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The Double Whammy of Deforestation Deforestation by burning, a widespread practice in the world’s tropical rain forests, adversely impacts the trace-gas composition of the atmosphere in two different ways. First, the burning of the tropical forests produces large amounts of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and other trace gases that are products when biomass burns. The Past Much of the Earth was once covered by trees, but the majority of these were cleared long ago to make way for an ever expanding human population. Causes Commercial logging, clearance for agriculture, roads and railways, forest fires, mining and drilling, fuel wood collection and clearance for living space are all intimately connected with deforestation, but it is far from obvious as to which is the worst culprit. The Rate of Deforestation The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 53,000 square miles of tropical forests (rain forest and other) were destroyed each year during the 1980s. Related:  Deforestation

Natural Disasters - Forest fire Blizzards - Earthquake - Flood - Forest fire - Hurricanes - Tornado - Tsunami - Volcano A forest fire is a natural disaster consisting of a fire which destroys a forested area, and can be a great danger to people who live in forests as well as wildlife. Forest fires are generally started by lightning, but also by human negligence or arson, and can burn thousands of square kilometers. Forest fires, also known as wildfires, vegetation fire, grass fire, brush fire or bush fire, is common in vegetated areas of Australia, South Africa, United States and Canada, where climates are sufficiently moist to allow the growth of trees, but feature extended hot and dry periods. Forest fires are caused by the drying out of branches, leaves and therefore becomes highly flammable. Fires can do weird things including: Crawling - spreads from bush to bush Crown - spread at an incredible pace through the top of the forest. Examples: Oakland Hills firestorm. Back to Main Page.

WWF: Deforestation Main Page Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They produce vital oxygen and provide homes for people and wildlife. Many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion people rely on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter. But forests around the world are under threat from deforestation, jeopardizing these benefits. Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink—soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns. Deforestation is a particular concern in tropical rainforests because these forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. WWF has been working to protect forests for more than 50 years.

Google's new timelapse project shows 30 years of disappearing rainforest in just seconds It's one thing to talk about deforestation, disappearing habitats, and shrinking glaciers and water resources, and another thing entirely to demonstrate it with actual satellite imagery. And thanks to Landsat images and the Google Earth Engine, we're getting a glimpse at some key locations across the planet as they are changed by the hands of man. A series of interactive timelapse GIFs that use Landsat satellite data to display massive changes to the Earth's surface could be a potent tool for motivating individuals and organizations to take action on key issues. Google's Animated GIFs of Earth Over Time focuses our attention on key features of our planet, such as the Amazon rainforest, the coal beds of Wyoming, the Columbia Glacier, the Aral Sea, and the deserts of Saudi Arabia. "Today, we're making it possible for you to go back in time and get a stunning historical perspective on the changes to the Earth’s surface over time. © Google

National Geographic: 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. 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. Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds in heat at night.

Illegal logging Illegal logging threatens some of the most valuable forests globally – from the Amazon to the Russian Far East. And yet, for many of the people that live in these forests, illegal logging is a vital source of income - sometimes it is the only way to survive. But at other times it threatens their lives. Increased demand for forests products has brought some financial benefits for poor people living near to forests. How does this happen? US$1 for a villager, US$10 from your wallet For example, a small community in Papua Province, Indonesia, can receive approximately US$11 for a cubic metre of hardwood. As a finished product, waiting to be bought on a furniture shop rack in a EU country or the US, this cubic metre will be worth 10 times that much. Making wood legal requires more than good will Where communities try to sell timber from their land, they often do not have the means to comply with management requirements for legal logging. When implementing the law can make things harder

Deforestation A deforested area Deforestation is when forests are lost and not replanted. Sometimes deforestation happens when people change the land into farms, ranches and cities. A lot of deforestation is from removal of all the trees from a forest for wood or fuel. Without the forest, the habitats of the animals are lost and many animals die. It also results in global warming (climate change). The opposite of deforestation is afforestation. Cause of deforestation[change | edit source] Deforestation is the removal of trees for requirements of growing population. Forests have the following functions:- regulation of the water cycleproduction of soilprovide habitat for animalsprovide most of our oxygenmaintain the oxygen and carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphereregulation of temperatureprevent soil erosion There are many reasons for deforestation like logging where people cut down trees for money because they have to feed their families Forests are often planted to protect against natural disasters.

'Rainforest Connection' Aims To Use Cell Phones To Stop Deforestation If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Sure does, and a company by the name of Rainforest Connection hopes one of its cell phones will be around to hear it. The San Francisco nonprofit plans to install used Android smartphones in rainforests to help curtail illegal logging. Here's how: Ambient sounds in the rainforest will be continuously recorded and screened using the phones' microphones and onboard software. "We can find out how much forest has been cut using satellite images, but we find out after, so we cannot trace when it happens," Dwiati Novita Rini, a rainforest rehabilitation worker in Sumatra, said to New Scientist, explaining the phones' potential to enable real-time action. Alerts can be sent using cell networks that already exist wherever the devices are installed. The phones are powered using solar energy and -- eventually -- will be simple enough for locals to install them on trees themselves.

Live Science: Deforestation 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.

Why is slash-and-burn deforestation particularly harmful In heavily forested areas, or those with little usable soil for farming, natives often turn to slash-and-burn deforestation to feed their families. This traditional farming technique involves cutting down most of the vegetation on a patch of land, then setting fire to the remainder. The resulting ashes serve as viable nutrients for future farming on the site, although only for a brief period. People in many parts of the world have relied on slash-and-burn farming for thousands of years, and some estimates suggest it's used on half of all land in tropical areas [source: Virginia Tech]. Each acre of land subject to slash-and-burn deforestation releases 180 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere [source: MIT]. For local natives, this agricultural technique represents a double-edged sword. Some scientists believe that even the mighty Mayan empire succumbed to the effects of slash-and-burn farming.