Deforestation isn’t putting us in danger of an oxygen shortage. It is estimated that between 70 and 80% of the world’s oxygen is generated by marine plants, most of which are single celled algae. If we destroyed all the algae, then we might suffer an oxygen shortage. However, algae is pretty tough, and a lot of the harsh chemicals we release into the environment actually promote algal blooms. This is bad for things like aquatic life, which don’t get enough sunlight when there is a ton of algae floating on the water, but it keeps land organisms pretty well oxygenated. The problem with deforestation, then, isn’t how much oxygen trees produce, but how much CO2 they take up. CO2 makes up less than 1% of our atmosphere, and a little more of it wouldn’t make it harder to breath, but it does contribute to global warming and climate change, which is the serious environmental threat we should be worrying about, and why we should be saving our forests, which house our carbon dioxide, and prevent it from trapping heat in our atmosphere.
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