Effects of Deforestation - Jessica Romero
Directions: Be sure to make an electronic copy of your answer before submitting it to Ashworth College for grading. Unless otherwise stated, answer in complete sentences, and be sure to use correct English spelling and grammar. Sources must be cited in APA format. Your response should be four (4) pages in length; refer to the "Assignment Format" link on the course homepage for specific format requirements.
In your course, turn to the Lesson 4. Skim through it to refresh your memory. Next, carefully study and review the section in Lecture Notes titled, “Ecological Challenges.” Skim through that and then focus on the topic of deforestation.
Using your own words, write a short descriptive essay that defines and explains selected environmental impacts of deforestation. As you write, imagine you are talking to a friend who has no knowledge of this topic. In short, write the way you speak, using a conversational tone. Also, try to alternate short sentences and longer sentences to make your writing more readable.
Be sure to create a title and cite yourself as the author. For example:
Environmental Impacts of Deforestation
Your essay should include five paragraphs, as follows:
Paragraph 1 is your lead paragraph. It will contain an overview of what you have to say about these three topics: disruption of the carbon cycle, disruption of the hydrologic (water) cycle, and the reduction of species diversity.
Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, are your body paragraphs.
Paragraph 2 should describe how deforestation disrupts the carbon cycle.
In paragraph 3, you’ll write about how deforestation disrupts the hydrologic (water) cycle.
In paragraph 4, you’ll explain how deforestation is related to declining species diversity.
Paragraph 5 is your conclusion paragraph. Here, you can describe how you feel about the three effects of deforestation discussed, and what we might do about it.
It’s permissible to use direct quotes from your reading, but don’t use too many. One to three such quotes should be your limit. Be sure to put a direct quote in quotation marks. For example: According to Smith, “Carbon dioxide is both our friend and our enemy.”
Begin by writing a first draft. Then, edit and rework your material to make it clear and concise. After you have reached a final draft, proofread the essay one last time to locate and correct grammar and spelling errors.
Environmental Impact of Deforestation
Trees hold an essential part in answering the global question of slowing the pace of climate change, wildlife preservation and support to many people. Yet the continuation of deforestation sacrifices the long-term significance of standing trees for short-term benefit. Deforestation is defined as the cutting down of forests by humans. Notably, forests cover about 30% of the world’s geographical area. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the globe has lost almost a billion acres of forest since 1990, with urbanization, agriculture, forestry practices, livestock grazing, and wildfires being the primary causes in Africa and South America. Consequently, this has disrupted the carbon cycle, hydrologic cycle and reduction of species diversity. It is prudent to clearly articulate these three elements and comprehend the reason behind global climate change, extinction of significant species, and change of weather seasons. In general, controlling deforestation by enforcing stringent policies such as planting two trees after cutting one tree, among others, will help save the global effect of this activity.
Deforestation results in the disruption of the carbon transfer between various reservoirs on earth. The carbon cycle is elementary in keeping a stable climate and carbon balance. According to the National Geographic Society (2019), the earth has a closed carbon system, which means that the total carbon amount never fluctuates. Mostly, carbon is stored in minerals, rocks and other sediments under the surface of the earth, while the remaining exists in water bodies, atmosphere, soil, plants and fossil fuel, which are the sinks via which carbon cycles. Definitively, the carbon cycle is the process of carbon atoms progressively traveling from the atmosphere to the earth and then back to the atmosphere (National Geographic Society, 2019). This explains the constant carbon flux. In simple terms, forests draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide and use it to make food for human consumption, and when they die and decay, they release the carbon back into the atmosphere. Notably, even though smaller crops such as plants and crops draw in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, forests can store up to a hundred times more carbon than these agricultural fields. As such, cutting down forests accounts for more than 10% of all anthropogenic emissions and inhibits the carbon cycle, leading to elevated carbon dioxide levels. Deforestation would reduce the carbon cycle and allow the remaining trees to redress the imbalance by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere.
