The Loss of a Natural Shield
by AudreyT on October 26, 2017 - 1:25pm
Palm oil production is one of the reason for deforestation in the world. This is particularly true for Indonesia who is the world’s largest producer of Palm oil. The rainforests of the country are cut down at a hallucinating rate to be replaced by Palm oil plantations. The island of Sumatra is the part of Indonesia which has undergone the biggest deforestation in all of Indonesia, resulting in loss of animals and plants.
A Team of researcher from a University in Germany has recently led a research to figure out if this Palm oil plantation (or any other cash crop) has had an effect on the region’s overall temperature. Their research has led them to discover that indeed it did have a warming effect on the region. To come to this conclusion, they have analyzed the temperature of clear-cut land, forests and cash crops. Their findings were that clear-cut lands, which is the stage after deforestation and before cash crops are replanted, were 10°C warmer than forests. Younger palm oil plantation regions were 6°C warmer than forests due to the fact that their small leaves cannot shield the ground from the sun. Moreover, forests are cooler because of the transpiration effect plants have. Overall, the island’s temperature has increased by 1.05°C between 200 and 2015. At least 0.6°C is associated with the clear cutting and palm oil plantations.
Deforestation does not only affect the trees that are directly cut down, but also the whole ecosystem that becomes unbalanced because of the loss of its vegetation. Moreover, it has now been concluded that the temperature, mainly the soil’s one is getting warmer because of these activities which in its turn once again affects the habitats of animals and plants.