Rainforest Depletion: Adverse Effects on the Environment Essay

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Rainforest Depletion: Adverse Effects on the Environment

Introduction The depletion of tropical rainforests by third world countries, as well as by American industry, has been a growing area of concern for many environmental organizations. Animal rights activists are livid at the frightening rate in which species are becoming extinct in these regions. Conservationists argue that the foliage is disappearing at rates that replanting programs will never be able to compete with. Environmentalists and Meteorologists fear that the elimination of enormous quantities of acreage will result in a long list of problems, including global warming, abnormal precipitation patterns, and unpredictable weather systems, just to …show more content…

Depletion: Rates and Reasons Rainforest are being depleted at alarming rates for a number of reasons. A number of raw materials can be obtained from these regions, including oil, rubber, spices, and hardwoods, just to name a few. Industry from all over the world is obtaining these resources without regard for the adverse effects to the environment that will result. Vast areas are being burned and used as farm land. The remaining ash serves as a good fertilizer for the crops for two or three years, and then another patch must be cleared. As populations increase in some regions, rainforest is burned or cleared for development. Trees are cleared by cattle farmers for pasture. The grass is eliminated , the soil is washed away, and only a hard crust remains, leaving an area that probably won’t flourish again for many years. Due to all of the aforementioned reasons, the quantity of acreage that is being eliminated each year is staggering. Each year, about 20 million hectares are lost. In comparison, Austria covers about 10 million hectares. This translates to roughly 149 acres burned or scavenged every minute.

The table below lists some of the region in which depletion rates are the worst, including the square mileage of rainforest in tact now, and the percentage of it that is lost each year.

Parent Country Square Kilometers % Lost Annually Nigeria

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