The rapid decline of forests around the world is having an impact on local environments and the world as a whole. This sobering graphic by The New York Times brings home the impact of both the ancient forests we have lost, and the recent deforestation worldwide due to logging for timber, clearing farmland and even making toilet paper. As the Times reports, the “world’s 9.9 billion acres of forest absorb roughly a quarter of human emissions of carbon dioxide, and help limit the increase of the gas in the atmosphere.” As our world continues to heat up, even by small increments, will we see further forests lost to climate change?
Below: the extent of European forests today.
Below: the extent of ancient European forests.
Below: South American forests today.
Below: the extent of recent de-forestation in South America.