Deforestation is the clearance or removing of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. Right now, deforestation is tearing apart the forests (especially the rainforests) around the world, and releasing excessive amounts of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. Forests cover over 30% of the Earth’s land. One and a half acres of forest is cut down every second. Unfortunately, it is estimated that in less than 100 years there
will be no more rainforests existing, as a result of deforestation. Many animals around the world depend on these rainforests — it is where they live. Some WWF certified endangered animals that would be affected by this extreme deforestation are African Rainforest Elephants, Macaws, Leopards, Amazon Rainforest Dolphins, Ocelots, Cape Buffalos, Flying Foxes, Eyelash Vipers, Goliath Beetles, and Poison Arrow Frogs. All of these animals are important parts of our ecosystem and have the right to stay in their natural habitats.
However, it is not just these endangered species that deforestation is affecting. Deforestation is having a shocking effect on the environment, and on global warming specifically. One experience I will never forget happened in my freshman biology class. We went out to the garden and measured how much carbon were in trees. Our group had the smallest tree in the garden and we measured that it had over 4528.295 pounds of carbon dioxide in just a single tree! When we cut down trees all of this carbon is released into the atmosphere; thus affects global warming. According to NASA, “Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a naturally varying climate, the temperature rise has not been, and will not be, uniform or smooth across the country or over time.”
Clearly, we have to make a change. Some eco-friendly decisions we can do to stop global warming from getting worse are to power our homes with renewable energy like solar, to invest in energy efficient appliances, reduce water waste, and to drive a fuel efficient vehicle. By taking even the smallest of steps to combat the effects of deforestation, we are moving towards a brighter and healthier world.