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Rainforest-Deforestation

Short and Long Term Affects
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CONSEQUENCES OF DEFORESTATION
* Alteration of local and global climates through disruption of:

a) The carbon cycle. Forests act as a major carbon store because carbon dioxide (CO2) is taken up from the atmosphere and used to produce the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up the tree. When forests are cleared, and the trees are either burnt or rot, this carbon is released as CO2. This leads to an increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. CO2 is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect. It is estimated that deforestation contributes one-third of all CO2 releases caused by people.

b) The water cycle. Trees draw ground water up through their roots and release it into the atmosphere (transpiration). In Amazonia, over half of all the water circulating through the region's ecosystem remains within the plants. With removal of part of the forest, the region cannot hold as much water. The effect of this could be a drier climate.

* Soil erosion With the loss of a protective cover of vegetation more soil is lost.

* Silting of water courses, lakes and dams This occurs as a result of soil erosion.

* Extinction of species which depend on the forest for survival. Forests contain more than half of all species on our planet - as the habitat of these species is destroyed, so the number of species declines (see Environmental Facts "Biodiversity").

* Desertification The causes of desertification are complex, but deforestation is one of the contributing factors (see Environmental Facts "Desertification")

(Jocelyn Collins)

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This website is here to inform the public

about the devastating affects of rainforest-deforestation.