Why Is Deforestation a Global Problem?

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Deforestation is a global problem because the less trees there are, the most carbon dioxide that builds up in the atmosphere, which causes global warming. Find out how greenhouse gases from deforestation can spread throughout the entire plant with information from a math and science teacher in this free video on science and the environment.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones, and I'm going to explain why deforestation is a global problem. Well, a global problem is a problem that affects us all. We all live on one planet, and global problems are problems that are caused in one area maybe, but affect the whole of the globe, not just the area in which they occurred. Now, the main problem about deforestation, is about carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas. Radiation from the sun absorbed in the carbon dioxide layer, is turned into heat. Overall, the planet gets hotter than it should really be. What we have to do, is get protection from that carbon dioxide, by absorbing it, and the two ways we absorb carbon dioxide, the two main ways, one, is by it being absorbed in the sea, because the sea actually contains most of the carbon dioxide, because carbon dioxide dissolves in water. The other place of course, is locked into organic living material, like trees, like plants, like grass, etcetera. Now, we get this problem of methane when things decay, this problem is much smaller, but becomes important, when the amount of carbon dioxide increases, because the number of trees decreases, so this is getting more significant now, more significant than it's ever been, but in deforestation, if you take away these trees, the carbon dioxide which was used, locked up in these trees, is released from decaying material, but it is also, that these trees are no longer growing, they're no longer absorbing carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide has not been locked into green material, like wood, like leaves, like grass, so what basically it means, is that we're allowing this carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, to increase, because there are no trees to take it away, and just because you chop the trees down in Brazil, it doesn't mean it's any better anywhere else, because of course, the atmosphere is one atmosphere. The gases spread over the whole of the atmosphere, more or less, and therefore, you end up with real major global problems, so simply, that is why deforestation is a global problem.

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