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close this bookBasic Concepts in Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Management: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1993, 151 p.)
close this folderGlobal warming and acid rain
View the documentClimate change and the greenhouse effect
View the documentHow deforestation contributes to the greenhouse effect
View the documentAcid rain

How deforestation contributes to the greenhouse effect

1. Forests store carbon. In the process of photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 from the air (along with water, sunlight, nutrients and chlorophyll) and convert it to useable energy and wood. This wood is a sink or storage place for carbon.

Carbon dioxide

2. When forests are cleared and trees burned, carbon dioxide is released into the air.

releasing carbon dioxide into air

3. In addition, termites flourish in places where forests have been burned to make way for farms and cattle ranches. Methane-producing bacteria live in the guts of termites and help to break down the termites' woody food. Methane, released into the air, is a greenhouse gas.


Source: Outreach, Issue No. 56

4. Rice paddies on lands converted from forests produce methane gas which also contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Methane contributes to the greenhouse effect