15 billion trees are being cut down every year. Quite a large number, isn’t it? It is estimated that besides the current afforestation, there would be no trees in the next 200 years if we continued at the same pace. No trees mean no delicious fruits, less rainfall, no shade for hot summer days and the most important, no fresh air supply.
Almost 50% of the Oxygen that we breathe is produced by the trees and also reduces the atmospheric pollution (Carbon Dioxide) levels. Trees are the storehouse of everything that we need but fall short when it comes to human greed. The forest fires burn down millions of acres of forests each year. Nowadays, forest fires are manually being set up to increase agricultural land to boost up the economy.
Recent examples of man-made forest fires are Amazon rainforest, Northern California forest, Australian bush fires, etc. An average tree provides Oxygen to 10 people to breathe every year. A constant degradation of air quality increases the risk of various health problems. Trillions of trees on the earth are responsible for sustaining such a big population including humans and animals. With continued lowering in the number of trees, we will be losing our source of fresh air. Therefore, relying on the other major source of oxygen on earth i.e. the oceans. But how long do you think this source will last? About 35% of the global extent of critical marine habitats such as seagrasses, mangroves and coral reefs are estimated to have been destroyed.
With fewer trees, our other source wouldn’t stand long enough to sustain a continuously growing population. According to the Nature Conservancy, over 50% of the total animals live in Rainforests. The speed of current deforestation has already killed millions of animals every year and many of them have even gone extinct.
Not only humans and animals face the challenges of deforestation but insects too. Insects mostly depend upon tree leaves, vegetation, tree juices, etc. for the living. With lesser trees, there will be a decrease in the number of insects. 2.5% of the insects will go dead each year and eventually most of them will become extinct. Trees not only provide Oxygen in exchange for Carbon dioxide, but they also absorb harmful chemicals from the soil. Therefore rendering the soil healthy and free of a variety of harmful chemicals. Lesser trees would mean more accumulated chemicals into the soil.
There were 65 million deaths reported in 2015 that were linked to Air Pollution. The quality has been degraded constantly ever since. One acre of trees roughly absorbs 2.5 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide every year but the release of Carbon footprints has increased unimaginably fast with continuous and unplanned deforestation. With fewer trees and more carbon release in the environment, climate change has dramatically paced up. The significance of trees isn’t restricted to these only.
The trees are also responsible for bringing up the rainfall in the region. During the photosynthesis, the trees release water vapour into the environment and therefore, bring about rainfall. With trees constantly being cut, there won’t be any regulated rainfall and temperature extremities would occur. The trees maintain the water cycle and without them, the lands would become sand islands.
If the Amazon rainforest were to lose all of its trees, rainfall there would decrease by 20% as estimated by the researchers from the Humboldt University of Berlin and would bring chronic drought across different parts of the globe. Does it sound horrifying? If it doesn’t, it won’t be too long for you to witness it with bare eyes. No plants mean no forests, insects, food, medicines, animals and eventually no humans!