Tag: tropical deforestation

The Domino Effects of Tropical Deforestation

This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition

The Domino Effects of Tropical Deforestation

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), we lose over 10 million hectares of forests every single year. That’s the same as losing an area the size of New York’s Central Park every 18 minutes.

In this graphic from our sponsor LEAF Coalition, we take a look at the drastic knock-on effects of tropical deforestation: from significant greenhouse gas emissions and irreversible loss in biodiversity to the impact on the lives of Indigenous Peoples.

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector

When looking at how greenhouse gas emissions break down by sector, the agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for nearly 15% of global emissions.

Moreover, global models estimate that net emissions from land use and land use change are mostly as a result of deforestation.

Sector% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2019
Energy: Electricity & Heat31.8%
Agriculture, Forestry, & Other Land Use14.9%
Energy: Transport14.3%
Energy: Manufacturing & Construction12.7%
Energy: Fugitive Emissions6.8%
Energy: Buildings6.2%
Industrial Processes6.1%
Energy: International Bunker2.6%
Energy: Other Fuel Combustion1.2%

From 2002-2015, a handful of commodities were responsible for 55% of all agriculture-linked deforestation. These include:

The Impact of Deforestation on Carbon Storage

This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition
graphic showing the impacts of deforestation both short and long term

The Impact of Deforestation on Carbon Storage

A one degree change in temperature could have catastrophic consequences.

One of the most notable influences on rising global average temperatures comes from deforestation. In fact, combined emissions from deforestation are higher than the annual emissions of any other country (apart from the U.S. and China) and contribute to roughly 12% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions.

This graphic from The LEAF Coalition takes a closer look at the impact deforestation has on global greenhouse gas emissions through carbon storage.

The Short and Long-Term Impacts

The devastating impact deforestation has on the environment cannot be understated. By some estimates, 30% of the globe’s carbon emissions are absorbed by forests each year. Yet 3.75 million hectares of tropical primary rainforest were lost in 2021, equating to 10 football pitches per minute.

However, the problem deforestation poses is actually two-fold—carbon stocks in the short-term and carbon sequestration in the long-run.

Forests have powerful carbon stocking capabilities. This refers to their ability to store carbon in biomass like their roots, trunks, and branches. Here’s how global carbon stocking by ecosystems compare:

EcosystemEstimated Carbon Stock (Gt)Annual Loss Rate
Tropical moist forests295 Gt0.45%
Boreal forests283 Gt0.18%
Temperate broadleaf forests133 Gt0.35%
Temperate (Read more...)