Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Burning the Amazonian Rainforest

Fires in the Amazon have grown by an horrendous amount this year. Satellite imagery from NASA show a 65% increase in fires in Brazil since the beginning of 2019, when compared to the same period in 2018. There is a direct link between the fires and deforestation in the Amazon. Of the 10 areas that have recorded the largest fires in 2019, seven are areas with the highest number of deforestation warnings.

Infoamazonia's Fire map is a visualization of historical forest fires in the whole of Latin America. The map clearly shows that the most intense and frequent fires have been in the Amazon rainforest. Recently the regions of Acre and Amazonas have both declared a state of emergency because of the levels of smoke from wildfires. August and September are historically the worst months for wildfires in the Amazon so the situation is expected to become worse in the coming months.

In the last few years Brazil had actually experienced a fall in wildfires. However last year Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro. Since Jair Bolsonaro became president the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has grown. This year the rate of wildfires has also grown.

If you are struggling to understand the rate and the scale of deforestation in the Amazon then you can use the Real-Time Amazon Deforestation interactive map. This map allows you to compare the size and rate of deforestation in the Amazon with your own neighborhood and city. When you share your location with the map a circle begins to expand on the map showing how much of the Amazon is lost in 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month etc.

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