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What is Deforestation? Deforestation refers to the loss or destruction of naturally occurring forests, primarily due to human activities such as logging, cutting trees for fuel, slash-and-burn agriculture, clearing land for livestock grazing, mining operations, oil extraction, dam building, and urban sprawl or other types of development and population expansion. Logging alone—much of it illegal—accounts for the loss of more than 32 million acres of our planet's natural forests every year, according to The Nature Conservancy. Not all deforestation is intentional. Some deforestation may be driven by a combination of natural processes and human interests. Wildfires burn large sections of forest every year, for example, and although fire is a natural part of the forest lifecycle, subsequent overgrazing by livestock or wildlife after a fire can prevent the growth of young trees. Did you know that? Scientists estimate that 80 percent

Did you know that? Deforestation also contributes

of all species on Earth—including

to global warming—tropical

those not yet discovered—live in

deforestation accounts for about 20

tropical rainforests. Deforestation in

percent of all greenhouse gases—

those regions wipes out critical

and has a significant impact on the

habitat, disrupts ecosystems and

global economy. While some

leads to the potential extinction of

people may receive immediate

many species,

economic benefits from activities

including irreplaceable species that

that result in deforestation, those

could be used to make medicines,

short-term gains cannot offset the

which might be essential for cures

negative long-term economic

or effective treatments of the

losses.

world's most devastating diseases.


Some Facts about Tropical Deforestation Brazil lost nearly 150,000 square kilometers of forest (an area larger than Greece) between May 2000 and August 2006. Since 1970, over 600,000 square kilometers (232,000 square miles) of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. Why is Brazil losing so much forest? Why is the Brazilian Amazon Being Destroyed? Causes of Deforestation in the Amazon (2000-2005)

WHAT DOES THIS GRAPH MEAN? Most deforestation (60-70%) in the Amazon is a direct result of cattle ranches. The majority (33%) of the remaining deforestation comes mostly results from small-scale subsistence agriculture. Despite the widespread press attention, large-scale farming (1%), and logging (3%) currently contributes relatively little to total deforestation in the Amazon. Most soybean cultivation occurs outside the rainforest in the neighboring “cerrado� grassland ecosystem and in areas that have been previously cleared. The logging industry contributes only a small percentage (3%) of Amazon deforestation and yet there are several different final destinations for this lumber. Amazon logging supplies both the international and domestic lumber industries. So of the total 3 percent of logging an even smaller percentage is actually shipped outside of Brazil for international use. Click HERE


Effects of deforestation:

Other consequences of deforestation: a) The carbon cycle. Forests act as a major carbon store because carbon dioxide (CO2) is taken up from the atmosphere and used to produce the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up the tree. When forests are cleared, and the trees are either burnt or rot, this carbon is released as CO2. This leads to an increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. CO2 is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect. It is estimated that deforestation contributes one-third of all CO2 releases caused by people. The Carbon Cycle:


b) The water cycle. Trees draw ground water up through their roots and release it into the atmosphere (transpiration). In Amazonia over half of all the water circulating through the region's ecosystem remains within the plants. With removal of part of the forest, the region cannot hold as much water. The effect of this could be a drier climate. The Water Cycle:

c) Soil erosion: With the loss of a protective cover of vegetation more soil is lost. d) Silting of water courses, lakes and dams: This occurs as a result of soil erosion. e) Desertification: The causes of desertification are complex, but deforestation is one of the contributing factors. To know more about desertification please visit http://desertificationb.tripod.com/id3.html

Some Interesting Facts! -The World Resources Institute regards deforestation as one of the world's most pressing land-use problems. -An area of forest equal to 20 football or rugby fields is lost every minute. -South Africa's climate is such that less than 0,5% of its surface area is covered with indigenous forest great care should be taken to conserve the little we have.


D

eforestation is becoming a bigger problem everywhere in the world, it triggers

floodings and landslides, many peoples will die of it since they have no place to go to. It seriously needs our attention now and we must be aware of its consequences and take them into consideration!

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?! 1) Always use both sides of paper when writing, drawing, photo-copying, faxing, etc. 2) Recycle paper, cans, glass, and plastic. 3) Read the newspaper on-line. 4) Buy paper products made from recycled paper: notebook paper, paper towels, toilet paper, books, etc. 5) Use pencils until they are stubs! Think of pencils as gold (you'll never lose them if you do). 6) If you buy a product and you notice they use wood chips to package it, write to the company and suggest they use another packaging material. 7) Trees get cut down for cattle to graze. Instead of eating meat, think of eating other sources of protein such as fish, soy, beans, whole-wheat, and nuts. 8) Buy organic fruits and vegetables. That means there are no insecticides or pesticides (poisonous chemicals) sprayed on the food. If these chemicals kill insects and pests that try and eat the vegetables, think about how harmful they can be to you and the environment. 9) Encourage your parents, relatives, and friends to drive fuel efficient cars that get good gas mileage. Hybrid and bio-diesel cars get great mileage and use less or no gasoline. 10) Even better, whenever possible, walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit (bus or train) 11) Save electricity by turning off lights, television, radio, and computer when you are not using them. 12) Save water by NOT taking baths; instead take quick showers (turning off the water while you soap up) and then turning it back on to rinse quickly. 13) While washing your hands and brushing your teeth, turn off the water. You'll save gallons if you do. You may also be interested in watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WkoFOoPJME&feature=related


Comic Time!

Today's Joke


Just for Fun! Help Joe find his way to the trash bin.

HELP! Eddy is stuck! Help Eddy solve this word search. Deforestation Carbon Dioxide Atmosphere Earth Extinction Environment Pollution Flood Ozone Layer Greenhouse Effect Precipitation



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