AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Deforestation is Out of Control

Deforestation has always been viewed as a problem by modern observers. No one can deny that the cutting down of forests is necessary for economic development and continued prosperity in some lumber rich nations, however, things are getting out of control. In a recent study, it was revealed that a total loss of 2.3 million acres of forest was destroyed in between 2000 and 2012. To put that amount in perspective, it is equivalent to six Californians or the entirety of the United States east of the Mississippi River. This massive loss of forest land was countered by a gain of only .8 million acres, resulting in a 1.5 million acre net loss of forest land around the globe.

According to Ritchie King, a reporter on the subject, “Deforestation at this scale is having a tremendous ecological impact, on both species and climate. From 2000 to 2011, deforestation effectively added 14.5 billion tonnes (16 billion tons) of carbon to the atmosphere, about 13% of the world’s total contribution to climate change.”  Some nations who, in the past, have been the greatest culprits of deforestation, such as Brazil, have cut back their logging and have greatly reduced the rate at which land is cleared, however, in other parts of the world, particularly Indonesia, (if you scroll to the bottom of the article there is a graphic) deforestation has sped up rapidly. Not only does deforestation threaten the world as a whole through the production of a large precent of the earths greenhouse gases, but it also threatens the delicate forest ecosystems around the world. Heavy deforestation in areas with Rain forests, such as Brazil and Indonesia threatens the unique species of plants and animals which live there, and threatens to reduce the biodiversity present on Earth.

Deforestation in Brazil

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  1. segolene

    Interesting read. I recently just finished a French project that focused on issues that are negatively effecting the environment. In France deforestation has also become a major problem. It was shocking to read that from 2000 to 2011, deforestation effectively added 14.5 billion tonnes (16 billion tons) of carbon to the atmosphere. This is definitely not beneficial to the environment at all. What further can we do to stop deforestation in many suffering countries like Indonesia, France and even the United States? Here is one article describing French deforestation issues and another article further going into deforestation issues in the U.S.,

  2. celine2

    I loved this article. It stands out to me, a person who is aware of the threats facing our environment, from the other bio blogs. It is crazy to read about how deforestation is so out of control. I knew it was a problem, but didn’t know it is so severe. Another article from the Guardian shows some of the most important reasons behind deforestation in Madagascar (specifically of rosewood). From this article, you can tell that the country of Madagascar is not very successful in exportations of other goods, and therefore, the illegal smuggling of rosewood is kind of the only economic savor to the people at this time.
    This only shows that in order to protect our environment and stop deforestation, we need to help other countries get on their feet, and establish stricter controls.

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