Deforestation and the problems it causes

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  • Deforestation and the problems it causes
    • Deforestation is the cutting down of trees.
      • Why is it done?
        • To provide timber to be used as building materials.
        • Clear land for farming
          • To provide more food (e.g. rice fields or farming more cattle)
          • To grow crops from which biofuels based on ethanol can be produced
        • To produce paper from wood
    • Creates more methane in the atmosphere
      • Rice is grown in warm, waterlogged conditions - ideal for decomposers
        • The decomposers (organisms) produce methane, so more is released into the atmosphere. As deforestation may take place to clear land for rice fields.
      • Cattle produce methane and rearing cattle means that more methane is released.
    • More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
      • Carbon dioxide is released when trees when burnt to clear land.
        • Carbon in wood doesn't contribute to atmospheric pollution until it's released by burning.
      • Micro-organisms feeding on bits on dead wood release carbon dioxide as a waste product of respiration.
    • Less carbon dioxide taken in
      • Cutting down loads of trees means that the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere during photosynthesis reduced.
      • More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes global warming which leads to climate change.
    • Less biodiversity
      • Biodiversity = the variety of different species in a habitat - the more species, the greater the biodiversity
      • Habitats like tropical rainforests can contain a huge number of different species so when they are destroyed there is a risk of many species becoming extinct - biodiversity is reduced.

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