Losing The World’s Rainforests

Tropical rainforest the size of India will be felled by 2050.

Tropical rainforest the size of India will be felled by 2050.

The Washington-based Center for Global Development has predicted that tropical rainforests encompassing an area equivalent to the size of India will be felled in the next 35 years. The centre was able to predict, by studying satellite imagery across 100 countries, that 289 million hectares of forest would be lost in the future.

Burning carbon dioxide contributes to climate change and it has been predicted that, due to clearing tropical forests, the destruction is resulting in one-sixth of the entire global carbon dioxide allotment.

The study predicted the rate of deforestation would climb through 2020 and 2030 and accelerate around the year 2040 if changes were not made.

Deforestation in the rainforest.

Deforestation in the rainforest.

Jonah Busch, CGD research fellow and environmental economist explained how reducing deforestation is a cheap and effective way of lowering carbon dioxide levels. “Reducing emissions from tropical deforestation costs about a fifth as much as reducing emissions in the European Union.”

The implications, should this go forward, in terms of climate change, are overwhelming.

“The world’s forests need to be seen for what they are—giant global utilities, providing essential public services to humanity on a vast scale. They store carbon, which is lost to the atmosphere when they burn, increasing global warming. The life they support cleans the atmosphere of pollutants and feeds it with moisture. They act as a natural thermostat, helping to regulate our climate and sustain the lives of 1.4 billion of the poorest people on this Earth. And they do these things to a degree that is all but impossible to imagine.” – Prince Charles of Wales (2007)

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