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The Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, is currently on fire and has been for the past 18 days. Forest fires in the Amazon rainforest are burning at a record rate and scientists believe this could be detrimental in the fight against climate change.
Fun Fact: The Amazon provides 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere, often referred to as “the Earth’s lungs.”
The Amazon is vital in slowing global warming and is roughly half the size of the United States. The smoke from the fires is spreading from Brazil to the east Atantic coast. Smoke is covering nearly half the country and is now spreading to Peu, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Many are blaming Brazil’s president for relaxing environmental control in the country.
There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil this year (with more than half in its Amazon region), and satellite images have spotted 9,507 new forest fires in the county — mostly in the Amazon basin — since Thursday, according to CNN and Reuters, both citing Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
Officials with the INPE said dry weather and natural factors are solely to blame for the uptick in blazes.
“There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average,” INPE researcher Alberto Setzer said, according to Reuters. “The dry season creates the favorable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident.”
God Bless This Planet!