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01 Feb
  • By Alison Martha Fagan

Deforestation and its’ impact on global warming the habitat.

Forests are vital to our planet. They offer multiple benefits including the habitat of people and wildlife, moreover many of the world’s most endangered species live in forests and a massive part of the world’s population significantly rely on these benefits such as “food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter” (1) Without such habitat some of the world’s species would certainly some extinct. It could also be harmful for human population by denying them resources such as stated above medicine and animals for hunting. Forests also play a key role in our natural ecosystem. In fact it could be said without forests a “devastating chain of events both locally and around the world” (2) could potentially be unlocked.  As regards our ecosystem the devastation could be tantamount. Forests play a role in justifying climate change as they soak up “carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing change in climate patterns”. (3) In this sense forests do their job in the world as we know it.

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Deforestation has enhanced this devastation. They have unlocked this chain with the destruction of the world’s forests. They have lessened the role of trees in the water cycle as they absorb rainfall and water and produce water vapour into the atmosphere. Deforestation has ravaged the earth’s surface with the conclusion that in particular the world’s rain forests could be destroyed. In fact with the current rate they could “completely vanish in a hundred years” (4). Here in these tropical rain forests deforestation is of imperative concern.

However the impact deforestation on climate change is keenly felt in Kenya. Here the cutting down of trees, the meteorological department has warned, could severely impact the location of Kilifi county. Here “rainfall has diminished because of human activities such as deforestation. (5). Such actions has increased heat levels in the county and decreased food production as so little land has any vegetation. This could escalate with the result of a drought by 2030.

Nonetheless there are efforts being made to protect forests and restore ecosystems. The Sumatran Orang-utans society works to prevent the essential habitat of these species from being destroyed. Orang-utans live in trees. (6) Efforts are equally being made in Brazil to help stop carbon being released into the air that can affect the change our climate. In tropical countries where deforestation is prevalent participation in United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program has been initiated. In Brazil has slowed “deforestation…by 40 per cent since 2008 and is on track to achieve an 80 per cent reduction by 2020”. (7)

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Deforestation can impact greatly on global warming and destroy the habitats of people and animals. However with the planting of trees and the prevention of this effort can be made to stop this needless destruction.

References:

  1. https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation accessed on 30/01/2018
  2. https://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html accessed on 30/01/2018
  3. https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation accessed on 30/01/2018
  4. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/ accessed on 30/01/2018.
  5. https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/01/30/deforestation-met-warns-kilifi-of-severe-drought_c1705334 accessed on 30/01/2018.
  6. https://www.orangutans-sos.org/the-solution/saving-forests/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAzMDTBRDDARIsABX4AWzeqmYZhen1dUX5GpgToipoy8PlKXb1GWN1TXrRKbwZ03Y9Nr-AU_8aAoy3EALw_wcB accessed on 30/01/2018
  7. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/deforestation-and-global-warming/ accessed on 30/01/2018

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Alison Fagan – a graduate of Trinity College Dublin who enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction and am very concerned with social and world affairs