Destruction of the Rainforest
The Tole on the Rainforest So Far:
The rainforest is disappearing at about 80 acres per minute. Consider that the area right around the outside of the house or apartment that you live in is usually about one acre. Mulitply that by eighty times and that is the amount of rainforest that is lost in one minute. With each acre lost, there are plants and animals that are lost that we never have discovered. What they have to offer people, whether it be their beauty, a product, or a cure, we will never know. It is important to be aware of what is happening to the rainforest to make others aware. To learn about ways you can help, look on the page "saving the rainforest."
The Major Factors in Rainforest Destruction:
There are many things that contribute to the destruction of the rainforest. Mainly, the population of the world is always increasing and is expected to be at about ten billion people by 2050. The rainforest has many valuable products, as we have learned. As the number of products needed by people increases, so does the temptation to use the rainforest for those products and forget about he other things that are being lost. Some of the valuable products are: logs, cattle (the land can be cleared easily and is good to put cattle on) and minerals (there are many valuable resources in the rainforest). There are other reasons that the rainforest has been destroyed including its rich soil (which make it easy to be used for farm land), the rain (which allows for a nice place for build a dam to save water for areas with less), and colonization (people need places to more toward when their land gets filled). Look at the picture above of land destroyed by logging and clearing.
The Effects of the Destruction:
There are many effects to the destruction. Some effects deal with destruction to the rainforest land. Other effects deal with a negative effect to all people. First, we will start with the destruction to the land. When rainforests are destroyed, the topsoil (which is very thin) is washed away as soon as the canopy layer of trees is no longer there to protect it from the sun and rain. When the topsoil washes away, the soil cannot be used to grow crops, graze cattle or even to grow trees back. The land that was once filled with trees and plants will become like a desert. It will take years if the land ever recovers. In addition, thousands of plants and animals will become extinct as the land is destroyed. Also, native tribes who have lived in the rainforest for years will be forced to move or will die. All these effects, although very bad, do not directly affect those of us who live far away. However, there are a few effects that do. First, all the benefits that the plants and animals may have had, including cures for diseases, are lost if they become extinct. Finally, the greenhouse effect can occur. That causes a rise in temperature that can kill many plants and animals and even cause major flooding and destruction to the earth.