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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 02 Mar '15 11:09 / 4 edits
    I think this is just terrible news and for several reasons:

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-felling-tropical-trees-soared-satellite.html

    At this new higher rate of deforestation, and lets assume the hypothetical that this new higher rate of deforestation stays unchanged until there are no rain forests, about how many years before we would have no tropical rain forests left? Can anyone here make an estimate?
  2. 02 Mar '15 13:35
    Originally posted by humy
    I think this is just terrible news and for several reasons:
    What is terrible is that we continue to loose tropical forests - something that is not news at all.

    At this new higher rate of deforestation, and lets assume the hypothetical that this new higher rate of deforestation stays unchanged until there are no rain forests, about how many years before we would have no tropical rain forests left? Can anyone here make an estimate?
    Just under 300 years?

    http://rainforests.mongabay.com/deforestation_percent_cover.html
  3. 02 Mar '15 18:27 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    What is terrible is that we continue to loose tropical forests - something that is not news at all.

    [b]At this new higher rate of deforestation, and lets assume the hypothetical that this new higher rate of deforestation stays unchanged until there are no rain forests, about how many years before we would have no tropical rain forests left? Can anyone ...[text shortened]... ?

    Just under 300 years?

    http://rainforests.mongabay.com/deforestation_percent_cover.html[/b]
    Just under 300 years wouldn't be nearly as bad as I thought. I would imagined that it probably would be stopped by then because surely we would have developed economic alternatives to wood from unsustainable sources (if we haven't already ) and be using them and, somehow, I find it hard to imagine the horrendously wasteful slush-and-burn farming still going on in the futuristic ~200 years from now! I would imagine too much would change in the next 200 years.
  4. 03 Mar '15 07:41
    Originally posted by humy
    I find it hard to imagine the horrendously wasteful slush-and-burn farming still going on in the futuristic ~200 years from now!
    It takes a remarkably long time to get better farming practices into use. But given that modern agriculture is less than 100 years old in most parts of the world, I would certainly expect changes in the next 50 years.
    The most important thing is farmer education on best practices, something that most governments are not putting enough effort into. Better ways of farming have been known about for quite a long time but are not being put into practice. Farmers stick with what they know works until they see their neighbors doing something better. Its too big a risk for most farmers to experiment and be the first.
    My sister is trying hard to change the practice of burning on her land and it is already showing benefits. But it may be many years before her neighbors see the difference and start to do the same.
    No-till agriculture is also starting to get noticed in Zambia, but again will likely take a very long time to spread.
    The problem is the government spends large amounts of money on fertilizer subsidies and much less on farmer education. If they reversed that policy, then the fertilizer wouldn't be needed.