31 January 2013

Nigeria: Bush-Burning Contributes to Sheeting of Atmosphere, Says Environmentalist

Dr. William Lappi, the Zonal Director of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA), said on Monday that bush-burning was contributing to the sheeting of the atmosphere.

He explained that the fumes from burning bushes had the tendency to go into the atmosphere and cause it to be sheeted (closed) with gases, preventing rays from going out of the earth surface.

"When the bushes are burnt, a lot of fumes go into the atmosphere; the fumes that go into the atmosphere react and form carbon-monoxide and methane; these are gases that sheet the atmosphere.

"The sheeting of the atmosphere is what prevents rays from the earth surface going back; so it now covers the atmosphere; that leads to warming - the place gets warmer, the ice at the polar region is melting; and we are having flooding, we are having diseases because of this; interestingly three days ago, it rained in Jos in January; that's a typical effect of climate change."

He explained that asides the sheeting of the atmosphere, bush burning lead to the destruction of micro-organisms, bio-diversity and the loss of vegetation which serves as covering to the soil and protects the soil from erosion and desertification.

"The vegetation is destroyed; the cover is destroyed; the micro-organisms in the soil and in the environment are also affected; so you have the destruction of vegetation, the loss of bio-diversity.

"Some of the plant species that are burnt would never regenerate again; the destruction of these plants leads to exposure of the soil that would lead to erosion and after the erosion, gullies would step in; in some desert-prone areas, desertification also comes in."


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