What Is Deforestation?


Quick Answer

Deforestation is clearing away woodlands to use the cleared land for other uses. Deforestation happens to all types of woodland, including jungle and rain forest. The land is often used for farming or urban development.

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What Is Deforestation?
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Full Answer

Deforestation has been occurring for centuries and happens all over the world. The practice puts forests, especially tropical rain forests, in danger and strips away the habitat of the animals that live in the forests. This is a huge environmental problem, as these forests usually are not given the chance to grow and replenish. Logging companies are among the biggest perpetrators of deforestation, and many do so illegally.

There are, however, some attempts to replenish the trees cut for human use. Replanting and sustainable logging are growing industries, and regulations are constantly added to protect the diminishing woodlands of the planet. Deforestation is not only a problem because of the lost species, but it also affects the climate and water cycle. The decreasing number of trees are unable to keep up with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Without trees to protect the soil, it dries out much faster. In addition, the loss of protective tree roots contributes to soil erosion.

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