Deforestation is the process whereby trees are cut down in a large area and they are not replanted. When large timbers and small trees are cut for human activities it leaves the land (soil) bare which is called desert. When timbers are cut down the soil will be directly to the sun. As long as the sun gets direct contact to the soil it kills the microorganism in the soil leading to poor vegetation that may give rise to deforestation and desertification.
I. Carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere and cause global warming.
II. Natural habituates of some animals are destroyed and their very existence threatened
- It also affects the balance of gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide tends to accumulate whilst oxygen levels reduce. This is because plant utilize carbon dioxide for photosynthesis whilst giving off oxygen
- It disrupts the water cycle. i.e. gives rise to low rainfall
Direct exposure of the topsoil to rainfall, which can lead to soil erosion due to run off water the leaves block the speed of rain drop and the root hold the soil to prevent erosion
Desertification is the gradual process by which a tract of land occupied with vegetation change to a bare land called desert.
I. Clearing of forest and bush burning for farming activities.
II. Bush fires destroying vegetation. Overgrazing by cattle.
- Prolong drought, which cause the vegetation to dry up
Human activities’ which lead to deforestation and desertification to the soil
There are many human activities which lead to deforestation and desertification especially in Ghana. The practices which has affected the northern part of Ghana. The practices of charcoal burning has cause deforestation and it has lead to desertification so the northern part of Ghana is refer to as savannah zone
HOW CHARCOAL IS BURNT
Heavy timbres and small tress are cut down; after they have been cut down they are cut into a given size which can be lifted by an individual or two people. This cut trees are lift for sometimes to dry just a little.
After they are dried the person getter the tress together in an arrangement order large weeds are cut to cover the arrange tress which are arrange in order after that the soil is cut to cover the setting which is made. Fire is set into the arrange tress which is covered by weeds and soil than they will check it day by day for about three (3) weeks to one (1) month if the setting is very large it could take about 1 month or more to finish burning. They leave it for sometimes to get cool down than they will get up very easily sometimes at midnight to get the charcoal out from the soil, they wake up at midnight because the land breeze is cold by then and the sea is warm the coldness of the land keep the charcoal cold before the day sun arises to make it warm for them to finish their work, when they do there before the day they collect the charcoal into the sack and cover the sack so after a car comes to collect them to the cities to sell them for domestic use. These is how charcoal is been burnt.
DEFORESTATION AND DESERTIFICATION
Deforestation refers to the extension or spread of the desert to places which were originally not deserts. It can also be described as the gradual formation and expansion of the current desert.
Desertification is formed on every part of the earth except the Antarctic (which is the lowest part of latitudes). Desertification is very common in the world but the most widely spread desert is the Africa’s Sahel region (i.e. south Sahara). The original vegetation may be forest and this may change to poor savanna, this it may eventually change to desert. There are many causes of desertification and some are as follows. Desertification is caused naturally or human activities. Human activities include overgrazing, deforestation, excavation, bad farming practices and the likes.
Natural factors include change is climate or climate changes which is the significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from millions and decades. Climate change is also caused by oceanic processes, variation in solar radiation, plate tectonic and volcanic eruptions and human activities. It is also cause by long season resulting in the withering (dry up) of plant by vapor-transpiration and drying up of soil water which leads to desertification
Another cause of desertification which is naturally caused is the shift in climate belt. It is another natural factor which causes desertification. Global warming which refers to the general increase in atmospheric temperature that cause corresponding change in climate and may result from green house effect can also cause shift in climate belt and that is to say areas which receive low rainfall would experience aridity (desert) conditions.
Human activities such as bush fires or bush burning expose the land to desertification.
Deforestation is also cause by human. It denotes the felling down of trees without replacing it. Trees are fell for timber or fuel which turns the forest and savanna vegetation desert. Desertification is also known as desert encroachment.
Since desertification is the expansion and formation of degraded soil, yet it is associated with effect. The effects are stated below.
Desertification can lead to shortage of water. Aridity cause streams to dry up and water becomes scarce. All living things depend mainly on water for its survival especially plants, animals and human. Crop facture is an affect of desertification. Lack of rainfall and high evaporation limit or hinders farming activities which reduces crop yield.
Moreover, it can lead to displacement of people and settlements. The heat and aridity (dry zone) on desert make life uncomfortable thereby making people more to areas where water is available and temperature being to moderate.
Since its effects are not valuable or are not of importance, it must be resolve and that can be done through the following measures.
First, afforestation or tree planting protects the soil from severe erosion and also induce rainfall. Besides, tree help reduce heat on the earth.
Also legislation can also solve the problem of desertification.
Another solution to desertification is mass education to the general public. People should be educated formally on the consequences or dangers of desertification and the need to maintain trees and forests.
In conclusion, it can be said that desertification is one of the major problem faced in every part of the world.
Deforestation can best be described as the destruction of forest through an uncontrolled felling down of trees or destruction of trees.
Deforestation may be caused via the following. It is caused by prolonged drought. These is caused by the long dry season or lock of rainfall cause most plants to wither and die.
Another cause of deforestation is unfavorable farming practices. Farming practices such as shifting cultivation and bush following deplete, especially in density populated areas.
Plantation farming or plantation agriculture also causes deforestation. In plantation, vast areas of forest are cleared either by burning or by felling the trees to grow cash crops. Example cocoa, coffee, sugarcane jatropha and the likes.
Mining and bush fires also are cause of deforestation. In surface mining, the forest is cleared and the topsoil removed to reach the ore. This practice destroys the forest and bush fires destroy plants and make the soil infertile.
Deforestation is characterized by the following effect which is the shortage of timber species. Deforestation leads to shortage of Wawa, Odom, mahogany and other economic trees.
Coupled with this is the extinction of some plants species. Many plants wither as a result of deforestation. The natural vegetation may be replaced by drought resistant plants.
Again, deforestation can result in an increase in soil erosion. Clearing of forest on steep slopes spreads up soil erosion. Gullies are formed in such areas to make the land unproductive.
Paramount to this drying of watercourse. Clearing of forests exposes rivers, streams and lakes to high rate of evaporation so they dry up with time.
Also, deforestation goes a long way to the extent of making the land bare. When trees are removed, the land becomes exposed to direct sunshine. This results in lowering of water table and drying up of streams.
Deforestation results in the loss of ecological balance. It reduces relative humidity, rainfall and oxygen. Many trees including cash crop like cocoa and plantain that are supported by ecological balance would be destroyed.
In conclusion, it can be said that deforestation is also capable of destructing habitats for fauna. The destruction of the forest drives animals like elephants, tiger and lions away. If possible enough, afforestation can be practice in order to mute the mouth of all the attendant consequences’ of deforestation.