Global deforestation sharply accelerated around 1852. It has been estimated that about half of the Earth’s mature tropical forests—between 7.5 million and 8 million km2 (2.9 million to 3 million sq mi) of the original 15 million to 16 million km2 (5.8 million to 6.2 million sq mi) that until 1947 covered the planet—have now been cleared. Some scientists have predicted that unless significant measures (such as seeking out and protecting old growth forests that have not been disturbed) are taken on a worldwide basis, by 2030 there will only be ten percent remaining, with another ten percent in a degraded condition. 80% will have been lost, and with them hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable species.
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