Amazon Rainforest fire: Cause, impact, everything you need to know
Amazon Rainforest fire: Amazon rainforest, the world's largest rain forest is at the risk of getting burned out completely. The rainforest, which contributes almost 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen, has been burning for over 16 days resulting in a major loss of trees and biodiversity. It will get completely burned out if it is not put out soon.
Amazon rainforest fire impact can already be seen in different regions in South America including the Atlantic coast and Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. Sao Paulo plunged into sudden darkness around 3 pm on Monday. A dark, smoky cover seemed to envelop the city and the rain that poured down smelled like smoke. Sao Paulo is located about thousands of kilometers away from the burning fire.
Amazon rainforest fire from space
Amazon Rainforest Fire Cause
Though forest fires are common in the Amazon during this period, as it is a dry season in the southern Amazon, the year 2019 has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of the fires and their intensity. The worrisome fact is that the burning has increased at a time when there is a huge decrease in the rates of deforestation in Brazilian Amazon.
According to environmentalists, 99 percent of the forest fires are a result of human actions, either on purpose or by accident. Farmers and ranchers use fire generally to clear the land for further utilisation. This year's fires also fit perfectly into the established seasonal agricultural pattern. This time is the most suitable to burn because the vegetation is dry. Farmers generally wait for the dry season to start burning and clearing areas so that their cattle can graze, However, peak of the dry season is yet to come in September.
Environmentalists blame Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
The environmentalists are blaming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the forest fires. When Bolsonaro was running for president, he had promised to restore Brazil's economy by exploring the economic potential of the Amazon rainforest. As per environmentalists, Bolsonaro has encouraged the farmers and ranchers to exploit and burn the rainforest like never before.
The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also expressed deep concern over the blazing fire in the Amazon rainforest.
Amazon Rainforest Fire: Impact
The fire in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has been burning at the highest rate. There have been around 72,843 fires in Brazil in 2019 itself, with more than half in the Amazon rainforest. This shows an 80 percent increase in fires during the same period in 2018.
According to scientists, the Amazon rainforest fire could deliver a huge blow to the global fight against climate change. The fire will not only result in a major loss of trees and biodiversity but also release excess CO2 into the atmosphere. The forest fires also release pollutants including particulate matter and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere
Amazon rainforest, considered to be as the planet’s lungs as it contributes about 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen, is vital to slow down global warming. The rainforest is currently home to uncountable species of fauna and flora. While the immediate impact of the fire would be changes in the heating of the regional atmosphere, in the long term it is expected to lead to a potential decline in natural carbon.
Bolivia orders world's largest air tanker to put out the Amazon rainforest fire
Bolivia has contracted its Boeing 747 ‘Supertanker’ to help put out the Amazon rainforest fire. The supertanker is expected to be put in operations from August 23. The announcement was made by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales on August 21, 2019. The Boeing 747 ‘Supertanker’ has the capacity to carry more water than any other aircraft in the world.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest on Earth. The rainforest creates 20 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.
The rainforest is home to 40 percent of the worlds tropical forest and holds 20 percent of the worlds freshwater supply. It is also home to 10 percent of the world’s species and 40,000 plant species and around 3000 varieties of edible fruits.
Further, the Amazon rainforest is also the natural habitat of 430 species of mammals and millions of insect species.