The second effect of deforestation is the disruption of the hydrologic cycle. Notably, the hydrological cycle exists as the essential function of the Amazon Forest. Approximately 400 billion trees suck water up via their deep roots and release it through their leave in a process called transpiration (Staal et al., 2020). Forest releases a large amount of moisture into the atmosphere, seeding the clouds with rain. For example, when clouds move westwards across the Amazon Forest, moisture is recycled from the sky to land six to seven times, thus maintaining South America’s breadbasket. As such, cutting down trees disrupts this cycle by minimizing precipitation, altering river flow and water volume. Besides, the loss of transpiration adversely affects the environment causing a draught. We might think that this problem is just concentrated in forested areas. But in fact, the effect deforestation affects the hydrological cycle is global. Rainforests provide water to individuals that live far from the tropics. The wind currents carry moisture from the canopies and transport it across the world, presenting crucial water supply to the further inland regions, which frequently do not rely on evaporation from the ocean as a precipitation source. Wolosin et al. (2018) cite the World Resource Institute, which indicates that deforestation could pose a significant risk to agriculture in crucial breadbaskets halfway globally in parts of America, India and China. Furthermore, trees maintain the ground we stand by forming a significant network of roots preventing soil erosion and filtering harmful pollutants, stopping them from entering the water bodies.
The third effect of deforestation is the declination of species diversity. Biodiversity is frequently linked with species richness, and thus biodiversity destruction is perceived as a loss of species from an ecosystem. Sudden population decline may upset various social structures in some species, resulting in keeping surviving males and females from getting their mates, producing a further population decline (Rafferty, n.d.). Notably, the forest is home to many global species such as amphibians, birds and mammals. For instance, the Amazon Forest is home to almost 15,000 tree species, 3000 fish species, and 1,300 species of birds. National Geographic society indicates that almost 70% of the earth’s plants and animals are affected by native habitat destruction. While some species can readily adapt to the new changes in their naïve habitats, some may migrate to other locations, and others will be extinct. Besides, the forests are rich in medicinal plants. We all know our reliability to the amazon and tropical rainforest for food and medicine. Actually, most of the prescription drugs come from the Amazon rainforest. The World Health Organization has classified modest herbal treatments and full-fledged cancer-fighting medications as essential medicines. Scientists admit to having studied only 5% of plants in the Amazon forests essential for medicine. Who knows other essential medicines that we will lose due to deforestation? Therefore, we need to safeguard our forests, which will safeguard us with food, medicine, and other recreational elements.
To summarize, deforestation has had a substantial negative influence on the ecosystem. Ranging from causing disruption of the carbon cycle and hydrologic cycle to the declination of species diversity, progressive forest declination will increase global warming, and before we realize it, significant living things will become extinct, and for humans, we will be left with survival for the fittest kind of relationship. Therefore, it is prudent to address these effects and develop long-term solutions. For example, the government may develop policies that prevent cutting down trees carelessly and roll back forest protection agencies. Climatic change prevention is dependent on two shifts in human behavior. It is our duty to stop greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding dirty fossil fuels that produce increased levels of Carbon. We should transit to clean energy sources such as wind and solar, which will not jeopardize the planet. Besides, conservationists should form a movement that preserves existing forest ecosystems and advocates for restoring lost tree cover.
National Geographic Society. (2019, October 29). The carbon cycle. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/carbon-cycle/
Rafferty, J. P. (n.d.). Biodiversity loss | Causes, effects, & facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/science/biodiversity-loss
Staal, A., Flores, B., Aguiar, A., Bosmans, J., Fetzer, I., & Tuinenburg, O. (2020). Feedback between drought and deforestation in the Amazon. https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/8rq4n
Wolosin, M. I. C. H. A. E. L., & Harris, N. A. N. C. Y. (2018). Tropical forests and climate change: The latest science. World Resources Institute.
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