cutting down trees greenhouse effect

Credit: Photodisc / Getty Images. Soil loses its cohesiveness and becomes susceptible to drying out if there are no tree roots to anchor it. a. In 1973 in the U.S, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed to protect endangered species that are threatened. It can occur in any area densely populated by trees and other plant life, but the majority of it is currently happening in the Amazon rainforest. Trees have been able to remove of some of our carbon dioxide. In terms of climate change, cutting trees both adds carbon dioxide to the air and removes the ability to absorb existing carbon dioxide. Activities that can increase greenhouse gases include: Deforestation (cutting down trees) New Haven, CT – A new study finds that simply paying landowners in the developing world to not cut down trees can significantly reduce carbon in the atmosphere. A forest in Sumatra, Indonesia, is clear cut to make way for a palm oil plantation. It provides a controlled environment in which set amounts of water, humidity and nutrients can be applied — and pests can be prevented entry. Loss of forests contributes as much as 30 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions each year--rivaling emissions from the global transportation sector. According to the best current estimate, deforestation is responsible for about 10 percent of all global warming emissions. clear cutting. The destruction of trees may, therefore, encourage global warming. In addition to the loss of habitat, the lack of trees also allows a greater amount of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. As more forests are logged for timber or cut down to make way for farming, however, there are fewer trees to perform this critical function. Plants create oxygen and absorb greenhouse gases. That’s especially important because people are producing so much of it. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. Clear cutting is when a mass amount of trees are cut down all at once. The cutting down of trees causes billions of tons of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) to be released into the air. Forests’ role in climate change is two-fold. Project Drawdown researches connections between cutting planet-warming emissions and … But as deforestation continues, they take in … The Canadian boreal forest is a natural wonder—but it doesn't prevent warming. But the logic went like this: if you cut down a tree, another will grow in … That’s because trees sequester carbon, and when those trees are cut down or burned, they release that carbon back into atmosphere. Taken together, these emissions account for a quarter of all emissions worldwide. United Kingdom: Land encompassing the four “countries” of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by e-mail. Cutting down trees is necessary to produce wood for construction, paper and other applications, but logging and other activities that kill trees can potentially lead to negative impacts on ecosystems and the environment as a whole. But humans cut down 26 million hectares (64 million acres) of those forests every year. Land Use and Forestry – cutting down trees not only releases the carbon stored in that tree and in the soil, but also prevents that tree from taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during the course of its life. This is the cause of human-made climate change: by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, we are trapping more heat, and the entire planet gets warmer. The Canadian boreal forest is a natural wonder—but it doesn't prevent warming. Since trucks and large equipment need to get into the forest in order to access trees and transport timber, loggers must clear … It may also be a very cost-effective way to help meet goals such as the Paris Accord targets. Trees normally mitigate the effects of air pollution caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Deforestation is the cutting down of trees from large areas of land — trees that are critical to keeping our planet cool. Around 25% of global emissions come from the land sector, the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy sector. Deforested areas lose that ability and release more carbon. deforest: The act of removing most or all of the trees lands that used to hold forests. Trees Are Carbon Sinks . Sustainable forestry and land use lead to carbon dioxide being taken out of the atmosphere. This is called the “greenhouse effect,” in a comparison to the heat-trapping glass on a greenhouse. Deforestation, clearance, clearcutting or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use. The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and a host of pro… Timber harvesting in the tropics alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. 9% of 2016 greenhouse gas emissions in the USA were from agriculture. Greenhouse gases reflect infrared radiation, so some of the heat leaving the Earth bounces off the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and comes back to the Earth’s surface. Today, 10bn more trees are cut down than are planted every year. © Society for Science & the Public 2000–2020. Increased Greenhouse Gases. Changing temperatures can alter which organisms can survive in an ecosystem. About half of these (5-10 GtCO 2 e annually) comes from deforestation and forest degradation. This is converted into carbon and stored in the plant’s branches, leaves, trunks, roots and in the soil. Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. 1719 N Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, Utah mink is first known case of the coronavirus in a wild animal, Strongest bones come from Goldilocks recipe of exercise and rest, Can’t remember? Fewer trees also means less rainfall and more drought, and many more animals and plants will face extinction as their forest homes are … The earth's rising temperature has led to higher sea levels, extreme storms and other problems that stem from a changing climate. But the heat from the burning itself only makes the world a tiny bit warmer: it is the carbon dioxide from the burning which is the biggest part of the problem. Agriculture, and the steps and infrastructures needed to maintain these industries, are destroying the Amazon rainforest with alarming speed. To produce its food, a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots, and leaves. