Deforestation problems, causes and consequences, the fight against deforestation in the regions

Deforestation is the process of deforestation that results in wastelands and pastures. This can be achieved both by intentional human logging and by acid rain or hurricane activity. These processes, according to the forecast of New York scientists, by the middle of the century will lead to a decrease in forest area by more than 400 million hectares.

Forests strongly influence the state of the ecosphere, they make up more than 80% of the phytomass of the entire planet. Forests located on the equator become repositories of endemic species of animals and plants, they preserve about half of the world’s species. It is surprising that at the same time they are located on only 6% of the land area on the planet.

Over the entire period of its existence, mankind has destroyed approximately 10 million square kilometers of forests. People have always wanted to increase the number of arable lands and pastures. The forest zone in the tropics was mastered gradually. Over the past two hundred years, agriculture began to develop there, which contributed to the export of goods. Since the middle of the last century, exports have increased tenfold. At the same time, the population of this area was growing rapidly, which led to deforestation and degradation of the planet’s ecosystems.

Then they began to colonize Europe. The forests in the Mediterranean were also destroyed; in the Middle Ages, the most ancient coniferous forests were cut down there. Forests in Asia and North America have also been eliminated. All this was done to expand the production of agricultural products.

Deforestation map

The reasons

There are many reasons for deforestation. They also include «cleaning» land for house building development, urbanization. One of the main reasons is deforestation to create paper and furniture, rubber and the well-known palm oil. Equally important is the expansion of pastures, although this factor was stronger in the past. There are also forest burnings, which contribute to soil degradation. This is achieved in several stages: at first, the ashes enrich the plants, but then this is no longer enough, and the vegetation dies.

Effects

Deforestation affects all systems on the planet. So, scientists believe that the process of deforestation increases the release of carbon dioxide, enhancing the greenhouse effect. Most of this gas is released during the destruction of forests in the tropics.

Deforestation affects the hydrosphere. Tree roots get nutrients from groundwater. Moreover, moisture evaporates when it reaches the leaves. The water cycle is disrupted due to the death of forests, which is fraught with drying up the climate.

Just as importantly, deforestation makes the soil less able to retain rainfall. Another unpleasant consequence is the formation of landslides. Soil begins to suffer from wind and water erosion. So humanity is losing arable land. Sometimes coffee and palm trees can be planted in places of deforestation, and the land suffers much more from this. In lowlands and wet areas, deforestation creates swamps, as trees no longer remove excess moisture from the soil.

However, this is not all the consequences of deforestation. The Earth in its normal state can reflect radiation from the Sun, but this property is lost when vegetation is destroyed.

So, the Earth’s biosphere suffers. Many experts say that «cleaning» forests can make natural disasters more destructive and more frequent. Among them are droughts and floods, dust storms and dry winds. Along with the death of landscapes, the genetic diversity on the planet is also decreasing.

Fight against deforestation

Today there are frequent cases of illegal logging. To avoid this, the authorities are actively monitoring forest management, strengthening control over these processes. Trees, usually aspens, are planted in the affected areas, which easily colonize and restore damaged areas. Nature reserves are being created. At the moment, technologies are used all over the world, thanks to which wood can be processed several times.

Areas with deforestation

The problem of deforestation is relevant in Eurasia, Canada and the USA, in Asia and Brazil. In the Far East and Siberia, deforestation is being actively carried out for export to China. Since 2002, illegal cutting of trees has been carried out in the Primorsky Territory, more than a million cubic meters of this valuable resource have been destroyed in total. Experts are sure that such a stock will never be restored. In Transcaucasia, deforestation has flourished since tsarist times. The slopes of the mountains that are located along the rivers suffered the most. In addition, in Eurasia, the horrifying statistics of forest fires. More than 200 thousand hectares perish annually. All of this leads to tree loss.

Photo of deforestation in the Amazon

Forests are also being cut down in Central Asia with Indonesia, because this helps countries repay loans and cover their external debts to countries such as the United States. The same is happening in Africa. Millions of hectares of forest are destroyed every year.

In turn, in Brazil, forests are being destroyed no less actively: now the entire southeast of the country is suffering precisely from this, because all the places where these biogeocenoses once were have long turned into cane and coffee plantations. However, even in the middle of the last century, the forest covered about half of the territory.

There are very few forests left in the Himalayas – just over 4 percent of the total. There, the trees go to create fuel and for the needs of agriculture. Deforestation is a major problem in tropical Asia.

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