Social Science

Assignment 04

SO245 Social Impact of Technology

Instructions.

Relying solely on the material in your course and using your own words, your objective will be writing a short descriptive essay that 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. Also, try to alternate short sentences and longer sentences to make your writing more readable.

Before, during, or after you’ve completed your essay, be sure to create a title and cite yourself as the author. For example:

Environmental Impacts of Deforestation

Jennifer Croft

Your essay should have 5 paragraphs. 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 hydro (water) cycle, and the reduction of species diversity.

Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, are your body paragraphs. In your essay, paragraph 2 should describe how deforestation disrupts the carbon cycle.

In paragraph 3, you’ll write about how deforestation disrupts the hydro (water) cycle.

In 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 these three effects of deforestation and what we might do about it.

Deforestation

While deforestation is closely associated with global warming and climate change, deforestation has been one aspect of human history for quite a long time. Industrialization in all the developed countries has marched hand in hand with clearing the land of forests. In the continental United States, before and after industrialization, 90 percent of indigenous forests have been destroyed since 1600.

As noted earlier, the only regions that still feature indigenous boreal forests are mostly 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 what is called the Guyana Shield of northern South America. That includes Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. Other regions that support extensive tropical forests, as noted earlier, include Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the southernmost “cone” of India, and the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In general, global forests act as carbon dioxide sinks at the same time that they upload oxygen into the atmosphere. The capacity of that vital carbon sink is, obviously, reduced as trees are cleared. At the same time, trees and other kinds of vegetation emit carbon dioxide when they die, thus adding to global greenhouse gas and contributing heavily to global warming. According to the EPA, the most significant anthropogenic (human-caused) source of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels. The second major cause of human-caused global warming is deforestation and particularly the destruction of tropical forests. According to NASA, if the current rate of deforestation is not radically curbed, the world’s rainforests may be completely destroyed in as few as 100 years.

As the carbon cycle is disrupted, so is the hydro cycle. Trees, especially those of tropical forests, emit water vapor. Because global climate is regulated by atmospheric water vapor, which is also considered the world’s chief greenhouse gas, disrupting the water cycle must, inevitably, produce unpredictable changes in global climate patterns.

Deforestation is 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 live—“or have lived—“in forests where indigenous flora and fauna are being deprived of their native habitats. Species deprived of their native habitats may, conceivably, migrate or adapt. But the direr outcome is extinction.

Another major effect of deforestation is soil erosion. Tree roots serve as anchors. When those roots are destroyed, once-arable soils may be washed away or, under conditions of desiccation, be literally blown away. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), scientists estimate that upward of one third of our planet’s arable land has succumbed to deforestation just since 1960. Part of the problem has resulted from clear-cutting forests in order to grow cash crops, such as coffee, palm oil, and soy. The trouble is that these sorts of crops don’t have root systems capable of anchoring the soil and forestalling the effects of erosion.

References: Bradford, A. (2015, March 04). Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects. Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html

Deforestation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2016, from http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation-overview/

Mechanics

Your document’s margins should be 1 inch, top, bottom, left, and right. That’s the default option if you use MS Word.

All your copy should be flush left.

For purposes of evaluating your essay, skip a line between each paragraph.

Make sure you use a standard indent for the first sentence of each of your paragraphs. Pressing the tab key one time is a simple way to do that.

It’s permissible to use direct quotes from your reading, but don’t overdo it. One to three such quotes should be your limit. In any case, be sure to bracket a direct quote with quotation marks. For example: According to Smith, “Carbon dioxide is both our friend and our enemy.”

Begin by writing a first draft. Remembering that writing is rewriting, try and try again to make your prose readable. After you think you have a final draft completed, go over the essay again to locate and correct grammar and spelling errors.

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