The maincauses and geographic patterns of distribution deforestation, acidrain, and desertification
Deforestation, acidic rain and desertification top the list of globalclimatic problems in the 21st century. These problems havebeen mostly influential in terms of climatic patterns experienced indifferent parts of the world. Any one or a combination of theseproblems has unique effects on the climate and people of an affected.Their spatial distribution is different and occurs along commonlines. The main causes of the influences of the geographic patternsof distribution are mainly, level of development, government policy,population level, and socio economic factors.
The level of development in most countries determines the amount ofwaste that the country or the people in the country emit. Highlydeveloped countries such as China, Germany, Japan and the US emitsignificantly more waste than other underdeveloped countries. Thedeveloped countries emit waste in form industrial toxic chemicals andfumes that pollute the environment. Specifically, acidic rain causesdesertification and deforestation (Park 46). This happens when acidicgasses such as sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide are released into theatmosphere by industrial processes (Canadel, Pataki, Pitelka, 34).The gases then mix with rain water in a process called oxidation togive out nitric acid and sulphuric acid. These acids are dangerous tothe vegetation cover as they can kill plants including trees therebycausing deforestation. Continued deforestation causes desertificationbecause trees and vegetation cover play an important role in theclimatic cycle. As such, any interference with the climatic cycleinfluences climatic patterns.
Although acid rain can also occur naturally, countries and regionswith a higher concentration of industries are more likely to releasesuch harmful gasses into the environment thus directly influence theincidence of acidic rain, deforestation, and desertification in theirregion. Continued and poorly regulated development in China, Europeand North America has resulted in release of acidic gasses resultingin acidic rain in the area. Studies in the US have showed acidconcentration in lake waters to be as high as 5% (Canadel, Pataki,Pitelka, 121). However, climatic conditions and especially wind candistribute effects of pollution further. Park (57) says that studiesin 1981 revealed that toxic gases were transported by wind into theartic travelling over 1000 km. this could mean that thedesertification and deforestation problems being experienced in somerelatively underdeveloped parts of the world such as Africa arecaused by the activities of more developed countries.
Deforestation, desertification and acidic rain occur naturally invarious ways. This also means that their impact is distributednaturally. This happens when carbon dioxide which is released bynatural processes such as respiration, decomposition and lightning.The released carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonicacid. In the same manner, lighting can oxidize nitrogen in theatmosphere to form nitric oxide which if it combines with water formsnitric acid. This nitric acid is highly corrosive and ends up killingplant cover.
The distribution of pollution in the name of acidic rain,deforestation and desertification is influenced by populationdistribution. Increased global population has seen forest covercleared for real estate development and for farming purposes. In somecountries such as Bolivia, Kenya, Ghana, Malaysia, and Cambodia havecleared huge tracts of land to facilitate cultivation of palm oiltrees to feed the growing biodiesel industry. Such practices haveled to increased use of pesticides and fertilizers which are notsustainable. The effect of such pesticides is that they have killedsome forests due to changes in ecological balance. Ordinarily,clearing forests for real estate purposes not only increases surfacerun off as most surfaces are covered by tarmac and roofs but alsoresults in pollution of other resources through poor management ofwaste. When that happens, the neighboring forest cover is threatened.The result is that climatic conditions change given that the place oftress in the ecological cycle is interfered with (Canadel, Pataki,Pitelka, 46). The results are evident in rapid desertification inspaces such as southern part of Africa including Namibia, Botswanaand Namibia. In Africa too, the Sahara desert is rapidly spreadingsouthwards with countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia largelyaffected by desertification and famine.
The other issue that determines the distribution of these globalproblems is government policy on pollution. Some countries in theworld have enacted strict environment management policies that guideorganizations individuals in the country. For instance, Australia hasadapted a very strict environment protection policy with theintroduction of a carbon tax largely targeting coal producers. Inother countries such as China and the US, the approach to environmentmanagement has been rather relaxed. Tale for instance the US is not asignatory to the Kyoto protocol of environment management. Wheregovernment fail to enact strong laws to control private organizationsand individuals from over exploitation of the environment andemitting hazardous compounds into the environment may results to acidrain, deforestation and desertification.
