Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment.
The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species.
Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.
Deforestation also drives climate change.
Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out.
Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere.
Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts.
Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day and holds in heat at night.
This disruption leads to more extreme temperatures swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.
Trees also play a critical role in absorbing the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming.
Fewer forests means larger amounts of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, which can lead to an increased speed and severity of global warming.