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Directions:Unless otherwise stated, answer in complete sentences, and be sure to use correct English, spelling, and grammar. Sources must be cited in APA format. Your response should be four (4) double‐spaced pages.




1”   all sides




The   entire document should be double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x   11")







Type   Style and Size

Times   New Roman, 12 point


Read the “deforestation” text (AT BOTTOM OF PAGE).  Relying solely on the aforementioned text, and using your own words, write a short descriptive essaythat defines and explains selected environmental impacts of deforestation. As you write, imagine you are talking to a friend who has no knowledge of this topic. In short, write the way you speak, using a conversational tone, don’t be too scientific with your explanations. Also, try to alternate short sentences and longer sentences to make your writing more readable and understandable to your listener.

Your essay should include five paragraphs, as follows:

-Paragraph 1 is your lead paragraph. It will contain an overview of what you have to say about these three topics: disruption of the carbon cycle, disruption of the hydrologic (water) cycle, and the reduction of species diversity. 

Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, are your body paragraphs.

-Paragraph 2 should describe how deforestation disrupts the carbon cycle.

-Paragraph 3, you’ll write about how deforestation disrupts the hydrologic (water) cycle.

-Paragraph 4, you’ll explain how deforestation is related to declining species diversity.

-Paragraph 5 is your conclusion paragraph. Here, you can describe how you feel about the three effects of deforestation discussed, and what we might do about it.


It’s permissible to use direct quotes from your reading, but don’t use too many. One or two such quotes should be your limit. References must be cited in APA and referenced on last page.



Humans have been engaging in deforestation practices for a long time in history. Industrialization has marched hand in hand with the clearing of forests. In fact, in the continental United States, about 90 percent of indigenous forests have been destroyed since 1600.

As already noted, most remaining indigenous boreal forests are located in central Canada, Alaska, northern Russia, northern Japan, and northern Mongolia. The largest remaining indigenous tropical forests are found in the northwestern Amazon Basin and in the Guyana Shield of South America. This region includes Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. Other regions with extensive tropical forests include Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, southern India, and the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Global forests act as carbon sinks by absorbing carbon dioxide while also uploading oxygen into the atmosphere. Carbon sink capacity is vital—and obviously reduced as forests are cleared. This adds heavily to global greenhouse gas production and contributes to global warming. Additionally, trees and other kinds of vegetation emit carbon dioxide when they die.

According to the EPA, the most significant anthropogenic (human-caused) source of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels. The second major cause is deforestation, particularly the destruction of tropical forests. According to NASA, if the current rate of deforestation isn’t curbed radically, the world’s rainforests may be completely destroyed in as few as 100 years.

Deforestation clearly affects the carbon cycle. However, it also disrupts the hydrologic (water) cycle. Trees, especially those in tropical forests, emit water vapor. Global climate is regulated by water vapor in the atmosphere. This vapor is also considered the world’s chief greenhouse gas. Thus, changes to the water cycle inevitably lead to changes in global climate patterns.

Deforestation is also a major factor in the global decline of species diversity. According to the National Geographic Society, some 70 percent of Earth’s plants and animals are impacted by the destruction of native habitats. Some species can adapt to changes in their native habitats. Some may be able to migrate to other locations. But others can’t adapt and become extinct.

Finally, deforestation leads to soil erosion. Tree roots serve as anchors. When these roots are destroyed, soil may be washed or blown away. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), upward of one-third of the planet’s arable land has been lost to deforestation just since 1960. Part of the problem is clear-cutting forests to grow cash crops like coffee, palm oil, and soy. These crops don’t have root systems capable of anchoring the soil. That makes erosion more likely.

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