Earth faces many harmful issues such as greenhouse gases, melting of ice caps, or even coral bleaching. However, deforestation is the most problematic and by far the most severe. Deforestation can be defined as the removal of a forest of trees and afterward the land is converted to a non-forest use. After deforestation, the land can be used for agricultural or urban use such as farming or building housing. Deforestation is commonly happening in tropical rainforests. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't a worldwide problem. It's destroying our natural world as we know it, and even damaging the quality of the air that we breathe. Deforestation is our largest global issue and it needs to be stopped before our environment becomes permanently damaged.
Deforestation is caused due to many factors. One of which is due to farmers cutting down forests down to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. These farmers often use a method known as slash and burn agriculture. This is a type of farming that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest to create a large open field for farming and agricultural usage. Another cause of deforestation is due to logging, which is the process of cutting and processing trees to sell for the world's markets. Nonetheless, logging operations aren't just happening in large commercial businesses, it also is happening illegally. Illegal logging could include collecting timber from protected areas or from areas with a protected species. Deforestation can also occur due to natural causes such as wildfires or overgrazing. Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in a natural area such as a forest or grassland. They are frequently caused due to human activities such as the burning of debris, discarding a lit cigarette or leaving a campfire unattended. Sometimes, though, wildfires are caused due to lightning. This happens when dry lightning, where little to no rain accompanies stormy weather, strikes and ignites forest land. These wildfires spread fast and burn down a large portion of forest and woodlands.
Deforestation is destroying our environment and earth's spheres in many ways. Our Earth's spheres are made up of the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the atmosphere. The lithosphere consists of the crust and upper mantle and the hydrosphere is all of Earth's waters. Additionally, the biosphere is all living organisms on Earth's surface and the atmosphere is formed from the gases surrounding earth such as nitrogen, oxygen or carbon dioxide. The water cycle, part of Earth's hydrosphere, is affected by deforestation. For example, trees return water vapor to the atmosphere and without trees to do this, many forest lands can quickly dry up and become deserts. The soil in our lithosphere may even dry out due to the loss of our trees. This is because the trees provide protection from the sun's harmful rays and when this protection isn't there, the soil becomes all dried out. When we cut down forests, habitats in the biosphere are also destroyed and many species are left without a home. When these species are left without a home, they will not be able to survive, and therefore we will lose an abundance of food. Furthermore, trees provide us with an abundance of oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, creating a clean atmosphere and oxygen to breathe. If we continue to cut down Earth's forests, our environment will fill up with carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas if. This carbon dioxide could cause even more problems in our environment such as creating more holes in the ozone layer of our atmosphere.
Deforestation is the world's worst issue due to the fact that it creates more issues with even more severe consequences. One of the main issues that deforestation can cause is global warming. This is because trees play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming. Fewer forests mean larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and increased speed and severity of global warming.
However, there are ways that deforestation can be decreased or possibly stopped completely. One solution would be to plant a tree when one is cut down. This process is known as reforestation; It requires an ongoing process and should not be viewed as a one-time thing. Logging companies would need to take initiative and plant a young tree for all of the old ones that were cut. The first step in this process could be to donate to reforestation such as REGUA or One Tree Planted. REGUA, a reforestation organization, has helped by planting seedlings of around 50 native tree species, particularly in Brazil to areas that were affected by deforestation. In fact, by the end of the 2011/2012 REGUA had planted over 110,000 trees. To ensure a high survival rate, REGUA and other reforestation companies maintain and water the seedlings and are watched over to make sure they continue to grow strong and healthy. Maintaining the new seedlings has even lead to a survival rate of about 95 percent. Planting these trees also creates a new habitat for the animals whose houses were cut down due to deforestation. These new trees that are planted will also provide us with better air to breathe and continue to absorb the harmful greenhouse gases that are in our atmosphere.
Despite that, planting a tree for every one cut down would be very difficult because deforestation happens on a large scale and there are too many trees to replant. In addition, trees could take up to 30 years to grow back completely! As an alternative solution, we could pass laws at a government level that limit the number of trees to be cut down at once. These new laws and regulations would help in enforcing forest preservation policies and it would take a lot of people working together for it to work. Some forests have existing preservation laws, but those laws need to be advanced and enforced in order for deforestation to become more limited. Passing new laws would still allow logging industries and farmers to use our forests' resources, but create a restriction so that the effects of deforestation would be less severe and more trees could be saved from deforestation. There are also dozens of organizations such as Conservation International which teach local farmers how to maximize their existing land, rather than clear new areas. Another organization is known as The World Wildlife Fund which to shape policies and teams with communities to preserve forests.
In conclusion, everyone needs to work together to decrease or even stop deforestation completely. It is damaging our environment and these trees are essential to the human population and should not be taken for granted. Earth has many issues, but deforestation is the most substantial and significant.
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