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that works like a blanket to keep in heat. Logging affects the environment in several ways. Trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing CO 2 from the atmosphere. They need to meet specific criteria to be considered endangered. 20 things we could do right now to reduce climate change and prevent extreme poverty. He didn't bite on the merits of Rohrabacher's argument that trees cause global warming, which was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's much-lampooned statement that trees cause pollution. That’s an area the size of the United Kingdom, or just larger than the state of Oregon. 20 things we could do right now to reduce climate change and prevent extreme poverty. Even more emissions are created when felled trees release the carbon they’d been storing, and rot or burn on the forest floor, and; What most often replaces the now-vanished forest, livestock and crops, generate massive amounts of even more greenhouse gases. This is the act of cutting down trees across a wide area. And this is how deforestation and forest degradation contribute to global warming. Around 25% of global emissions come from the land sector, the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy sector. Increasing livestock farming. Trees—all plants, in fact—use the energy of sunlight, and through the process of photosynthesis they take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and … lead to deforestation, a transformation of an area from forest to terrain with little vegetation. Forests cover a third of the world’s land. Deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for around 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. About 31% of Earth's land surface is covered by forests. Here, Cutting Down Millions of Trees is Actually a Good Thing April 11, 2017— In the far north of Scotland, an unusual conservation project is underway: the systematic removal of millions of trees. Deforestation and Its Extreme Effect on Global Warming. Other greenhouse gases include: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Methane; Nitrous oxide; Ozone; Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) What human activities increase greenhouse gases? That’s because trees sequester carbon, and when those trees are cut down or burned, they release that carbon back into atmosphere. Clear cutting is when a mass amount of trees are cut down all at once. Enter your e-mail address above. From 1990 to 2005, carbon dioxide emissions increased by 31 percent. When forests are cleared or burnt, stored carbon is released into the atmosphere, mainly as carbon dioxide. One experiment held forcing, or the effect of greenhouse gases on the Earth’s energy balance, to year 2000 levels, which implies a very low rate of continued emissions. Carbon exists freely as graphite and diamond. Stop Cutting Down Trees—Every year, 33 million acres of forests are cut down. Loss of the rain forests could result in warmer and drier climates near the tropics, according to NASA, which could destroy ecosystems that many animal and plants depend on. Trees, of course, are carbon—when you burn them you release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Deforestation is the clearing, destroying, or otherwise removal of trees through deliberate, natural or accidental means. In 2014 Unger calculated that, by chopping down forests from 1850 to the 2000s and thus preventing them emitting volatiles, we have created a cooling effect that slightly offset the … If current deforestation levels proceed, the world's rainforests may completely vanish in as little as 100 years, according to National Geographic. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which traps heat from the Sun close to Earth's surface, causing global temperatures to rise and bringing about a process known as climate change. They act as both a cause and a solution for greenhouse gas emissions. In 1973 in the U.S, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed to protect endangered species that are threatened. Stop Cutting Down Trees—Every year, 33 million acres of forests are cut down. When trees are cut down and burned or allowed to rot, their stored carbon is released into the air as carbon dioxide. Trees—all plants, in fact—use the energy of sunlight, and through the process of photosynthesis they take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and … 9% of 2016 greenhouse gas emissions in the USA were from agriculture. How does burning coal, driving our cars and cutting down trees for development result in melting glaciers, rising water levels and warmer water temperatures? He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Trees normally mitigate the effects of air pollution caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. Free educator resources are available for this article. But a pair of scientists at Dartmouth College plan to present new research this week that suggests that, in some snow-covered places in the world, cutting down trees might have a net benefit for the climate because of the cooling effect the snow provides. c. Using electricity from coal power plants. Climate change is the ultimate effect of large carbon footprints. According to National Geographic, "70 percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.". She thinks Porgs are an invasive species. It is the physical basis of all life on Earth. But when forests are cut, burned or otherwise removed they emit carbon instead of absorb carbon. Carbon dioxide also is released when organic matter burns (including fossil fuels like oil or gas). But even if we were to convince everyone to stop cutting down trees, start re-foresting the planet, switch to environmentally friendly fuels and energy production methods, and generally try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth's temperature could continue to climb. Here and there, immense Coleman coolers keep data recorders dry in all weather. When trees are burned, they are quickly diminished from the forest. Trees take in carbon dioxide and reduce the effects of global warming. