Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Deforestation, climate change, and a world on fire

I was contacted by a blog follower today.

His name is Aldo Baker and having read a few of my posts about climate change, he nicely passed along this infographic on the disappearing woodlands of our world.  Here are few of the more sobering points about deforestation:

-Between 46,000 to 58,000 square miles of forest are destroyed every year.
-That is equal to 36 football fields worth of trees destroyed every five minutes.

Still unimpressed?  Well then look at the parts that my eyes zeroed in on:

-The world's forests store 1 trillion tons of carbon.
-That number is twice the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

So fewer trees means...you guessed it...nothing around to absorb CO2 so...

-Deforestation accounts for 15% of all greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

More CO2 in the atmosphere means climate change.  Seems like a simple equation, right?  Why there is any further garboil over the matter is beyond me.  Oh wait...politics.  Yeah.  That's right.

After looking at these issues for a while, one can amalgamate them into an interconnected picture.  For example, deforestation by burning is thought to account for over one fifth of humanity's carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution. These fires have helped bring about climate change.  As temperatures rise, regions can become dry and more susceptible to wildfire.  That leads us right back to fires that a) cause even more deforestation, b) destroy property and endanger lives, and c) cause ice to melt in the polar caps.

A little more on that latter point is necessary I'm thinking.

Back in 2012, a wildfire 136 square miles in size burned through Colorado.  Dry trees were a contributing factor in this blaze but it was the observations of a glaciologist that granted the fires an additional danger.  Soot from these fires actually contributed to ice melt in Greenland.

Soot collected in the atmosphere reduces the ability of ice and snow to reflect solar radiation.  So the heat gets absorbed, the temperature rises, and ice melts.  This means rising sea levels and well...you must have the idea by now.

Want to help stop the effects of deforestation?  Want to take ownership of your world's environment?  Then I urge you to revisit Aldo Baker's infographic to learn about buying reusable, reclaimed, and upcycled products.

On a programming note, I am now giving posts such as these the label tag "Man of Mirth." I figure it's a snarky response to those who might see me as something of downer.

Heaven forbid we discuss serious matters that concern the whole damn planet.

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1 comment:

  1. On FB, Dr. Rich said: " Dude, if the US went back to riding horses and burning candles, the rest of the world could burn as much coal and rain forests as they want. Talking about deforestation leads to some uncomfortable discussions about developing nations, and that's just not acceptable in polite society. "