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Deforestation Along Western Banks of São Francisco River, Brazil – February 15th, 2010

13.2S 43.4W

February 15th, 2010 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Brazil - November 15th, 2009

Brazil - November 15th, 2009

This segment of the São Francisco River in the Brazilian state of Bahia appears tan with sediments. A large area of
deforestation, easily identifiable due to its herring-bone patterns, is visible along the river’s western banks, reaching from near the municipality of Bom Jesus da Lapa (above) to just north of the border with the state of Minas Gerais (below).

Deforestation is the clearance of naturally occurring forests by the processes of humans’ logging and/or burning of trees and plants in a forested area. People’s removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Deforested regions typically incur significant adverse soil erosion and frequently degrade into wasteland. In addition to these problems, deforestation and excessive agricultural use of the upper-course waters of the São Francisco and its tributaries have greatly reduced the water flow in the middle course, creating sand banks and islands that hinder navigation.

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