When I think of deforestation, I think of the vast “slash and burn” operations that were carried out in the 1970’s, and I think about how it affected the wildlife more than our atmosphere.
The earth has immense forests, which play an important part in the sustainability of habitation. Trees and plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in the spring and summer; in the fall, they drop their leaves which give off carbon dioxide. This cycle seems to keep the CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels in the atmosphere balanced throughout the year. If only human’s could have this impact!
Without leaf cover, the albedo (surface reflectivity) changes; what used to be lush and green (rainforests) becomes dry and reflects the rays of the sun back up into the biosphere, trapping heat. Without the forests creating oxygen, the balance in our atmosphere becomes tenuous. The balance of the gases in the earth’s sub stratosphere is delicate, and their stability is of great importance to anyone who needs air to breathe.
Human activity, like cutting down forests and overgrazing land, can change the climate, not only where it is happening, but around the world. Rising temperatures in the atmosphere have long-term effects on the ocean and the polar icecaps which have the potential for wreaking havoc with the climate worldwide.
It is of utmost importance that the forests worldwide are protected; by protecting this vast resource, we protect our planet and our future. Plant trees!