Explain how deforestation affects people worldwide.
Deforestation has a significant negative effect on the environment. This effect is most strongly felt locally, but there are also more extensive consequences that impact other regions as well. About 13 million hectares of forest disappear every year. This has a huge global effect and can impact people around the world.
When forests are destroyed, the animals that live there lose their habitat. Most land animals live in forests. Without their natural habitat, the populations of many species plummet. Others migrate elsewhere to find another place to live. This sometimes leads to animals coming into more contact with people as they move into cities and towns.
Deforestation also contributes to climate change. Trees absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide. With fewer trees, more of this greenhouse gas ends up in the atmosphere, which leads to more global warming. Climate change leads to a whole host of problems, such as coastal flooding and unpredictable weather events.
Trees and other plants also help the soil retain moisture. When vegetation is removed, soils can quickly dry up and become barren. This can turn what was once a vibrant ecosystem into a desert. Dust can be blown from these new deserts and can cause issues far away from the source. This can cause respiratory issues for affected people.
Trees and plants also play a role in the water cycle. Water evaporates from leaves. When plants are removed from the equation, there is less water to be evaporated into the atmosphere, leading to increased droughts. This can greatly impact harvests and lead to potential food shortages and famines.
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