The planet Earth is being scarred. Everyday the people of the planet earth are polluting the planet’s air, water and land. These are all natural resources that are necessary for our survival on this planet. Yet, we continue to abuse our planet. Our world population is growing out of control.
The simple lesson of supply and demand tells us that we will need more resources in order to support the booming population. One of the most important factors in survival is food supply. With out enough food, we will not survive. Unfortunately, our forest ecosystems are paying the price for the food demand. Deforestation is a major problem on our planet. It is something that must be carefully monitored and regulated.Order now
Deforestation is a practice that has been taking place for thousands of years. Human beings have found it necessary to clear out the forests for settlement and cropland. Although there is no evidence as to how much of the planet’s forests has been cut down, it is obvious that this valuable ecosystem is declining. Studies estimate that, “original forest cover has been reduced by nearly 50 percent.” (WRI, p.90)
The forest ecosystem provides a number of services both directly and indirectly to humans.
For example, the Carbon and Nitrogen cycles are two of the cycles that are necessary for survival on our planet. Carbon is a key element on our planet. Carbon is found in the atmosphere, in plants and animals and in the ocean. “About 33 percent of the carbon that has accumulated in the atmosphere over the past 150 years has come from deforestation and changes in land use.” (WRI, p.50) When the carbon is in plants, it is released back into the atmosphere in a process called cellular respiration.
If the trees and plants are cut down, the carbon cycle is not completed. The carbon will not be effectively removed from the air. “Fifteen tons of carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) occur in the air column above each hectare (2.5 acres) of the Earth’s surface. One hectare of lush vegetation can remove 50 tons of carbon from the atmosphere annually.” (WRI, p.
Nitrogen is another key element. Lack of Nitrogen could limit plant growth. Often times, Nitrogen is added to fertilizers to help increase the growth of the crop. However, because of deforestation, the nitrogen cycle has become unbalanced. Deforestation has caused an excess of Nitrogen- “far beyond natural levels”. (WRI, p.
Erosion is another major problem caused by deforestation. “Soil erosion is, thus, the process by which soil particles are detached from their original site, transported, and eventually deposited at a new location.” (WRI, p. 134) In the case of deforestation, erosion will occur faster than natural erosion. This is called “accelerated erosion”. “It is often 100 times as destructive as geologic erosion.
” (WRI, p. 135) In the event of such erosion, the soil becomes useless. It loses many of its nutrients. And, the new deposition can even cause water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers, or oceans.
Another major problem associated with deforestation is species loss. According to the World Resources Institute (p.
92), “(Deforestation) directly affects species biodiversity by diminishing the amount of natural habitat available, blocking migration routes, providing avenues for invasion by nonnative species, and changing the microclimate along the remaining habitat edge.” It is crucial that this damage is recognized and taken account of.
To show the effects of deforestation, I have chosen two nations. One nation, New Zealand, is a more developed nation. The other nation, Brazil, is a lesser-developed nation. By studying the data available on these countries, we will be able to see what the impact of deforestation has been on each country through a better understanding of each countries economic status as well as the source(s) of the problem.
New Zealand is a beautiful chain of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, just South East of Australia (Oceania). The country is mostly mountainous with some large coastal plains. The climate on the islands is mostly temperate although there can be more unpredictable weather on the coastlines. (www.odci.gov/factbook)
New Zealand’s GDP is divided in the following manner: agriculture-8%, industry-23%, and services- 69%.
The amount of external debt .