Trees are the longest living organisms on the planet and one of the Earth’s greatest natural resources.
Unfortunately, trees are disappearing fast. They are cut down in large numbers. This process is called DEFORESTATION. The world’s rainforest could completely vanish in less than a hundred years.
Forests are cut down for many reasons:
- Agriculture: Farmers cut forest to provide more room for planting crops or grazing cattle.
- Wood and paper products: big industries cut lots of trees every year.
- Wildfire: Some wildfires are caused because of human negligence (cigarette). Other wildfires are just the result of nature’s power (lightning)
Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment:
- Many animals lose their habitats
- Oxygen in the air decreases dramatically
- Some plants disappear because they need trees to help them keep the soil moist by not letting too much sunlight pass through them.
- The weather changes. Trees return water vapour back into the atmosphere so temperature decreases.
- Trees absorb many poisonous gases in the atmosphere.