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GCSE Geography | Global Impacts of Deforestation (Tropical Rainforests 5)

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas

Last updated 19 Jul 2023

Deforestation of tropical rainforests has impacts on a global level.

Climate change

The first global impact of deforestation is climate change. The rainforest is significant at a global level and is often referred to as the lungs of the planet as the rainforest absorbs huge amounts of carbon dioxide and produces oxygen. The canopy of the rainforest is able to absorb carbon until it is chopped down – once that happens the stored CO2 is released back into the atmosphere – making deforestation a main contributor to the greenhouse effect and therefore climate change. This is made worse by the fact that fire is often used to clear areas of rainforest, emitting even more CO2.

Biodiversity loss

Another global impact is biodiversity loss. Deforestation means a loss of habitat for many animals in the tropical rainforest biome. This threatens individual species, with them becoming endangered, with the threat of extinction. Current estimates suggest that 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day because of deforestation – which is around 50,000 a year! This loss of species also means that that many cures for life threatening diseases are also lost. By 2030 parts of the Amazon rainforest could have lost 30-45% of their main species.

Global Impacts of Deforestation | AQA GCSE Geography | Tropical Rainforests 5

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