Trees are one of the most precious natural resources we have and, unfortunately, also one of the most threatened. For this reason, it is important to instill in children from an early age the value that forests have, both when it comes to conserving and enriching ecosystems, and when it comes to guaranteeing human survival.
If you want to explain the consequences of deforestation for children , as well as make them understand the great value of our planet’s forests, keep reading AgroCorrn and we will tell you about it.
The water cycle and the importance of forests
In order for children to understand one of the most important elements that forests have, they first need to understand the water cycle and how forests can help regulate its effects. The natural water cycle begins with rain. Clouds discharge water in the form of rain on the land and different bodies of water, such as lakes and rivers, which allows terrestrial ecosystems to grow and develop properly. The water is then carried by the rivers to the sea, where it joins with the rest of the water in the oceans and, later, evaporates, forming new clouds that will give rise to new rains, thus closing the cycle.
However, there is one more element to take into account in this cycle, and this is where one of the most important aspects of forests lies and that children have to understand. All rainwater does not necessarily come from the seas, but there is also water on land, especially in forested areas. When it rains, a very important part of that water ends up in the rivers. But, another part seeps into the earth and recharges the underground aquifers , thus allowing us to have water even in times when it does not rain too much. In fact, in order for this water to soak up the soils well and not slide quickly into the rivers, it is necessary that the soils have vegetation, since the roots of the forest treesthey allow this water to filter better into the aquifers. So here we find one of the reasons why forests are so important , as well as why deforestation is one of the biggest problems we face today.
For more information related to this, you can consult this other article on Why is the conservation of tropical forests important .
Evapotranspiration, important to understand the consequences of deforestation
However, forests, in addition to helping to recharge and preserve natural aquifers in land-based areas, also play an important role, since forests are capable of creating clouds , which is why few are formed in desert areas. clouds , which can be very appealing to children and will also make it easier to capture their attention.
It is known to all that plants, like animals, breathe. However, plants emit O2, while animals expel CO2. In this way, the wastes of some are useful for others, and vice versa, closing a cycle that should be kept in balance for the interest of all living beings and ecosystems on the planet. At this point, children can be given an example that, when they breathe themselves, they emit water vapor in addition to CO2 (the test can be done by having them blow out steam in a mirror and check the effect). This happens with all breaths, including those of plants, and also those of trees. This means that when all the trees in the forest breathe, they emit the same mist that the children emit in the mirror. In fact,
The most important part of evapotranspiration is that, when water vapor is emitted into the atmosphere, and when it does so in the large amounts that forests do because they are large masses of vegetation, clouds are produced. In other words, all clouds do not come only from the evaporation of sea water, but can also be produced directly on land thanks to the effect of forest respiration.. These clouds act in the same way as the clouds produced in the seas, but with one difference, they do not need to be moved by the winds to the mainland, so they usually discharge their rain again on the same forests and lands that have formed them, giving rise to a shorter cycle of water but very efficient in keeping an ecosystem flourishing. In this way, forests not only help us obtain fresh water through aquifers, but they also do so by creating clouds on land, so deforestation threatens the natural supply of water we need to live.
Consult this other article to know well the Causes of deforestation and expand the explanation to children.
Loss of oxygen, one of the most serious consequences of deforestation
Finally, another element that we cannot fail to mention when explaining to a child why deforestation has dire consequences for the ecosystem, the planet and the human being is oxygen . Oxygen is one of the most important gases that we find in our atmosphere for several reasons. The first and closest is because it is the gas that animals, including humans, breathe, so we need it for something as simple as staying alive.
Secondly, another of the important factors that oxygen has is that it is the main gas that opposes CO2 (carbon dioxide), one of the main greenhouse gases , which is most directly responsible for climate change in our planet. Thus, the further deforestation progresses, the less oxygen there will be in the air and, consequently, the faster climate change will develop . In the same way, on the contrary, the more forests we conserve, as well as the more trees we plant, the more oxygen there will be in the atmosphere, ensuring a healthier air to breathe and a more balanced climate away from the greenhouse effect.
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