The Amazon Rainforest Is Burning: What Does It Mean For The World

The Amazon Rainforest Is Burning: What Does It Mean For The World
Representative Image Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Amazon rainforest has been burning for three weeks and here's how it affects you

Simrran Gill
August 23 , 2019
06 Min Read

The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals.  40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals and a whopping 2.5 million different insects.

#AmazonRainforest fires seen from space 🛰

The smoke has spread across several Brazilian states,this @NASA image shows


Fires release pollutants including particulate matter & toxic gases such as carbon monoxide,nitrogen oxides &non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere

— WMO | OMM (@WMO) August 22, 2019

More tracking of the #wildfire smoke, this time from @NOAASatellites 🛰

Space observation of our Earth and our atmosphere underpins weather forecasts, early warning of hazards and analysis of #ClimateChange

— WMO | OMM (@WMO) August 22, 2019

In the Amazon region, wildfires have surged 83% this year compared to 2018, according to Brazil's space research agency INPE. The government agency has registered 72,843 fires, the highest number since records began in 2013. More than 9,500 have been spotted by satellites since last Thursday alone, The Hindu reported.

View this post on Instagram

There was worldwide outcry when the Notre Dame cathedral was on fire. Why is there not the same level of outrage for the fires destroying the #AmazonRainforest? . **UPDATE** We’re all outraged and heartbroken by what’s happening, and it’s easy to feel powerless, but there are things YOU can do. 👇 . 1. Show your outrage. Add this post to your story, keep sharing updates, tag friends, family and influencers. The more voices we have, the louder our call. . 2. Educate yourself. The more you know about the crisis that’s happening, the more that can be done. . 3. Think about the things you eat. Food production is the leading cause of deforestation, as land is being cleared to rear livestock, and to grow feed for livestock. Less demand means less deforestation. . 4. Sign our petition calling on world leaders to put this issue at the top of their agenda. (Link in bio) . 5. Donate to our emergency Amazon appeal. (Link in bio) . #FightForYourWorld #Deforestation #ClimateCrisis #Rainforest #Amazon

A post shared by WWF_UK (@wwf_uk) on Aug 21, 2019 at 7:56am PDT

With the rainforest burning, here’s what it means for the world:
>  The Amazon delivers 55 million gallons of water into the Atlantic ocean every second. More than 20% of the world's oxygen is produced by the Amazon rainforest. The lungs of the world are on fire.
>  The Amazon influences rainfall patterns as far away as the United States. A massive fire in the Amazon could bring about changes in the weather conditions.
>    25% of all western pharmaceuticals come from rainforest-based ingredients, yet less than 1% of the trees and plants in the Amazon have been tested by scientists. We are ruling out the possible discovery of many medicinal plants.
More than 80% of the world's food has its origins in the Amazon rainforest. All of that is in jeopardy currently.
>  Around 30% of our carbon emissions come from burning the Amazon rainforest. The current fire is contributing more to carbon emissions.
>  A depressing 1.5 acres of the rainforest vanishes every single second and with it an average of 137 species becoming extinct each day.
> Less than 1% of the light makes it through the canopy of the trees and when it rains it takes around 10 minutes for water to seep down to the ground. Imagine losing this dense forest cover.

Did you know that in April 2019, the Ecuadorian court stopped oil exploration activities in 1,800 square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest? In July 2019, the court also forbade the government to sell territory within the forests to oil companies in an attempt to curb deforestation and prevent the misuse of the rainforest. 

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