Amazon deforestation is close to tipping point

Deforestation of the Amazon is about to reach a threshold beyond which the region's tropical rainforest may undergo irreversible changes that transform the landscape into degraded savanna with sparse, shrubby plant cover ...

Amazon rainforest fires: Everything you need to know

Since January, a staggering 121,000 fires have broken out across Brazil—and more than half of those fires are taking place in the Amazon, according to the country's National Institute for Space Research.

Amazon deforestation for January hits record

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil more than doubled in January compared with the previous year, according to official data published Friday.

As our planet gets greener, plants are slowing global warming

Chi Chen, a Boston University graduate researcher, and Ranga Myneni, a BU College of Arts & Sciences professor of earth and environment, released a new paper that reveals how humans are helping to increase the Earth's plant ...

60% of deforested Amazon used for cattle: study

More than 60 percent of deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon forest are used for grazing cattle, while only five percent is used for agriculture, a new government study said.

Farmers mainly to blame for deforestation in the Amazon

(PhysOrg.com) -- Small-scale farmers who lease land from the Brazilian government are very much responsible for deforestation in the Brazilian state of Rondonia in the Amazon area. In most areas with agrarian projects, more ...

Deforestation reduces rainfall in Africa

Deforestation in the rainforests of West Africa reduces rainfall over the rest of the forest, according to new University of Leeds research published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Deforestation

Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use.

The term deforestation is often misused to describe any activity where all trees in an area are removed. However in temperate climates, the removal of all trees in an area—in conformance with sustainable forestry practices—is correctly described as regeneration harvest. In temperate mesic climates, natural regeneration of forest stands often will not occur in the absence of disturbance, whether natural or anthropogenic. Furthermore, biodiversity after regeneration harvest often mimics that found after natural disturbance, including biodiversity loss after naturally occurring rainforest destruction.

Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees or derived charcoal are used as, or sold, for fuel or as timber, while cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities, and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation has also been used in war to deprive an enemy of cover for its forces and also vital resources. A modern example of this, for example, was the use of Agent orange in Vietnam. Deforested regions typically incur significant adverse soil erosion and frequently degrade into wasteland.

Disregard or ignorance of intrinsic value, lack of ascribed value, lax forest management and deficient environmental laws are some of the factors that allow deforestation to occur on a large scale. In many countries, deforestation, both naturally occurring and human induced, is an ongoing issue. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record.

Among countries with a per capita GDP of at least US$4,600, net deforestation rates have ceased to increase.

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