Deforestation And Global Warming Essay Papers
Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that cutting and burning trees adds more global warming pollution to the atmosphere than all the cars and trucks in the world combined?— Mitchell Vale, Houston
By most accounts, deforestation in tropical rainforests adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the sum total of cars and trucks on the world’s roads. According to the World Carfree Network (WCN), cars and trucks account for about 14 percent of global carbon emissions, while most analysts attribute upwards of 15 percent to deforestation.
The reason that logging is so bad for the climate is that when trees are felled they release the carbon they are storing into the atmosphere, where it mingles with greenhouse gases from other sources and contributes to global warming accordingly. The upshot is that we should be doing as much to prevent deforestation as we are to increase fuel efficiency and reduce automobile usage.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading green group, 32 million acres of tropical rainforest were cut down each year between 2000 and 2009—and the pace of deforestation is only increasing. “Unless we change the present system that rewards forest destruction, forest clearing will put another 200 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere in coming decades…,” says EDF.
“Any realistic plan to reduce global warming pollution sufficiently—and in time—to avoid dangerous consequences must rely in part on preserving tropical forests,” reports EDF. But it’s hard to convince the poor residents of the Amazon basin and other tropical regions of the world to stop cutting down trees when the forests are still worth more dead than alive. “Conservation costs money, while profits from timber, charcoal, pasture and cropland drive people to cut down forests,” adds EDF. Exacerbating global warming isn’t the only negative impact of tropical deforestation. It also wipes out biodiversity: More than half of the world’s plant and animal species live in tropical rainforests.
One way some tropical countries are reducing deforestation is through participation in the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program. REDD essentially works to establish incentives for the people who care for the forest to manage it sustainably while still being able to benefit economically. Examples include using less land (and therefore cutting fewer trees) for activities such as coffee growing and meat and milk production. Participating nations can then accrue and sell carbon pollution credits when they can prove they have lowered deforestation below a baseline. The REDD program has channeled over $117 million in direct financial aid and educational support into national deforestation reduction efforts in 44 developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America since its 2008 inception.
Brazil is among the countries embracing REDD among other efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Thanks to the program, Brazil has slowed deforestation within its borders by 40 percent since 2008 and is on track to achieve an 80 percent reduction by 2020. Environmentalists are optimistic that the initial success of REDD in Brazil bodes well for reducing deforestation in other parts of the tropics as well.
CONTACTS: WCN, www.worldcarfree.net; EDF, www.edf.org; REDD, www.un-redd.org.
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Essay on Global Warming is Causing Climate Change
535 Words3 Pages
Global warming is the increase in the earth’s atmospheric temperature. Naturally occurring gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapor trap heat from the sun, preventing it from leaving the atmosphere. These naturally occurring gases along with human made hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), per fluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are collectively known as greenhouse gases. This essay will explain why global warming is fast becoming a cause for concern and why preventative measures are being taken.
Global warming is caused by many things but the most common way is electrical pollution. While greenhouse gases occur naturally and keep the planet warm enough to sustain life, the excess gases produced by…show more content…
Climate change effects oceans, rainforests and other ecosystems.
Many species of plants and animals have felt the negative effects of global warming and climate change. Mass deforestation has destroyed many habitats and caused extinction or endangered many flora and fauna. For example, the kiwi is now a protected species because humans have destroyed their habitat through deforestation. Not only does deforestation destroy habitats, it also depletes the amount of trees that would absorb carbon dioxide. The oceans are the most threatened of ecosystems. The only pristine areas of ocean can be found under polar ice caps while the worst ecosystems are near coasts hit heavily by land pollution, over fishing, oil and gas exploration and climate change. The melting of the polar ice caps endanger arctic species such as the polar bear, narwhals, certain species of seals, seabirds such as auks and ivory gulls, the walrus and species of algae that grow in the ocean. Algae are a main food source for many ocean species and its depletion will have a negative effect on the food web. Global warming has become a real concern over the past few years, causing nations to start taking precautions.
Climate change is a global issue therefore the world’s nations have combined in their efforts to protect the planet from further depreciation. The most effective summit was held in Kyoto, Japan where the United Nations passed a treaty that involves a commitment by all