A Chilling Compilation of the Fires Currently Raging Across the Amazon
The following excerpt is from Brian Kahn’s article on Earther:
What began as a “day of fire” a week and a half ago has now turned daytime skies in São Paulo an inky black. The Amazon has been in deep, deep trouble ever since far-right president Jair Bolsnaro took over running Brazil. Advocates feared his regime would commit ecological “genocide” in the Amazon and with each passing month, those fears are becoming reality.
Deforestation rates have spiked in recent months, and now large swaths of the world’s largest rainforest have exploded in flames set by human activities. The fires could accelerate the decline of the Amazon and its ability to foster biodiversity and store carbon.
The Amazon has seen 71,497 fires ignited since January, according to data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (more commonly known by its Portuguese acronym, INPE). That’s an 82 percent increase compared to last year and well above 2016’s extreme count of 66,622 blazes.
The Brazilian state of Pará saw a huge burst of fire activity last week after farmers called for a “day of fire” on August 10, according to Brazilian paper Folha de S. Paolo. INPE spotted hundreds of fires across the state as farmers lit up rainforest, a practice often used to clear land to put in mono crops like soybeans or open land for pastures and cattle farming. The fires have also sent carbon dioxide emissions spiraling well above normal, according to data from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. [source]
There’s much more information in Kahn’s article, you can read the full piece on Gizmodo.