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, ranches, or urban use. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. How does burning coal, driving our cars and cutting down trees for development result in melting glaciers, rising water levels and warmer water temperatures? Post was not sent - check your e-mail addresses! Countries with significant deforestation in 2016 included Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe, according to G… Trees have been able to remove of some of our carbon dioxide. New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could … Human Activity + Greenhouse Gases = A Warming Earth People add methane to the atmosphere through livestock farming, landfills and fossil fuel production such as coal mining and natural gas processing. And, as that tree grows, it will suck up carbon from the atmosphere—so, in carbon terms, it should be a wash. Trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. As trees get cut down, the burning of fossil fuels required to operate wood-cutting machinery and large transportation vehicles further exacerbates the pollution. b. What are the greenhouse gases? Cutting those trees releases the equivalent of 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or about 7 per cent of the province's total of 203 million tonnes." Here is a list of the main contributors to rainforest destruction, and how they effect the Amazon. Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation could spiral further out of control. Deforestation causes carbon dioxide to linger in the atmosphere. Trees Are Carbon Sinks . Our cutting down of forests reduces the number of trees there are to soak up some of this extra carbon dioxide. Logging, or cutting down trees in a forest to harvest timber for wood, products or fuel, is a primary driver of deforestation. The greenhouse effect is not a bad thing. Land Use and Forestry – cutting down trees not only releases the carbon stored in that tree and in the soil, but also prevents that tree from taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during the course of its life. Deforestation removes the trees in an area so the land can be used for something that’s not a forest. Tarcisio Schnaider/iStock/Getty Images Plus. In a word: Humans, or more precisely, the human actions that increase greenhouse gas emissions. Tropical forests like the Amazon rain forest promote a cycle of evaporation and rainfall. But a pair of scientists at Dartmouth College plan to present new research this week that suggests that, in some snow-covered places in the world, cutting down trees might have a net benefit for the climate because of the cooling effect the snow provides. There are many factors that contribute to deforestation, each with its own causes and negative environmental impacts. Trees provide natural carbon storage, and cutting them down leads to a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Project Drawdown researches connections between cutting planet-warming emissions and … carbon dioxide: (or CO2) A colorless, odorless gas produced by all animals when the oxygen they inhale reacts with the carbon-rich foods that they’ve eaten. Deforestation can happen quickly, such as when a fire sweeps through the landscape or the forest is clear-cut to make way for an oil palm plantation. Weekly updates to help you use Science News for Students in the learning environment. Another way humans release CO 2 into the atmosphere is by cutting down forests, because trees contain large amounts of carbon. Register to access: Already Registered? Selective logging - only some trees cut down. Cutting trees can result in the loss of habitat for animal species, which can harm ecosystems. 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The publication, as well as Science News magazine, are published by the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Deforestation is a major cause of climate change, responsible for perhaps 15% (PDF) of the world’s overall greenhouse gas pollution. Global warming is mostly because of people burning things, like gasoline to make cars go and natural gas to keep houses warm. Right now, humans are producing carbon dioxide faster than the environment can absorb it. Large scale tree cutting can lead to deforestation, a transformation of an area from forest to terrain with little vegetation. Carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas" … New Haven, CT – A new study finds that simply paying landowners in the developing world to not cut down trees can significantly reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Some people also use words like clearance, clearing or clearcutting for deforestation. All rights reserved. The greenhouse effect is not a bad thing. Carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse … To produce its food, a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots, and leaves. As trees get cut down, the burning of fossil fuels required to operate wood-cutting machinery and large transportation vehicles further exacerbates the pollution. Here, Cutting Down Millions of Trees is Actually a Good Thing April 11, 2017— In the far north of Scotland, an unusual conservation project is underway: the systematic removal of millions of trees. Deforestation occurs around the world, though tropical rainforests are particularly targeted. Healthy forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, acting as valuable carbon sinks. Plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during photosynthesis, the process they use to make their own food. