Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Global Warming and Deforestation

Trees play a vital role in the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Deforestation is a process of cutting trees to make space for pastures or for industries and households of the ever-increasing human population. Excessive cutting of trees for urban use and other purposes is detrimental to the environmental balance. It is needless to say that deforestation has several adverse effects on the environment. I am sure you would like to read more about the causes and effects of deforestation.

One of the major disadvantages of deforestation is that it disrupts the water cycle. Trees are responsible for drawing up water from the soil and releasing moisture into the atmosphere. Deforestation causes a disturbance in the water cycle and makes the environment drier. Climate change is a severe outcome of excessive cutting down of trees. Forests lock up atmospheric carbon during the process of photosynthesis. Trees contain a major portion of carbon from the atmosphere.

Clearing of the forest cover has a contrary effect on the environment. It results in an increase in the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases in the environment. Burning of forests results in the emission of a large amount of carbon dioxide into the air. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like the oxides of nitrogen and methane are known to trap atmospheric heat, thus increasing the average temperature of the Earth’s surface. This increase in the temperature near the Earth’s surface and oceans is termed as global warming.

The rise in the average temperature of our planet is bound to cause the sea level to increase. Global warming has already begun causing themelting of glaciers and of the ice at the poles, thus adding to the rise in the sea level. This phenomenon is a serious threat to the life on Earth and it is we, who need to take the right measures to prevent it from happening.

We should not forget that trees add to the biodiversity in nature. Animal life thrives on vegetation. By cutting down trees, we deprive animals of their sources of food and cause the destruction of animal life. It can lead to the extinction of a variety of animal species. Global warming that is largely caused by deforestation further endangers plant and animal life, thereby disturbing the balance in nature.

It is believed that the use of fossil fuels and the burning of oil and gas cause global warming. It is true that pollution caused by the burning of oil and gas and the release of pollutants causes global warming. But research has revealed that deforestation is one of its major causes. It is the main reason behind the rise in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to the greenhouse effect.

Extreme weather conditions, changing agricultural yields and increase in the disease vectors are some of the other effects of global warming. Deforestation, being the primary reason behind global warming, we need to show greater concern towards the felling of trees. We need to take quick measures on preventing deforestation so that we can hope for an environment conducive to live in.