Disappearing Trees - Appearing Environmental Problems

Deforestation had been a serious environmental problem in recent decades, especially where rapid urban development took place. According to recent statistics, the number of trees is estimated to be 3.04 trillion globally. It may sound a lot to you but the amount is not even half of the record. Millions of forests are converted into agricultural use irreversibly while thousands of forests are lost permanently each year.

Why are trees so important? They purify the air. Tropical rainforests, as known as the “lungs of the planet”, draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. According to the research published in Nature Climate Change, forests provide a “carbon sink” that absorbs a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Trees help to lower the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which eases the problem of intense global warming. Moreover, rainforests are home to millions of species. Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the world. Floral creatures, insects and indigenous can be found in rainforests. 

However, the number of trees had decreased drastically due to deforestation and forest degradation. It is estimated that 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990. Agricultural, urban and industrial land uses, for instance. Noted that large-scale commercial agriculture like logging accounted for 40% of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2010 while local subsistence agriculture takes 33%. 

As a consequence, global warming has intensified and biodiversity has reduced. Because of forest destruction, 28000 species are expected to become extinct by the next 25 years. Moreover, deforestation accounts for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to the rising global temperature of about 1°C. 

To save our planet, conservation of resources and energy brooks no delay. Besides, afforestation is needed to restore the cleared land. Not only afforestation alleviates the accelerating global warming but also alters the earth’s climate. Make the “lungs of the planet” healthy again.