Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use (IPCC, 2001). Effects of deforestation and degradation on Climate change Forests have a vital role to play in the fight against global warming. Forests absorb and store carbon in their trees and soil. But if forests are cleared or disturbed, this carbon is released as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. “Up to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation” (WWF Scotland, 2008).
An important ecosystem service provided by forests is the ability to counter-act the effects of global warming. Carbon dioxide, a contributing factor to global warming, is taken up by the plants and vegetation contained in forests through photosynthesis and the resulting carbon is stored in both living and dead plant biomass. This process, known as carbon sequestration, greatly reduces the potential for global climate change (IPCC 2001). Forest cover also affects the albedo, that is, the proportion of incident solar radiation that is reflected by the earths surface. The dense green coloured canopy of tropical forests have a low albedo when compared with grasslands or deforested areas.
Nevertheless, CO2, one of greenhouses gas that helps insulate the world, also able to cause the global temperatures increase if accumulated too much in the atmosphere for a long time. By uptake CO2, tropical rainforests also help to maintain the global temperature, which has a huge effect on the world’s ecosystem (Fearnside,
5). “Temperate rainforests”, on the other hand, experience cooler temperatures, foggy summers, damp winters, and are home to some of the largest trees in the world. These rainforests receive only about 100-140 inches of rain yearly and are much more rare. They are located in Chile and also in the United States, from Alaska down to Oregon. In a temperate rainforest, the wildlife is much different.
The Controversy of Deforestation Environmental issues affect every life on this planet from the smallest parasite to the human race. There are many resources that humans and animal needs to survive; some of the most obvious resources come from the forests. Forests make up a large percentage of the globe. The forests have global implications not just on life but on the quality of it. Trees improve the quality of the air that species breath, determine rainfall and replenish the atmosphere.
Forests playing important role in micro climate change in many ways. It reduces atmospheric CO2by absorbing which causes the temperature increase and reemitting thesurfaceemitted infra-red radiation. And releasing Oxygen and water in the form of vapor by transpiration process and reducing soil moisture evaporation rates by its shadows.Forest influences the quantity and patterns of precipitation and light reaching the ground. It effects not acquired uniformly for large areas even in a dense forests. Tree Covers are the major factor influencing the microclimate but italso depends on presence of stem, tree height, leaf structure and also depends on abiotical factors such as elevation, topography and soil type.
The largest temperate rainforest is found in the Pacific coast of North America such as Oregon, Washington, and California. They are also found on the southeast of Chile in South America, small parts of Japan, and New Zealand (Enger and Smith). Rainforests have many advantages such as providing biodiversity, carbon sequestration, controlling global warming, preventing soil erosion and desertification. In brief, they are important to the global ecosystem. The roots of rainforest trees and vegetation help secure the soil.
In fact, it’s believed that the Amazonian forests alone store over half of earth’s rainwater a lot of the rain that falls on the rain forest never reaches the ground. It stays within the trees because the leaves act as a shield, and some rain never gets past the trees to the smaller plants and grounds below. Surprisingly, soil in rainforests is very poor in nutrients. This is because the nutrients are stored in the vast numbers of trees and plants rather than in the soil. Tree roots bind the soil together, while the canopy protects the soil from heavy rains.
It is time that a closer look is taken to see and understand the effects deforestation is having on our environment. Trees are very important part of our environment because they absorb greenhouse gasses. One major greenhouse gas produced is carbon dioxide. There are actually two types of carbon dioxide emissions, natural and unnatural. One example of natural emissions is volcanic outgassing (Marsh 51).
The dense levels of vegetation absorb tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and help slow down the rate of climate change that the planet is experiencing. This process also produces high levels of oxygen that help to support life around the world. Coupled with the high levels of rainfall that benefit the water cycle, the rainforests are an integral part of the many systems that exist. These forests contain a wide variety of plants that a source of different chemicals that are used to create medicines. The degradation of these areas could potentially lead to the loss of medicines that could cure some of the deadliest diseases and illnesses that