School: New Mexico Military Institute
Area of Science: Natural Environment
Deforestation Interim Report
Forests create ecosystems, supporting life on earth. However, deforestation is a major issue today; it reduces the number of trees resulting in a decrease in biodiversity and the depletion of natural resources, all of which play an essential role in our lives. Researchers estimate the abolishment of rainforests within one-hundred years at our current rate of deforestation, and the fact that forestry is responsible for about 24% of global greenhouse demonstrate the severity of deforestation. Trees are significant to our ecosystem. It absorbs the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in our atmosphere; this means that as deforestation accelerates, global warming will accelerate as well. This affects the global warming rate but also affects the habitats and food of the countless plants, animals, and people on earth. Many are aware that trees are an essential resource on our planet, but due to the development of agriculture, many forests are chopped down to plant crops, or for more sites. Many efforts of individuals and groups are being made but are not enough for a significant impact of environmental renewal and it is in our interest to effectively solve this problem.
Our simulation will predict how many trees will be left by changing the variables using sliders. One of the variables is population, which is one of the causes of deforestation. Another variable would be individual income. As income grows, people tend to use other energy sources rather than firewood. Besides, farmers will use modern agriculture techniques, which would reduce the demand for agriculture land. We can adjust the variables to find the best way to slow down deforestation.
The program will also allow the user to adjust the rate of tree growth. One of the causes of deforestation is agriculture plantation. We will be able to adjust the deforestation rate of trees by agriculture expansion. By adjusting the growth rate, we can figure out which species of trees and how many trees must be planted to get the expected result.
Progress to Date:
So far, we have done a lot of research that gives us important information for our simulation. We found many causes of deforestation that could be used as our variables. For now, population, desertification due to construction, and un-desertification by planting trees are the only variables we have implemented. More variables will be added as more research is done.
We will find an optimal solution to delay our deforestation rate by finding the most cost-efficient method of planting trees; according to several sources, planting trees is simply the most effective out of all other solutions. By using our simulation, we will have a better sense of how our future would look with our current deforestation rate and an estimate of how our future would be by effectively planting trees.
Sponsoring Teacher: Mark Stone
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