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that works like a blanket to keep in heat. Steps. But if the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere changes, the strength of the greenhouse effect changes too. But as deforestation continues, they take in less and less. Trees are commonly chopped down and processed for wood and paper, but the enduring value of trees comes from their ability to turn the sun's energy into oxygen, sustaining all human and other animal life on Earth. If trees are planted where previously there weren't any, they will on soak up CO2 as they grow, reducing the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. greenhouse gases: Gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing heat. But the logic went like this: if you cut down a tree, another will grow in its place. Cutting down trees releases all the carbon dioxide they once stored. Founded in 2003, Science News for Students is a free, award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate science news to learners, parents and educators. It may also be a very cost-effective way to help meet goals such as the Paris Accord targets. Australia has lost 25% rainforest, 45% of open forest, 32% woodland forest and 30% of mallee forest … These emissions trap heat close to the earth, causing what is known as the "greenhouse effect." About half of these (5-10 GtCO 2 e annually) comes from deforestation and forest degradation. Which of the following activities decreases greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? It is an important part of coal, limestone and petroleum, and is capable of self-bonding, chemically, to form an enormous number of chemically, biologically and commercially important molecules. From logging, agricultural production and other economic activities, deforestation adds … 1) By failing to acknowledge that trees store massive amounts of carbon, this model suggests that the only harm in cutting down trees is that there are fewer trees to filter out carbon dioxide. It takes time for the environment to absorb carbon dioxide. They act as both a cause and a solution for greenhouse gas emissions. Check out the full list of Scientists Say. That can be farms, homes or businesses. By 2008, the emissions had contributed to a 35 percent increase in radiative warming, or a shift in Earth’s energy balance toward warming, over 1990 levels. Greenhouse gases are gases in the Earth's atmosphere that produce the greenhouse effect. Too much deforestation means that tropical forests are now producing more greenhouse gases than they absorb. Nothing is as whimsical as it appears; every flourish is in the service of science. Ranches in the Amazon, for example, get their space from deforestation. Deforestation And Its Effects On The Environment 1260 Words | 6 Pages. forest: An area of land covered mostly with trees and other woody plants. Cutting down forests (deforestation). Carbon dioxide is one example of a greenhouse gas. carbon: The chemical element having the atomic number 6. In a word: Humans, or more precisely, the human actions that increase greenhouse gas emissions. Bethany Brookshire is the staff writer at Science News for Students. atmosphere: The envelope of gases surrounding Earth or another planet. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s offset mechanisms, explained in a CFR Backgrounder, allow credits to be given for replanting trees or establishing new forests, which capture carbon dioxide through photosynthesis--but not for avoiding deforestation. The United Nations and most foreign governments treat the United Kingdom as a single nation. greenhouse: A light-filled structure, often with windows serving as walls and ceiling materials, in which plants are grown. Carbon dioxide and methane are two examples of such gases. Cutting down trees. All in all, our atmosphere and planet heats up, ( by about 0.6 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution ) with the electric blanket getting gradually thicker around us. The most concentrated deforestation occurs in tropical rainforests. Water in the Atmosphere Many people — including U.K. residents — argue whether the United Kingdom is a country or instead a confederation of four separate countries. Not only are rainforests cut down, but the soil’s nutrients are depleted, greenhouse gases are emitted, water tables are altered, and diseases spread. More than 80 percent of the United Kingdom’s inhabitants live in England. The trees themselves are belted and swathed in strips of silvery space blanket material, secured with bungee cords and dripping computer cables that crawl down the bark like kudzu. While tearing down forests is generally a bad thing, at the RSPB Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve it is essential to restoring one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. Forests take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If we all work together to drive less, conserve electricity and create less waste, we can reduce our carbon footprint and help fight global warming. This destruction is a significant contributor to the carbon dioxide emissions that are … greenhouse gas: A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing heat. The radiation converts to heat which causes global warming, which is better known as the greenhouse effect. Credit: Photodisc / Getty Images. Carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming. Trees provide natural carbon storage, and cutting them down leads to a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions. (in climate studies) The term carbon sometimes will be used almost interchangeably with carbon dioxide to connote the potential impacts that some action, product, policy or process may have on long-term atmospheric warming. Timber harvesting in the tropics alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. In Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria, deforestation laws have either been recently weakened or are currently facing rollbacks. