Discover more from Adetokunbo Sees
Add Deforestation to Drought, and it's no surprise crazy carbon emissions come from Forest Fires, Greenhouse gases
What are the effects of deforestation on climate change? This article attempts an answer.
Brazilian Amazon deforestation, Credit, The Guardian
Brazil cut down the largest tropical forest primary forests at 43 percent of the world’s total in 2022, the nation’s rate of forest loss rising by fifteen percent compared to the year before, the country continuing to sustain nearly 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions of the Amazon forest over the last thirty-five years.
The Democratic Republic of Congo played a large part in the tropical forest loss also, cutting down 500,000 hectares of its forest in 2022, putting at risk 60 percent of the Congo rainforest, emitting lots of metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
Bolivia cut down a lot of its forests in 2022, showing a 32 percent increase from the year before, recording its highest year of primary forest loss, the country’s per capital carbon emissions currently among the highest in the world and increasing on the 3.01 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions it has released into the atmosphere since 2000.
Countries such as Ghana played a big role in the cutting down of trees in 2022, but Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bolivia played more prominent roles, adding a lot to the global tropical forest loss of 4.1 million hectares, equal to the size of losing eleven football fields every 60 seconds, the entire event releasing two point seven gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, the same amount as the annual fossil fuel emissions of India.
Apart from the 15 percent forest loss in Brazil, other issues matter in relation to its challenge of deforestation, such as the fact that cutting trees in the Amazon rainforest also means Brazil threatens the 48 billion tons of carbon stored by trees in its forest, through overall deforestation between January and December 2022 put at 10,573 square kilometers.
From 2001 to 2021, the Democratic Republic of Congo lost about 17.1 million metric hectares of tree cover, but other salient issues matter about this development, because the figure not only indicates an 8.6 percent fall in tree cover, but it also allowed 10.5 gigatonnes of carbon emissions to be released, as well as led to the loss of the carbon stored by trees in the rainforests.
Bolivia experienced a net change of – 5.6 percent in its tree cover from 2000 to 2020, but other important issues matter about the country’s deforestation, such as the loss of the enormous amount of carbon stored in its trees, through the loss of 6.67 million hectares of forest cover between 2001 and 2021.
In other words, the deforestation rate in countries like Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and nations such as Ghana impacts negatively on the climate, which suffers through greenhouse gas emissions from forest fires and the loss of carbon stored in the trees, causing it to undergo changes.
In a 2022 study, 28 percent of agricultural land in Brazil no longer shows the evidence of a climatically optimal state, with the figure predicted to increase to 51 percent by 2030 and 74 percent by 2060, if climate change driven by a factor like deforestation continues.
Climate-related hazards in the Democratic Republic of Congo include floods, droughts, volcanic activities, and epidemics, with the average temperature in the Congo region predicted to show an increase of one to two point five degrees Celsius by 2050, the figure rising to between three to five degrees Celsius by 2100.
Bolivia would not escape the impact of climate-related issues if deforestation rates continue to show rises year-in-year-out, with experts predicting that the nation’s per capital carbon dioxide emissions, currently among the highest in the world at 25 tCO2eq/person/year, would show even more rises, widening its gap with the United States and United Arab Emirates.
The predictions related to Brazil, Bolivia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – as with most countries on earth – do not show a positive picture in relation to the impact of climate change, if ways don’t suffice to cut back on the rate of greenhouse gas emissions from the accelerating increases in deforestation.
The deforestation rate in Indonesia fell by 75 percent to its lowest levels since monitoring began in 1990, and experts point to government policies for this, through the moratorium on clearing primary forests and the issuing of licenses for new oil palm plantations.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Costa Rica recorded one of the highest deforestation rates in Latin America, but through the government’s environmental policies, its deforestation rates fell, and the country’s reputation grew as the first tropical country in the world to reverse deforestation, with its high bio-diverse rainforests covering up to 60 percent of the country, having shrunk to as low as 40 percent in 1987.
The message from Indonesia and Costa Rica looks clear, that nations can make their rates of deforestation fall, if they put in place the right policies to prevent habitat loss, another fundamental aspect towards slowing the accelerating pace of climate change, showing expressions through floods, heat waves, droughts, and species extinction.
What to Eat
Vegan Brazilian bowl recipe, Credit, Wanderlust Kitchen