|For thousands of years, humans have played an ever increasing role in global deforestation. Throughout history, one empire after another stripped forests to build their ships and dwellings, and for fuel. Once devastated, those forests didn't recover for a thousand years or more, and some never did--like parts of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Great Britain.||Global deforestation has accelerated dramatically in recent decades. The tropical forests of South America and Southeast Asia are being cut and burned at an alarming rate for large and small agricultural uses, from huge palm oil plantations to slash and burn subsistence farming. Fires set for these purposes often rage out of control. The so-called "Haze" in Southeast Asia during 1997 was the result of extensive fires burning unchecked through drought-stricken forests. In Indonesia alone, an area at least the size of New Jersey was burned.|
Giant trees in rainforests all over the world are threatened not only by direct cutting, but also fire, pollution, and other factors. (Note the relative size of the two people sitting on this tree trunk!) Photo credit Corel Photo Clipart CD.
[forests through time] [humans & forests] [tropical forests] [wood & forest products] [fire]
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