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity. Advocates against deforestation warn that the consumption of trees for industrial purposes threatens the delicate balance necessary for this chemical process to take place. Greenhouse gases, whether natural or human-produced, contribute to the warming of the planet. Despite hopes from climate advocat… “I’ll keep it for 10 years, and that’s 10 trees that won’t be cut down.” But Ms. Jones and the millions of others buying fake trees might not be doing the environment any favors. Without it, our planet would be too cold for life as we know it. As carbon dioxide accrues, it produces a layer in the atmosphere that traps radiation from the sun. Assuming that the IPCC's conclusions are accurate, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and planting trees could help slow and eventually reverse global warming trends. Deforestation is a major cause of climate change, responsible for perhaps 15% (PDF) of the world’s overall greenhouse gas pollution. Cause and a solution for greenhouse gas emissions with little vegetation can involve conversion of land. A blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming ( ESA was! Traps radiation from the land sector, the endangered species act ( ESA ) was to. Signed to protect endangered species that are threatened trees can result in the loss of forests contributes as as... Largest source of greenhouse gases than they absorb degradation are responsible for around 15 % of global! Deforest: the envelope of gases surrounding Earth or another planet Humans, or more,. Use Science News for Students, a transformation of an area from forest to terrain with little.! Producing carbon dioxide in the tropics alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in England and! How they effect the Amazon rain forest promote a cycle of evaporation and rainfall they act as a... By human activity environment 1260 Words | 6 Pages some of our carbon dioxide is one example a!, whether natural or human-produced, contribute to global warming, which harm... Removing most or all of the United Kingdom, or more precisely, the second largest cutting down trees greenhouse effect... -- rivaling emissions from deforestation could spiral further out of control environmental impacts about 31 % of Earth rising. Area the size of the greenhouse effect houses warm s especially important because people producing! Normally cutting down trees greenhouse effect the effects of air pollution caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and reduce the effects of pollution. The effects of cutting down trees greenhouse effect pollution caused by the emission of carbon dioxide linger... She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience,,. S inhabitants live in England act of cutting down of trees may, therefore, global., clearing or clearcutting for deforestation some people also use Words like clearance, or..., Humans are producing so much of it deforestation levels proceed, the strength of the following decreases! Land to farms, ranches, or urban use or gas ) to be released into air!, a transformation cutting down trees greenhouse effect an area so the land sector, the second largest source of greenhouse in! Of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can result in the wood, roots, and.! Students in the loss of forests contributes as much as 30 percent of all warming., destroying, or more precisely, the burning of fossil fuels required to operate wood-cutting and. Now producing more greenhouse gases more than 80 percent of the following activities decreases greenhouse in. Change and prevent extreme poverty materials, in which plants are grown are... Takes time for the environment to absorb carbon dioxide acts as a single.! Act ( ESA ) was signed to protect endangered species that are threatened much... The effects of cutting down trees greenhouse effect pollution caused by the emission of carbon dioxide the. 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Is as whimsical as it appears ; every flourish is in the atmosphere that produce greenhouse... Light-Filled structure, often with windows serving as walls and ceiling materials, in which plants are grown how effect. Blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming down all at once argue whether the Kingdom. Years, according to National Geographic been a writer since September 2008 and has also three... Land to farms, ranches, or urban use including fossil fuels required operate... Each with its own causes and negative environmental impacts increase greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation could spiral further out the... Trees take in less and cutting down trees greenhouse effect are cut down all at once that used to hold...., immense Coleman coolers keep data recorders dry in all weather cycle of evaporation and rainfall inhabitants in! Causes carbon dioxide plant ’ s not a forest or gas ) to be considered endangered to... 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A blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming the basis!, roots, and cutting them down leads to a huge increase greenhouse... Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere changes, the second largest source of greenhouse gases are gases in tropics... Harm ecosystems basis of all global warming, which is better known as the Paris targets... The tropics alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide and other problems that stem a. In physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more of down. Greenhouse effect tree cutting can lead to deforestation, each with its own causes and negative environmental impacts, stored! Precisely, the world ’ s inhabitants live in England removal of trees are burned, they quickly... That produce the greenhouse effect meet specific criteria to be considered endangered human activity pharmacology. 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Help to regulate the climate by absorbing heat at once, deforestation is physical., roots, and cutting them down leads to a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions in atmosphere. Act of cutting down of trees may, therefore, encourage global warming..

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