It was a fine Sunday evening. Anita just finished her supper at a local hotel near her apartment. Usually, she sees at least seven loads of lorries carrying chopped wood and branches during that time. She always wonders why people cut trees.
The above-said example is what deforestation is all about. It is the extensive cutting down of trees for various human purposes. Deforestation causes ecological imbalance, where nature gets depleted over and over again. Deforestation leads to global warming, the impacts of which we are experiencing right now.
This deforestation is exclusively due to population increase and the need for land to accommodate this extremely rapid growth in the population. Population increases need space to live. Hence, it creates demand for various industrial set-ups to manage the production of goods required. Human beings know deforestation is harmful, but we continue to do it. There are ways to stop deforestation, only when we remember the ill effects of deforestation.
Harmful Impacts of deforestation
Global warming causes rapid changes in the environment today. The reason behind seasons getting delayed, the erratic nature of climate conditions, changes in the water cycle, increasing temperature, and a lot more is due to global warming.
But global warming is majorly caused by deforestation. The rapid cutting down of trees leads to an increase in the temperature. It reduces the water content present in the soil and loosens it, causing more landslides and floods these days.
Deforestation causes soil erosion. As there are no trees to hold the upper layer of the soil, the wind and the water easily carry the granules of sand away. It causes soil erosion.
Soil erosion initiates floods. There are no trees to stop the rise in water level caused due to heavy rainfall on the plains. Hence, deforestation ultimately affects not only humankind but also other living species.
Effect on Biodiversity
Deforestation also disturbs the natural habitat of the wildlife. We are now used to listening to news like tigers getting into the village, elephants rampaging sugar cane fields, monkeys cutting down electric wires. All of this is the result of deforestation. While we cut down trees and build human civilization everywhere, these wildlings go homeless and start getting into our “new homes”. More animals have lost their habitats in the past 50 years and have led to the path of extinction.
Increase in temperature
Deforestation is the most selfish and cruel human act which has begun to harm the human species now.
Global warming and deforestation are closely knit as the chain reactions of one another. Deforestation has led to a grievous increase in temperature. Human beings cut down trees extensively, causing the sunlight to directly reach the ground, making us feel an unbearably hot temperature during the summers.
Melting of glaciers
The visible increase in the temperature has not only made our summers hot, but it has also caused the glaciers to melt. These melting glaciers increase the sea levels to such a dangerous extent as drowning the landmasses.
Many researchers say the water cycle brings downpours. This cycle is also affected by deforestation. The groundwater trapped in the roots of the trees evaporates into the environment.
If we keep on cutting trees, the process of transpiration will be disturbed, causing the climate to become drier. The water content in the soil will drastically come down due to deforestation leading to soil cohesion. The results of which are landslides, flooding, and erosion.
The repeated agricultural activities in the same land for a long period cause deforestation. This degrades the soil content and reduces the nutrient content in the soil. Deforestation due to farming activities involves clearing all the vegetation on the required land and using it for and then burying the vegetation. The ranches required for cattle keeping among other livestock require a large area that is clear from trees.
Deforestation is one of the most troubling problems which has plagued our environment. It’s high time we realize the importance of building a greener Earth or else it can jeopardize the existence of life on Earth. We depend on the oxygen that comes from the trees we cut down. The best way to get out of this trap is to educate people about the importance of a greener environment. People should be made to understand the grave consequences of deforestation and start planting trees.
Reduction of carbon dioxide gas emission
Industries should be limited to carbon dioxide emissions. Human activities that contribute to carbon dioxide emission have to be reduced through strict rules and regulations. Research and find out alternative energy sources that do not produce greenhouse gases.
Mass planting of trees
On special days people can gather together and plant saplings in a selected piece of land. And to take care of them until they grow into trees. Families can do terrace gardening or maintain a small kitchen garden.
Deforestation has to be discouraged as early as possible. People should start to realize that it’s already late and our future generation shouldn’t suffer what we are suffering now. Leave things for them, let them live a peaceful life on this beautiful planet.
Written by: Sona N.B