Rights are guaranteed on paper. Freedoms are declared on paper. All of this was written on the packaging of a ream of paper I just added to my printer as I started this piece, and it is hard to argue with the importance this medium has had with respect to the development of humankind.
At the same time, paper comes from tree fibers, either from the growing forests or recovered paper. To start with, about a half of the forests that once covered the earth are gone. On the upside, temperate forests in the northern hemisphere are actually expanding, while on the downside, tropical forests and some temperate forests in the southern hemisphere are shrinking.
Those ecosystem services are vital. Wherever forests are found, they provide carbon sequestration, protection against floods, landslides and soil erosion, as well as harboring a rich bio-diversity of plants and animals, and raw materials for medicines, to name but a few things; not to mention the million people that call forests their home around the world.
So, as the forests shrink and degrade, where does the focus of the problem fall? But it is not just clear-cutting forests for agriculture that we need to be concerned about. Tropical forests are also subject to selective logging — where specific types of trees are harvested to make products such as plywood, particle board and other solid wood products. When fire does occur in tropical regions, that land is often lost to forestry and is re-purposed as agricultural land.
Often the same company might be doing both; logging first, then using cash to invest in clearing the remainder for agriculture. The impact is felt in the forests, but the effects are felt further afield, too.
The fear is that a chain reaction could be triggered causing weather pattern changes across the whole of South and possibly even North America, if not globally.
But forest loss is not inevitable. As is often the case, correction comes down to providing the right incentives. Sizer told me Brazil has invested heavily in remote sensing technologies, allowing them to clamp down on illegal forest logging within days — bolstering their enforcement efforts. On top of this, the removal of harmful subsidies for inefficient cattle ranching has reduced pressure to convert forest land to pasture, while local government subsidies have been made available so that municipalities are better able to manage forestry properly.
What this illustrates is that forest loss is not an inevitability. If they are managed responsibly with a long term perspective, the resource will continue to thrive. And despite the concerns with respect to delicate tropical ecosystems under threat, it has to be recognized that back here in the U.
According to the University of Michigan, since , 90 percent of virgin forest in the lower 48 states has been cleared away and threats to forestry remain today. Activities in the past may have decimated old growth forest, and today, proper management and responsible forestry practices are as important here as anywhere else.
So what are the threats in the USA? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO , globally around 40 percent of the annual industrial wood harvest is processed for paper and paperboard.
This is a concern to plant breeders because several of these species are commercially valuable crops Grainger Crops that grow on the outskirts of the forests have been bred from wild plants to give the best yields under particular environmental conditions. Extracts from the wild plants have been taken in order to make use of specific genetic characteristics from the entire population.
Also, some high yielding rice varieties last only two years before being attacked by a new insect pest and needing replacement Grainger Deforestation is increasing the rate of species extinction so that the plants we are using will disappear along with many animals also. It occurs naturally at a rate of about one species every two years Species are put at much risk early on when their numbers drop so low that they could be eliminated by drought, disease or other random events.
There are many endangered species found in the tropical rainforests that risk extinction if the present conditions continue. Some examples are the koupray or wild cow of Southeast Asia, of which only individuals remain, the broad-nosed lemur from Madagascar, which is down to just two colonies, and the southern bearded saki, a monkey living in the forests of the northeast Amazonia Many medical advances have come from the abundant botanical resources of the tropical rainforests.
Extracts from organisms are used directly as drugs for many maladies ranging from headaches to lethal diseases such as malaria. In addition, chemical structures from organisms serve as templates for which scientists can chemically synthesize drug compounds. The blueprint for aspirin is found in extracts from willow trees in the rainforest for example. Finally, the plants of the rainforest provide aids for research.
Deforestation also contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect and global warming. To begin, the sun emits short wave radiation through the atmosphere to the Earth. Certain trace gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide retain heat by trapping some of the infrared radiation.
Clearing and burning rainforests releases considerable amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Deforestation is also responsible for destroying our means of absorbing and storing the substance. This leads to global warming because the Earth has lost one of its only ways to absorb excess atmospheric carbon.
Through photosynthesis the rainforests absorb the carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Rapid warming of the atmosphere can have tremendous consequences.
First, many species will not be able to survive the climate change or may not be able to continue life in another habitat. Secondly, the sea level will rise approximately 1. Tropical deforestation has many significant environmental impacts.
It threatens the biodiversity of our planet, deters medicinal discoveries plant species may offer and contributes to potential global warming resulting from the greenhouse effect.
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Global deforestation and forest degradation are problems of a global scale, but how much does paper consumption impact them?
51 Breathtaking Facts About Deforestation. Deforestation or felling trees has become a favorite activity of man to extract assorted needs- be it medicines or precious paper to waste.
Deforestation is defined as the conversion of land from forest to other uses such are agriculture, livestock or residential development. According to the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a variety of factors leads to deforestation: Agricultural expansion is a leading cause worldwide. Deforestation term papers examine environmental research and illustrate the effects of clearing forests. Deforestation research papers on the environmental issue that has been in the forefront of development talks and sustainability issues can be custom written from Paper Masters.
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