How Deforestation Works" To call attention to the issue of deforestation, Harrison Ford, star of the "Indiana Jones" movies, had his chest waxed on camera.
"Every bit of rain forest that gets ripped out over there…really hurts us over here," he told viewers as hair was yanked from his pecs [source: AP]. Ford's public service announcement was in support of an environmental organization called Conservation International, which seeks to prevent deforestation. Tree Image Gallery So why would deforestation motivate a movie star to sacrifice chest hair? Tropical Deforestation : Feature Articles. First, global markets consume rainforest products that depend on sustainable harvesting: latex, cork, fruit, nuts, timber, fibers, spices, natural oils and resins, and medicines.
In addition, the genetic diversity of tropical forests is basically the deepest end of the planetary gene pool. Hidden in the genes of plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria that have not even been discovered yet may be cures for cancer and other diseases or the key to improving the yield and nutritional quality of foods—which the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says will be crucial for feeding the nearly ten billion people the Earth will likely need to support in coming decades. Finally, genetic diversity in the planetary gene pool is crucial for the resilience of all life on Earth to rare but catastrophic environmental events, such as meteor impacts or massive, sustained volcanism. Soil Impacts. The Devastating Impact of Rainforest Deforestation. (source: fernando) Did you know that today only about 3 percent America’s original rainforests remain?
The fate of the world’s rainforests isn’t much better. Even though about half of the worlds plant and animal species live in rainforests, over 23 million acres of this land is destroyed each year, driving approximately 50,000 species to extinction every year. Scientists project that at this rate – thirty acres of trees cut every minute (the area the size of a football field cut every second) – a quarter of the world’s species will be exterminated in the next 50 years.
But the effects of deforestation don’t stop there. Impact on Global Climate. Amazon Due for Numerous Species Extinctions. When species lose their natural habitat to deforestation and other causes, they don't immediately disappear.
Instead, they gradually die off over several generations, racking up an "extinction debt" that must eventually be paid in full. New research shows that the Brazilian Amazon has accrued a heavy vertebrate extinction debt, with more than 80 percent of extinctions expected from historical deforestation still impending. While the results are alarming, this deathly time lag provides a conservation opportunity to save some of the disappearing species, scientists said, stressing that actions taken in the next few years are critical. "Now that we know where the extinction debt is likely to be, we can go to the ground to restore habitat and take remedial actions to try to regenerate new habitats," said study lead author Robert Ewers, an ecologist at Imperial College London in the U.K.
"We can try to put off ever having to pay that debt. " Extinction debt Slash and burn in the Amazon. Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects. Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses.
An estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Some other statistics: About half of the world's tropical forests have been cleared (FAO) Forests currently cover about 30 percent of the world’s land mass (National Geographic) Forest loss contributes between 6 percent and 12 percent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions (Nature Geoscience) About 36 football fields worth of trees lost every minute (World Wildlife Fund (WWF)) Deforestation occurs around the world, though tropical rainforests are particularly targeted.
NASA predicts that if current deforestation levels proceed, the world's rainforests may be completely in as little as 100 years. Error loading player: No playable sources found Weather vs. Deforestation Facts, Deforestation Information, Effects of Deforestation. Modern-Day Plague Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land.
Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each and every year. The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money or to people’s need to provide for their families.The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Not all deforestation is intentional. Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. Deforestation also drives climate change. Trees also play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming.