Price of Deforestation

AMAZON, BURNING OF THE, 4 – DeforestationCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.In the Brazilian Amazon, there’s an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 square kilometers of rainforest burned every year. Twenty thousand square kilometers is roughly equivalent to the size of the state of Massachusetts. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, rainforest Today we’ll begin to have a look at the reasons why people are cutting down the rainforest, and what some of the effects will be.(Brown) “Deforestation means burning, because it involves cutting down the forest, and during the dry season, burning it to prepare the land for either pasture or for crops.”Foster Brown is an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center.(Brown) “The ash produced from the burning is rich in nutrients, and those nutrients are what are used during the first few years of crops. In the same way, cattle ranchers clear and burn to produce richer pastures.”Clearing and burning rainforest land for pasture affords a short term gain of increased soil fertility. But in the process the soil loses its protective cover.(Brown) “That soil is now exposed to direct impact of rain, which accelerates erosion and tends to impoverish the soil over time. So, it requires either very good management techniques, or it leads to abandonment, which is by far the most important result of deforestation.”ambience, chain saw/tree falling in rainforest This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Price of Deforestation

Every year, an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts burns in the Brazilian Rainforest. This archival program is part of Pulse of the Planet's 30th anniversary celebration.
Air Date:05/31/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

AMAZON, BURNING OF THE, 4 - DeforestationCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.In the Brazilian Amazon, there's an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 square kilometers of rainforest burned every year. Twenty thousand square kilometers is roughly equivalent to the size of the state of Massachusetts. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, rainforest Today we'll begin to have a look at the reasons why people are cutting down the rainforest, and what some of the effects will be.(Brown) "Deforestation means burning, because it involves cutting down the forest, and during the dry season, burning it to prepare the land for either pasture or for crops."Foster Brown is an associate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center.(Brown) "The ash produced from the burning is rich in nutrients, and those nutrients are what are used during the first few years of crops. In the same way, cattle ranchers clear and burn to produce richer pastures."Clearing and burning rainforest land for pasture affords a short term gain of increased soil fertility. But in the process the soil loses its protective cover.(Brown) "That soil is now exposed to direct impact of rain, which accelerates erosion and tends to impoverish the soil over time. So, it requires either very good management techniques, or it leads to abandonment, which is by far the most important result of deforestation."ambience, chain saw/tree falling in rainforest This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.