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Environmental issues are becoming a problem to China. Some problems include water loss, water quality, land degradation, loss of natural forests, and air pollution. Deserts and loss of forests are starting to occur. China's natural forests have been declining for over 50 years. Deserts are also forming quickly due to China's environmental issues. A desert in China will bury an area the size of New Jersey every five years. This is because of China's rapid growth. Due to that, it is now damaging its own natural resource base and its environment.
Deforestation, or the loss of forests is becoming a problem to China, despite that fact that China has been desperately planting trees and expanding forest cover. Logging is a major problem for China. Lumber production has grown. Many forests are being consumed with just the great amount of lumber demands. China has a rapidly growing population. It needs to provide items for its population by cutting down forests. Using the timber, China makes furniture out of them. However, this may not be good for China. China has tried to stop this problem by having a logging ban in 1999 after the cutting of trees were the blame of soil erosion and flooding. The amount of rain has decreased due to the loss of forests. Desiccation, or the loss of rain isn't just caused by deforestation alone though. However, deforestation can disrupt the flow of moisture out in the air. Not only is it contributing to that, it is now acting as areas of water runoffs. Deforestation does not just happen all of a sudden. It is a time-related process. Since 1949, the areas with trees had about 14.4 million Mha, (a measurement unit used to calculate land coverage). Only a few years later though, the forested areas dropped 0.7 Mha, and had a growing stock. China already has a very weak ecosystem. People are putting effort into growing trees to raise the percent of forested areas.
Desert expantion is now common in China. During 2003, China's Environmental Protectioncy Agency reported that the Gobi Desert had grown by 52,400 kilometers. About 900 square miles of land become deserts every year. It isn't because the weather is dry, but because the natural land cover has been destroyed. Many problems such as droughts,overgrazing, incorrect use of ground water, and logging erode the edges of China's deserts, making them able to spread. Also, dust storms are becoming common, contributing to the deserts. Dangerous sandstorms from China's growing deserts will affect other areas too. Expanding deserts take away almost a million acres of land every year. Soon, China will create even more dangerous challenges in every way. Growing deserts don't just affect the land. 200 million people are suffering from this. China is losing money from desertification, or the expandtion of deserts too. The ever increasing desert area takes up 2,500 kilomets of land every year, having China lose about two to three billion dollars annually. It's not just because of the room that desertification takes up, it also destroys crops, messing up the economic side of China. Sandstorms from China's deserts may become a global problem. People are planting trees instead of cotton, hoping to reduce the problem. Not only that, China is now taking bigger stands. In 2001, they released a new law to control desertification. It asked that land occupants had a duty to prevent desertification and to restore areas which had already been affected. The law asked people to help the problem by planting trees. The law also gave permission for off-limit areas. Over time, the improved areas will begin to show and desertification will no longer be a problem.
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