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What are the Consequences of Deforestation?

Last Updated : 02 Jul, 2022
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Deforestation can, directly or indirectly, affect living things. Forest cover roughly 31% of the all-out land surface of the Earth. One of the main sources of deforestation is farming and cattle grazing. The main adverse results of deforestation are worldwide temperature alteration and environmental change. Forests are home to more than half of all known species in the world. They represent more than 80% of the land-based biodiversity. Worldwide, timberlands are home to around 30,00,00,000 individuals. For each moment, the Amazon rainforest has misfortunes 1.32 sections of land because of deforestation, where it contributes 20% universe’s oxygen. Studies recommend that more than 40% of all plant and creature species in the Southeast Asian area will go through eradication throughout the 21st century. Around 30% of the world’s freshwater supply can be obtained from tropical rainforests. The water content in the soil and the groundwater levels likewise decrease in the cleared land. Deforestation has been connected to desertification and dryness. 


Deforestation is defined as cutting off the trees in a massive area without replanting by the people for the welfare of human activities. Human activities include agriculture, urban expansion, infrastructure, construction of roads and buildings, destruction of forests for mining, logging of wood as raw material and fuel, etc. Deforestation easily affects the environment in a large way. It brings large catastrophes, including global warming and the extinction of species.



Causes of Deforestation

Over the course of the past 100 years, the woodland cover all over the planet has been altogether compromised, leaving the green cover down to an unequaled low of around 30%. As indicated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an expected 18 million sections of land (7.3 million hectares) of woodland are lost every year.

In agriculture, Due to the congesting interest for food items, a colossal number of trees are felled to develop crops, and 33% of farming-caused deforestation is a direct result of resource horticulture. As indicated by the FAO, horticulture prompts around 80% of deforestation. In logging, trees are chopped for satisfying the need for provisions. Firewood and charcoal are instances of wood being utilized as fuel. A portion of these enterprises blossoms with unlawful wood cutting and felling of trees.

Mining, the waste that emerges from mining affects the climate and influences the close by species. Woodland fires, many trees are lost every year because of backwoods fires in different parts of the world. Urbanization, Overpopulation also straightforwardly influences timberland covers, likewise with the development of urban areas, more land is expected to lay out lodging and settlements. Numerous businesses in petrochemicals discharge their loss into streams, which brings about soil disintegration and makes it unsuitable to develop plants and trees.

Consequences of Deforestation

Global warming and climate changes

Deforestation is a direct contributor to the greenhouse effect and results in global warming. During deforestation, a huge number of trees will be lost. Hence, the lower number of trees will absorb less carbon dioxide, due to which the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase. The greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide gas absorb the sun’s heat rays reflected by the earth. Trapping of heat rays by carbon dioxide increases the temperature of the earth’s surface, which is re-emitted into the atmosphere. The gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere due to the greenhouse effect caused by the increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, global warming.

Soil erosion and Desertification

During deforestation, there are no underlying foundations of trees left that can hold the soil molecule together and keep them from being moved in areas of strength or by streaming water. Since there is no tree cover on the dirt to mellow the impact of the weighty downpour, the uncovered topsoil turns out to be free rapidly by the power of falling rainwater and disintegrates quickly.

The topsoil of the earth is generally fertile. The evacuation of the top layer of soil during soil disintegration uncovered the lower, hard, and rough layer of soil. This lower layer of soil has less humus and is less rich. Plants don’t fill well in this less rich soil. The ripe land gets changed over into a desert. The interaction by which fruitful land becomes desert is called desertification.

Water cycle

Trees play a vital role in the water cycle; they absorb groundwater through their roots and release it into the atmosphere from their leaves and flowers. Their roots burrow into the soil and create macropores in it. These macropores allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil, thereby increasing the water-holding capacity of the soil. With deforestation less water vapor is put into the atmosphere, there is less rainfall in that area and then less water percolates into the ground. Due to this, the groundwater level also gets lowered. The shortage of surface water and groundwater due to persistent low rainfall in an area can lead to droughts.

Loss of biodiversity

Deforestation represents a grave danger to this biodiversity. Deforestation leads to the extinction of various species. Without forests trees and plants and creatures, wild animals and birds don’t get sufficient food and starve to death. Roughly 50,000 species comprising plants, creatures, and bugs are lost consistently as an outcome of deforestation. The ramifications of huge scope biodiversity misfortune are challenging to foresee, yet it is profoundly likely that it would unfavorably affect the food web.

Effect on Economy

Deforestation facilitates the generation of raw materials for a wide range of industries. Overexploitation of wood and timber can have a negative impact on the economy by reduced long-term productivity. The global GDP may see a 7% decline by the year 2050 due to deforestation and other factors. Several people lose their jobs that are based on this.

Effect on Human health

Deforestation can give a channel to the proliferation of numerous infectious diseases. The geographic shift of the bat populace as an outcome of deforestation worked with the transmission of the Nipah virus in Malaysia. Expanded soil disintegration because of deforestation, can bring about the development of pools of stale water. These pools act as favorable places for mosquitoes, which prompts the spread of intestinal sickness and yellow fever infections.

Shortage of food and raw material

As deforestation goes on over the periods, there will be a tremendous effect on shortage of food and raw material. A decrease in the forest trees will lead to a shortage of wood for all the purposes. Forest gives us useful products such as honey, gum, wax, etc. There are many purposes for plants and trees with medicinal properties. Many medicines are prepared from them. Wood from trees is utilized as a raw material for making useful products such as making furniture, paper, and even fuel from them. All the industries and people who depend on them lose their work and come at stake.

Natural catastrophes

Deforestation causes water floods during heavy rainfalls. The roots of trees help in absorbing a portion of the downpour water and make it permeate into the ground. This decreases how much downpour water surges rapidly into streams and flooding doesn’t happen. At the point when the wood trees are chopped down, the permeation of downpour water into the soil is decreased. A ton of downpour water from deforested soil races into the streams rapidly, causing floods. Deforestation diminishes the water-holding limit of soil, which prompts floods.

Forest fires result from deforestation due to a decrease in rainfalls and humidity in the area. All the dead plant material such as leaves, twigs, branches, and other leftover material on the ground surface are dried out and easily catch the fire at elevated temperatures.

How to Control Deforestation

  • Strategies to be implemented by governments to combat deforestation.
  • Launching new reforestation campaigns to restore deforested lands.
  • Spreading awareness about its negative consequences and participating in tree-planting campaigns.
  • Prevention of deforestation by implementing the principles in the daily lives of every individual.
  • Keeping the range of forests under government protection.
  • Strict rules and policies with consequences should be implanted.
  • Carefully planning the construction in order to minimize the loss of forest area.
  • Replanting of new plant with replacing of every cutting tree for to repurpose and avoiding environment disturbances.

Conceptual Questions

Question 1: What is the role of a person to minimize or prevent deforestation?


As each individual everyone should play a role in preventing deforestation and showing environmental concerns. Each person should take their own responsibility for preserving resources and spreading awareness among others about its negative consequences. Participating in tree planting campaigns by contributing to the green planet. A person can contribute to the prevention of deforestation by implementing the 3R principle in their daily lives.

  • Reduce – Reducing the usage of paper by replacing it with other product materials.
  • Reuse – Using reusable products and avoiding use-and-throw products to prevent wastage.
  • Recycle – Manufacturing and using easily recyclable products in daily life.

Question 2: What are the effects that come with deforestation?


Deforestation will surely show an effect on humans. Some of them are:

  1. Global warming
  2. Decrease in groundwater level.
  3. Climate changes
  4. Shortage of food and raw material.
  5. Effect on human health.
  6. Effect on the economy.
  7. Loss of biodiversity and 
  8. Resulting in natural calamities.

Question 3: Why are forests important to humans?


Forests play an important role in human existence and they are a source of oxygen, food, clean water, and medicine. They provide mechanical support to the ground surface to combat soil erosion. Forests are an important source of many raw materials and commercial products like paper, wood, fabric, etc. They account for nearly 1% of the world’s GDP. Forests fight against climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and acting as a carbon storehouse. They act as a floodwater sink to stop disasters like floods. Forests are home to more than half of all known species in the world. They represent more than 80% of the land-based biodiversity.

Question 4: What is the greenhouse effect?


When sunlight hits the earth, it reflects back into space while the rest becomes heat. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases prevent them from escaping into space, warming the planet’s surface. Then it radiates heat into the atmosphere by making the earth warmer. The more increase in greenhouse gases the more increase in earth’s temperature. 

Question 5: What are the human activities that cause deforestation?


People are destroying the massive areas of forests for the welfare of their activities. Comparing the deforestation rate by humans, natural factors have a very small stake in the total deforestation. Activities that are causing deforestation are;

  1. Agriculture 
  2. Urban expansion
  3. Illegal logging
  4. Mining
  5. Construction of dams and tunnels
  6. Construction of infrastructure
  7. Wood fuel and charcoal purposes
  8. Military conflicts

Question 6: How does deforestation accounts for global warming?


Global warming is one of the major concerns in the world today. There are many industries and automobile machinery to which the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increasing. Where some of the carbon dioxide is absorbed by the trees, taking inside and releasing oxygen outside. But due to deforestation as many of trees are cut down the rate of Co2 increasing. Carbon dioxide gas traps the sun’s heat rays reflected by the earth. The gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere is due to the greenhouse effect caused by the increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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