Thursday, April 14, 2011

DEATH OF A FOREST


"Death Of A Forest"_Pine Beetles Killed Millions of Trees in North America

The destruction of forests is taking place worldwide. The process begins with humans performing unsustainable deforestation; then local climate change stimulates more dryness and fire; then a tipping point is reached where vast forest systems no longer exist. We are reaching the point where ecosystem services like clean water and adequate rainfall are endangered not just for wildlife or forest peoples but for all.

Here is the situation in the Boreal Forests of North America and in the Amazon Forest of South America.

Historically, forest destruction starts with roads and agriculture but more recently an additional stress is coming from the insatiable demand for energy which is exploiting the tar sand oil in the Boreal and building hydro-electric dams in the Amazon.

The destruction can really move fast. Here's a slideshow of the expansion of roads and deforestation in the Brazilian state of Rondonia (next to Acre). The annual photos are from 2000 to 2009 and cover an area about 500km wide. The images are from the NASA Earth Observatory - World of Change




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