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Brazil's Amazon is Burning

Brazil's Amazon is Burning
Aerial view from space of fires in the Amazon, South America, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Fires have increased by nearly 20 per cent from last June

OT Staff
July 05 , 2020
01 Min Read

The Amazon is on fire.

This isn’t hyperbole, neither are we being dramatic. The Brazilian Amazon is burning, and the blaze has been the worst this June in the last 13 years for the month.

The Amazon in Brazil has been going through a dry season, and forested land is often cleared out for farming and cattle ranches; they’re mostly burnt. This deforestation, coupled with the dry season and the havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in a perfect storm of blazes across the rainforest. Forest fires increased by nearly 20 per cent last month—2,248 fires in total—as compared to June 2019 (1,880 fires).

According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), deforestation rose nearly 35 per cent from January to May, 2020, as compared to last year, and it is estimated that nearly 9,000 sq. kilometres of the forest have been cut down in just the past year.

An important lifeline for not just the region, but the planet, the Amazon absorbs nearly two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. This is a significant part of the 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere across the world annually. The forest fires not only hinder the forest’s ability to drain the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also result in higher carbon emissions as the forest burns. Natural forest fires are rare here due to the high humidity.

This June averaged about 75 fires per day.


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