, including indigenous forests. Deforestation impacts the carbon cycle because it disrupts the balance of atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis (Bradford, 2015). Clearing of forests also interferes with the hydrological cycle due to reduced transpiration and leads to reduction of species diversity due to destruction of habitats. Global warming is a threat to the planet due to its impacts on climate thus protecting trees and natural vegetation is important. Considering the challenges people are facing due to climate change such as prolonged drought, protection of forests should be of great concern. Deforestation leads to disruption of the carbon cycle, disruption of the hydro cycle, and the reduction of species diversity thus measures that discourage it must be adopted.
Deforestation disrupts the carbon cycle that is very important in regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Trees use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and emit oxygen vital for living things. When massive cutting down of trees occurs, the amount of carbon gas emitted increases causing greenhouse effect. In addition, when trees die they release a lot of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere during decomposition. As a result, global warming occur leading to change in the worlds climatic patterns. Cutting down of forests reduces the rate of carbon dioxide absorption while increasing the amount being released by dead trees in the atmosphere. Although agricultural crops absorb carbon dioxide the rate is quite low compared to forest trees that can store 100 times the amount of the gas absorbed by small plants (Ozone Layer depletion, its causes and Remedies, 2013). With little carbon dioxide being absorbed, it builds up in the atmosphere forming a blanket over the Earth leading to global warming. Burning of forests also disrupts the carbon cycle since large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere compared to the amount being absorbed (Ozone Layer depletion, its causes and Remedies, 2013). Burning charcoal from trees also releases carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere increasing the amount of greenhouse gases. If human beings stop destroying forests and focus on planting more trees, the depleted ozone layer can be replenished reducing global warming. There is need to worry about the imbalance between carbon dioxide gases produced and the amount absorbed by trees. Deforestation increases production of the gas through decomposition and burning while its absorption reduces thus people should protect indigenous forest cover.
Deforestation also disrupts the hydro cycle since it reduces the number of trees in the globe. Trees emit water vapor into the atmosphere, which later falls as rain and sustains living organisms. Trees extract groundwater from the soil and return it to the atmosphere. If many trees are cut, the amount of water released to the atmosphere through transpiration is reduced. This has great impact on the water cycle thus, areas that were forested before may turn to deserts due to inadequate rainfall. Some areas on the planet are turning into deserts due to human activities as people clear forested lands to create space for farming, settlement, urbanization, and industrialization. Natural forests hold more water compared to other plants thus clearing forests for farming can have a negative impact on climate (Bradford, 2015). Human beings may think that by replacing indigenous forests with other plants they can save the planet from desertification. However, this is not the case since areas that have been cleared of the indigenous species and reforested with non-indigenous ones continue experiencing drastic weather conditions. Human beings should focus on protecting indigenous forests and avoid cutting down trees for charcoal and other uses to avoid interfering with the hydrological cycle.
Deforestation leads to decline of species diversity since many plants and animals live in indigenous forests. Clearing forests deprive such flora and fauna their natural habitat leading to their migration, death, or adaptation. With time, such species die and become extinct because of unfavorable conditions. Forests are home for millions of creatures since they provide shelter, source of food to the species, and breeding places (How Many Species are we losing, n.d.). For instance, birds lives mostly in trees where they build nests for shelter and laying eggs that later hatch into young ones. When human beings clear forests, some animals and plants face several challenges such as lack of food and space for them to flourish. This may lead to migration to other areas, death, as well as adaptation leading to loss of species. Currently individuals and governments are creating new habitats for plants and animals in parks, zoos, and reserves hoping to promote survival of species (How Many Species are we losing, n.d.). This may not protect living organisms from extinction since many of them adapt to the new environments losing some of their original characteristics. For species to retain their unique characteristics they must live in their natural habitats thus deforestation should be discouraged. Forest fires lead to death of vegetation and animals, which cannot be replaced. When humans cut trees and burn charcoal, they risk burning large tracts of lands harming various organisms. Humans should avoid activities that lead to depletion of forests and other forms of vegetation to ensure survival of species.
Trees are linked to the protection of the ozone layer that shields the Earth from the harmful ultra violet rays. Forests and other plants help in soaking up carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and release oxygen needed for survival of living organisms. Deforestation interferes with this process increasing the amount of greenhouse gas that cause global warming. Forests also play a big role in maintaining the water cycle as trees take up moisture from the soil and release it to the atmosphere. Deforestation interferes with the process leading to inadequate rainfall due to climate changes. In addition, forests ensure survival of different species by providing habitats and food for flora and fauna. Cutting down of trees deprive living organisms of their habitat leading to their extinction. The solution to these problems is to plant more trees to reduce the global greenhouse emissions and ensure protection of the ozone layer.
Bradford, A. (2015, March 04). Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html
How Many Species are we losing? (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/biodiversity/biodiversity/
Ozone Layer Depletion, its Causes, and Remedies. (2013, July 29). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.qsarticle.com/ozone-layer-depletion-its-causes-and-remedies/