One of the raging topics that have been going around is the fire in the Amazon forest. There are instances of so many fires in Brazil this year- about 76% more than the last year, the count going up to 72,000 incidents. The intensity of the fire is such that the skies of Sao Paulo have turned black due to the smoke rising from the fire which is 2,700 km away. Online platforms are buzzing with some misleading photos and facts. Let us try to clear some of the misinformation in our blog.
While some fires are expected in the dry season of Brazil in Amazon jungle, many of them are believed to have been started deliberately. President Bolsonaro is not transparent and has still not condemned deforestation. Moreover, he openly supports clearing the Amazon for agriculture and mining. The smaller groups of people are also responsible for starting the fires than the big corporations. More than 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest is already gone, and much more is severely threatened as the destruction continues.
It was also stated that, so far this year 228 megatonnes of carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere which is highest since 2010. The forest is burning since July but the trend on social media started recently because of #PrayforAmazonas and #PrayforAmazonia hashtag. Why? The first real sign was reported when smoke from the Amazon fire hit Sao Paulo causing a daytime blackout on 19th August. From that day the hashtag became the trending topic all over the social media handles.
The size of a football pitch is lost every minute due to fire in the Amazon forest.
Many people quoted in their social media handles that Amazon produces 20% of the world’s oxygen. But academics say that this is a very big misconception. The figure is less than 10%. The majority proportion of the world’s oxygen is produced by plankton. According to 2018 satellite data compiled by a deforestation monitoring program called Prodes, amazon deforestation has hit its highest rate in a decade.
Talking about the effect of these amazon fire on global weather, well there will be an immediate effect of fire on the climate of South America leading to less rainfall and more prolong dry seasons. The Paris climate deal which aims to limit average temperature rise to below two degrees will be more difficult to achieve. For most of human history, Amazon rainforest deforestation was primarily the product of subsistence farmers who cut down trees to produce crops for their families and local consumption.