Three biomesof North Eastern Eurasia: tundra, taiga and steppe
North eastern Eurasia is characterised by three unique biomes,tundra, taiga and steppe. Each of these biomes presents a uniqueecosystem that defines the three contiguous areas. Although biomescannot be identified by their history of taxonomy, they can beidentified by their ecosystem and the climax vegetation. Climaxvegetation in this case is the dominant vegetation in any givenbiome.
The tundra is a biome known as a cold desert. It is characterized bylack of or very little vegetation hindered by extremely lowtemperatures. The north eastern Eurasia, being closest to the arctic,experiences very low temperatures. In fact, the region is experiencevery long winters with very few of daylight which makes it hard alsofor vegetation to flourish. As such, the only common vegetationconsists of scarcely scattered tress, dwarf shrubs, grass, moss andlichen. This biome is closest in resemblance to the steppe biome.This is because the steppe also experiences vegetation in form ofgrassland and very few trees. The only trees common in this biome arelocated close to water sources such as lakes and rivers. However, thetwo biomes have very different reason for the type of vegetation.while the Tundra biome only supports dwarf shrubs, scarcely scatteredtrees and grass because of extremely low temperatures especially inthe winter, the steppe only experiences few trees and short toughgrass because the region receives very little precipitation andrecords very low temperatures in winter. The temperatures in thisregion fluctuate between –40 °F in winter and 104 °F in summer(Crawford, 34). It for this reason that the only few trees found inthe biome are located close to water sources. This is akin to desertswhich only have trees of vegetation close to waters sources suchrivers of the random oases.
The taiga biome is the most unique of the three biomes and thelargest terrestrial biome in the whole world. This is because thebiome spreads to the US, Canada, Kazakhstan, Sweden and other partsof northern Europe. In the US, it is found in the northern statessuch as Minnesota, New England and Michigan. It is characterized byconiferous forests which comprise pine, spruce and larch among otherminor species. The large presence of these coniferous trees hasearned the biome another name, boreal forest. However, the largeareas occupied by this biome means that it is open to variationsinternally. For instance, in Russia the dominant tress species isspruce, larch and pine while in Finland birch replace larch. In theUS, the spruce is most common. The biome also experiences lowtemperatures but not in the extremities of the Tundra and Steppe aswinters in steppe is relatively shorter. However, temperatures canalso drop to a low of -65°F in winter (Shagedanova, 187).
The distribution of flora in these three biomes influences greatlythe distribution of fauna. In the tundra, the hostile climatesupports a relatively low number of species that is below 50. Theanimals living in this biome feed on fellow animals or the over 1700species of flora in the area. The place also has a very low humanpopulation (Shagedanova, 188). This is because the weather isextreme. Furthermore, economic activities in the area are largelyunviable. Although there have been mineral prospects, exploration andmining is difficult. For the scare local population, hunting of deerand fishing provide food. Nonetheless, the region is a migrationroute for millions of bird fleeing the harsh arctic climate goingsouthwards. The number of fish species and reptiles found in theregion is very low. This is because fishes and reptiles such aslizard get their body temperatures from the environment. With suchlow temperatures, the biome is too harsh for many of these species.The situation in the steppe biome changes with the species of grassesincreasing. This makes the area more capable of supporting a highernumber and population of species. Grazing animals such as rabbits,horses, antelopes and deer are dominant in the steppe biome as theyare supported by the expansive grasslands. Human economic activitiesin the steppe area are also higher with animal keeping and lumberingtopping the list. In the taiga region, the diversity of the fauna andflora is very expansive. The climates are fairer with shorter winters and longer summers. Nonetheless, the environment is stillchallenging for reptiles which limits the number of species ofreptiles in the area.
Biomes. Web. 12thMacrh. 2014
Blinnikov,Mikhail, A Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors, New York:Guilford Press. 2011,
Crawford, Robert,Tundra-Taiga Biology, London: Oxford University Press, 2013,print.
Canadel, Joseph,Pataki, Diane and Pitelaka, Louis, Terrestrial Ecosystems in aChanging World.
Park, Chris. AcidRain: Rhetoric and Reality, New York Springer, 2007, print.
Shagedanova,Maria, The Physical Geography of Northern Eurasia, London: OxfordUniversity