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The Amazon Fire

The Amazon Fire

The Amazon Fire

There have been a lot of fires in Brazil this year – about 76% more than there were during the same period last year. And just 48 hours after Brazil’s government put a ban on burning and land clearing, to help stop the fires spreading, satellite data found that 2,000 more fires started in the Amazon alone. The 2019 fires will have a big and long-lasting impact on the forest itself, and the wider world. While the Amazon fires aren’t going to deplete the Earth’s supply of oxygen, they will release large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO₂) into the atmosphere. For example, when just 0.2% of the Amazon burned in 2016, it released 30m tons of CO₂ – that’s almost as much as Denmark emitted in 2018. This is bad news, because as you probably know, CO₂ is a “greenhouse gas” that contributes to global warming and climate change – and humans are already creating dangerous amounts of it through energy use, transport and industry.

Context of Amazon Fires

  • Over the last several days, the Amazon rainforest has been burning at a rate that has alarmed environmentalists and governments worldwide.
  • Mostly caused by farmers clearing land, the fires have thrown the spotlight on Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies and anti-environment stance.
  • Thousands of fires are ravaging the Amazon rainforest in Brazil – the most intense blazes for almost a decade.
  • Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the region. So far this year, almost 73,000 fires have been detected by Brazil’s space research centre.

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