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Causes and consequences of deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

Essay Topic: ,

The Amazonian rainforest is the largest rainforest in our planet, covering most of the Brazils area and extending out to neighbouring countries. The total area of the Amazonian rainforest is approximately 4 million km2, however about 14% of the rainforest has already been destroyed and this process continues at a rate of 20,000km2 a year.

The Amazon rainforest in South America covers a huge area and there are tribes of people living there who are living a way of life that hasn’t really changed for hundreds of years.

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There are indigenous tribes in rainforests all over the globe but the Kayapo Indians are probably the ones we know most about. Traditionally the Kayapo have used the rainforest for all their needs.

They are hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers. They survive by hunting, fishing and collecting food from the forest. The rainforest can provide them with over 200 different types of fruits as well as nuts and leaves. They supplement this diet by growing sweet potatoes, maize and manioc in small clearings near their villages. As well as food, the Kayapo use the forest to provide them with all their building materials as well as face paints, body ornaments, musical instruments and medicines.

The rainforest climate is very hot, wet and sticky very humid. In the rainforest it rains every day. But the rain comes down and stop and comes down again it keep goes on like this nearly every day. The plants in the rainforest have had to adapt to the weather condition in the forest. We can prove this by looking at the trees grows tall, up to 40m through the emergent layer, in order to get sunshine.

On this picture we can see that the trees are really tall in order to get the sunshine. This is because trees need sunshine to get photosensitises to get the energy to grow.

The rainforests around the world.

On this map it shows the rainforest around the world, and we can see the largest rainforest it’s the Amazonian rainforest. We can see all the rainforests are happening near the equator line, this is because how weather like around the areas near the equator line.

The map shows how the Amazon rainforest spread out to the Brazils neighbouring countries in South America. And as we can see the countries that been involved are Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Bolnia and etc. the Amazon rainforest its all around the Amazon river, this is happening due to lots of water and the weather that u get in them kind of places.

Rainforests

Political/Country Borders

Deforestation:

Deforestation is the felling and clearance of forests land. Deforestation still takes place in our planets and it’s increasing every year. The deforestation takes place mostly in the LEDC (Less Economic Develop Countries).

Deforestation occurs in many ways. Most of the clearing is done for agricultural purposes-grazing cattle, planting crops. Poor farmers chop down a small area (typically a few acres) and burn the tree trunks-a process called slash and Burn agriculture. Intensive, or modern, agriculture occurs on a much larger scale, sometimes deforesting several square miles at a time. Large cattle pastures often replace rain forest to grow beef for the world market.

Commercial logging is another common form of deforestation, cutting trees for sale as timber or pulp. Logging can occur selectively-where only the economically valuable species are cut-or by clear cutting, where all the trees are cut. Commercial logging uses heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, road graders, and log skidders, to remove cut trees and build roads, which is just as damaging to a forest overall as the chainsaws are to the individual trees

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in. The darker the area, the more forest that is remaining.

Deforestation presents multiple societal and environmental problems. The immediate and long-term consequences of global deforestation are almost certain to jeopardize life on Earth, as we know it. Some of these consequences include: loss of biodiversity; the destruction of forest-based-societies; and climatic disruption.

Although all consequences of deforestation are potentially serious, perhaps the most serious consequence is that of climate change due to the loss of trees. Earth has an atmosphere which contains a variety of gases, all in a delicate balance, to ensure life on Earth. One of these gases in Earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide; a gas which helps moderate heat loss to outer space. Insulating gases such as carbon dioxide are called “greenhouse gasses because their function is much like that of the glass in a greenhouse.

As you can see in this graph, it shows that the deforestation in Amazon still remains high. As you can see the graph goes like a mountain it keeps goes up and down we can see at the beginning it started decreasing for a few years but then it started to go up and down and then it went up really high in 1996 to 1998.

This what the Amazon rainforest like in most of the areas.

Although all consequences of deforestation are potentially serious, perhaps the most serious consequence is that of climate change due to the loss of trees. Earth has an atmosphere which contains a variety of gases, all in a delicate balance, to ensure life on Earth. One of these gases in Earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide; a gas which helps moderate heat loss to outer space. Insulating gases such as carbon dioxide are called “greenhouse gasses because their function is much like that of the glass in a greenhouse

Does deforestation affects the people.

There are local and global effects of deforestation in the Amazon. On a local scale, the indigenous tribes that have lived in the rainforest for many years are seeing their traditional way of life and their environment destroyed. Rivers have been polluted due to the mining in the area and soil erosion is a serious problem as the protective canopy of trees is removed. This then means the land cannot be used for growing anything else.

The global effects are significant. Of the 30+ million known species on Earth, 28 million of these are in the rainforest. Deforestation is destroying habitats and species at an ever-increasing rate – one estimate is that an area the size of 15 football pitches is destroyed every minute! Some of the rainforest species have proved to be valuable to mankind. For example, we obtain ingredients for over half our medicines from the rainforest. If we continue to destroy this environment we risk losing these species forever.

Deforestation is also contributing to climatic global change. Fewer trees means less evapotranspiration and therefore less water vapour in the air. This means reduced rainfall, possibly leading to droughts. At the same time, the burning of the forests releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide, one of the main gases causing global warming

Groups that been affected by deforestation

Native people

The native people are the oldest inhabitants of the South American and the Amazon rainforest who lives in the forest for over 500 hundred years ago. There was approximately ten million native who lived in the Amazonian forest. But now days the population getting smaller and smaller, this is because the native people been affected by the deforestation.

The native people who survive and depends on the forests for foods, water, shelters and etc, we can see why the native people getting less and lesser, and the reason why is because the deforestation in South America increasing and it affects the people by cutting or burning down the forests, and this will destroy their homes and the way they living (culture).

The native people can not live with out the forests, because they get medicines from the plants, and make shelters from the trees plus when there is forests tree is animals which useful for foods.

Farmers

Ones the trees have been made into timber they exported to generally MEDC*s. where it is used in industry for various obvious reason. Although tree are a renewable resource this is only achieved when done in a sustainable way with the appropriate are put in place and practiced. In the current day situation this is rarely practiced and therefore the inevitable consequence of deforestation is taking place. Farmer will benefit from deforestation because they will have more land for growing anything that they want.

Homeless people

People all around the country might find themselves every where due to many factors for example people in brazil always looking for better place to live this is the low class people because the government keep pushing them out of a place that is not belong to them, and most of these people turn to the cities to find better place. (push and pull factors).

Earth

The deforestation affects our planet. This is because the carbon cycle. Forests act as a major carbon store because carbon dioxide (CO2) is taken up from the atmosphere and used to produce the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up the tree. When forests are cleared, and the trees are either burnt or rot, this carbon is released as CO2. This leads to an increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. CO2 is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect. It is estimated that deforestation contributes one-third of all CO2 releases caused by people.

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