Agriculture – The Aftermath

Dead Zones

Dead zones can be found around the world with the largest and thickest example recently being discovered in the Gulf of Oman. This dead zone is larger than the area of Scotland. These are oxygen starved areas where very little marine life can survive. Human pollution spurs algae growth and as algae absorbs huge quantities of oxygen the ocean suffocates. Dead zones release Nitrous Oxide, a greenhouse gas far more damaging than CO2 and therefore it is another great contributor to global warming.

The main cause of dead zones are chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus running off agricultural land and into water ways. While this occurs around the world it is most common in areas where heavy agriculture and industry spill nutrients meant for crops into water.

The effect of increasing deforestation and agriculture is having a dramatic effect on our oceans, dead zones demonstrate just one of the further reaching consequences of our actions on the planet.

Soil erosion

Soil erosion appears after forests are converted to agricultural land and fertile soil is swept away with the exposed top soil left to erode. Just some of the forms agriculture which cause this are,

  • Coffee
  • Soy bean
  • Tobacco
  • Tea
  • Cotton
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Palm oil

Since 1960 approximately one third of the worlds arable land has been lost through soil erosion with a loss of 10 million hectares per year because of it. Due to agricultural land becoming degraded producers keep moving to more productive land and increasing the damage caused by the agricultural sector.

Deforestation is having a dramatically adverse effect on global warming, the survival of thousands of species of animals and plants in the wild, on local communities and indigenous peoples and habitats around the world. Within 100 years the worlds rainforests could completely disappear if we continue to remove them at our current rate.

Here is a link to our sustainable palm oil policy for more information on how we support sustainable palm oil here at Wingham Wildlife Park: