Climate Change

Although all consequences of deforestation are potentially serious, perhaps the most serious consequence is that of climate change due to the loss of trees. Earth has an atmosphere which contains a variety of gases, all in a delicate balance, to ensure life on Earth. One of these gases in Earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide; a gas which helps moderate heat loss to outer space. Insulating gases such as carbon dioxide are called "greenhouse gasses because their function is much like that of the glass in a greenhouse: they allow solar heat into the system, but discourage its escape" (GFF 3). Other greenhouse gases include methane, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

If there are additional greenhouse gases, there will be a gradual increase in temperature on Earth’s surface. This could lead to changes in weather patterns, sea levels, and other cycles in nature that directly affect life on Earth (GFF 3). 
The process of greenhouse gas increase is quite simple. Carbon dioxide levels increase for a number of reasons; but one of the main factors contributing to the increase of carbon levels is decay of woody material. The only way to help moderate the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is through plant life. Alive plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide from decaying plants and trees. With a decrease in trees and plant life (due to deforestation) it is much harder to moderate these levels. Ultimately, the amount of carbon will increase due to a lack of plant life present to keep the carbon dioxide levels in check.

This whole process leads to an “albedo” effect which reflects more heat and light back into the atmosphere than would be the case if the sun shone on green trees." (Dudley 23). The bottom line is that the increase in the carbon level and other greenhouse gas levels into the atmosphere leads to an increase in temperature, and eventually a change in climate and weather.

The effects of deforestation are widely ranging and can be irreversible if not stopped.