Deforestation Bigger Threat Than Climate Change

A wildlife researcher claims the destruction of forests is a bigger threat to environment than climate change.

Clearing forests

As developers clear forests to make way for development, wildlife habits are disrupted, ecosystems destroyed and food sources become tapped out for animals that depend on the forest for shelter and nourishment.

“We can’t just draw lines on the map to designate a protected area,” Bill Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia said. “We also have to protect reserves against encroachment, illegal hunting and other pressures that can infiltrate from outside,” Laurance told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Laurance believes areas in the tropics and rain forests should be better protected.

Climate Change

Laurance believes deforestation is a bigger threat than climate change, which has a lot of researchers talking. According to the EPA, the earth’s temperature is rising. “Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5°F over the next hundred years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather,” according to the EPA website.

The government agency goes on to say the evidence of climate change is clear and points to several problems that could arise from the increasing temperatures. “Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate. “Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. The planet’s oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes – oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising. As these and other changes become more pronounced in the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and our environment.”

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