Deforestation means large scale cutting of forests. The forest lands are converted in to farms, ranches and urban areas through deforestation. Another cause behind deforestation is the cutting of trees for timber and fuel. Deforestation has also been used in war situations to deprive an enemy of cover for its forces and other vital resources. It essentially leads to extinction of vital things and destroys the ecological balance of nature. Thus causing:-
Heavy Soil Erosion – The roots of the trees hold the soil firmly keeping it intact. With large scale deforestation soil erosion and landslides have become a normal phenomenon. During heavy rains and typhoons soil is washed away to lower regions. This increases the risk for landslides which can cause seriously threaten the safety of the people and damage their properties.
Extinction of flora and fauna – Destruction of the forests leads to a tragic loss of biodiversity. Millions of plants and animal species are on the verge of extinction due to deforestation. Countries with tropical forests suffer the greatest causalities due to deforestation.
Relocation of wild life to urban areas – Many wild animals have started relocating to urban areas as a result of massive deforestation. There have been many cases of various wild animals like snakes, bats etc causing accidents in urban areas. Many times wild animals get killed in an effort to capture them. There have been instances of carnivorous predators like lions, tigers and wolfs preying on humans in villages surrounded by forests.
Global warming – The trees absorb the harmful carbon dioxide and release the life sustaining oxygen, thus acting as natural friends of humans. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to global warming due to green house effect.
Silting of Rivers and Dams – Deforestation causes large scale deposition of sediments in the rivers. This leads to collection of sediments in the dams, thus reducing their lifespan.
Flooding – Trees absorb water in large quantities during heavy rains. But due to large scale deforestation there are very less tress to retain water. This again leads to heavy floods causing heavy loss of life and property.
Desertification – Deforestation is one of the causes behind the conversion of many fertile tracts of land to deserts. This phenomenon is known as desertification. When mountain forest faces desertion, watersheds are degraded and this leads to the loss of sustained water supplies for lowland communities.
Danger of submersion of coastal areas and glaciers – Due to massive deforestation, the average temperature of the earth has risen in the last century. If this phenomenon continues then the increased temperatures would lead to melting of glaciers. This would lead to a massive rise in the sea levels leading to submersion of coastal areas.
Keeping these dire consequences in mind, an honest effort should be made by the human civilization to conserve forests.