It is estimated that in 2012 deforestation should account for approximately 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As in previous years, most deforestation in 2012 took place in tropical rainforests.
The newest joint scientific work including Canadian and Dutch scientists says that the biggest cause of global deforestation is agriculture, which is responsible for approximately 80% of worldwide deforestation. The best example is Brazil where agriculture is actually the cause of almost all deforestation in Brazil, with 750,000 km² of forest being already gone, and 80% of previous forest being converted into grazing land for cattle.
The scientists estimate that global tropical deforestation will release 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2012.
The Amazon rainforest still produces the most worrying effects of deforestation. This is because Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, which plays key role in proper functioning of Earth's hydrological and climatological system.
The deforestation in Amazon isn't stopping because farmers continue to chop trees (slash and burn technique) in order to make room for their farms.
In the 2012, as well as throughout this last decade, two countries – Brazil and Indonesia were responsible for more than 50% of total greenhouse gas emissions from tropical deforestation.
The 2012 study by the UK scientists from Leeds says that deforestation leads to serious decrease in rainfall. They have calculated that the destruction of tropical forests would reduce rainfall across the Amazon basin by 21% in the dry season by 2050.
Our rainforests are major carbon sinkers. The 2012 study from U.S. scientists at Boston University says that tropical vegetation contains 21 percent more carbon than previously thought.