Why Is Deforestation a Bad Thing?

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Though deforestation is beneficial as a means to an end in terms of providing natural resources and cleared land for human habitation and development, its negative impacts can be dramatic in the natural world. These include depriving animals of their natural habitats, along with disrupting the natural process of oxygen production and the water cycle. Other negative impacts of deforestation include soil erosion and even climate change.

Deforestation is the process or practice of clearing large portions of wooded forestland, either through natural processes like forest fires or human practices like logging. When deforestation is discussed as a problem, the discussion typically focuses on the impact of human-driven deforestation for commercial purposes.

One of the biggest long-term impacts of deforestation is the change in climate both on a local level in the newly deforested area and on a more global scale. Locally, deforested lands experience changes in rainfall and ground-level sun exposure thanks to the lack of tree-lined canopy that typically does things like helping to evaporate groundwater to generate rain and blocking harsh sunshine from reaching forest floors normally protected by thick layers of trees. On a global scale, forests are one of the best natural lines of defense in absorbing harmful atmospheric gases like carbon dioxide, which the trees then convert into oxygen.