Over time, the Earth’s environment has become more and more damaged and deteriorated. Because of this, it is increasingly difficult for both the animal kingdom and the human population to inhabit certain regions of the globe as desired. There are many different issues that can factor into environmental harm. Some examples of these issues are deforestation, desertification, climate change, and pollution. A more general term used to identify these types of issues is Environmental Problems.
Deforestation is a massive clearing of the Earth’s forests. Each year, strips of forest equivalent to the size of Panama are cut down and cleared. If these mass clearings continue at the rate they have been, all of the rain forests across the globe could cease to exist within one century. One major cause of deforestation is agriculture. When farmers need more room to plant crops, or more space to graze their livestock, they cut acres of forests down to accommodate themselves.
Sometimes, small farmers clear away trees in the forest to feed their families. They do this through a process often referred to as “slash and burn” agriculture. One country affected by deforestation is Brazil. Farmers often use the slash and burn agriculture method to clear away trees in the Amazon rain forest. After space is made, farmers are only able to settle for one to two years. This is because the rain forest’s soil does not have enough nutrients to keep the crops growing.
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When crops are no longer able to grow in the area, farmers move on, leaving what used to be acres upon acres of trees to be nothing but a dry and empty piece of land. Desertification is the decaying of the Earth’s dryland ecosystems. It is also the advancement of sand dunes on land. Each year, close to 30 million acres are lost to desertification and drought, that’s about 56 acres per minute. One major cause of desertification is human interaction/humans overusing the land.
Examples of how humans overuse land to the point of degradation are farming, mining, over grazing livestock, and clear-cutting. One area that is majorly affected by desertification is sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 70% of the drylands in Africa used for agricultural purposes are being swept away by desertification. This is severely tragic for the people of sub-Saharan Africa because everything they depend on comes from their immediate surroundings. Therefore, if their farmlands are no longer useful, their food source is no longer existent.
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