Deforestation and Its Effect on Climate Change

  • SumoMe

Humans breathe to live and other forms of life found on Mother Earth don’t stand to defy. But there is a slight difference in the way plants breathe to live. They do it with a modicum of benevolence either inadvertently or otherwise. The very fact that photosynthesis is totally in contrast to human breathing helps maintain ecological equilibrium. Rainforests play the important role of locking up atmospheric carbon in their vegetation via photosynthesis. An interesting fact is that vegetation and soil contain more carbon dioxide than what is present in the atmosphere. Hence the impact created by global deforestation is a cause for deep concern. Deforestation by burning of trees has an adverse impact on the Earth’s atmosphere as it affects the basic gas composition, thereby disturbing fluid equilibrium. Secondly, rain forests are a repository for harmful gases like carbon dioxide and their depletion is a huge concern.

Deforestation is a visible side effect of advancements and expansion in the Human Civilization. Deforestation is generally caused due to the following: To create larger farm lands, Production of paper, Firewood, Cattle Ranching and last but not the least, Capitalistic endeavours. As a result, overpopulation and global warming are closely related. Overpopulation has resulted in increased need for farmlands to feed the growing number of people. The need for land has also encouraged people to cut down trees.

Though oceans are the major players in carbon absorption, forests do contribute significantly. Green House Effect is commonly defined as the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in the earth’s atmosphere. As a result of the build-up, a radiative imbalance occurs and hence a larger amount of sun’s heat is absorbed and trapped. This, by and large is known as global warming.

The extent and effect of global warming has been debated by scientists, industries, and politicians for a long time now. For the past five decades, the world has witnessed an unprecedented surge in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. There is a theory that this could possibly result in higher temperatures and rising sea levels besides increased storm and hurricane intensity and melting of ice. Some scientists argue that natural disasters that have become too common in the past decade are closely related to changes in the ecosystem.
It has been categorically proved that vehicular emissions and industrial emissions are very paltry compared to the contributions of deforestation to global warming. Hence a good strategy would be to tackle the man-eater instead of the gorilla. The top brass from round the world have to concentrate on tackling the bigger problem of deforestation in order to solve the climate conundrum. Reforestation and curbed use of paper are two well-known ways to fight global warming. In such a scenario, an increased level of involvement and participation from individuals around the world is a quintessential factor for success. Government can take steps to control the excessive cutting of trees due to cattle ranching, industries or capitalistic ventures. This can help in controlling deforestation and reduce global warming. But, Climate change is right upon each one of us and it is high time we stood up and made a difference.

Pradeep Sekhar

[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevemonty/3017368100/]
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