The Amazon Is Burning And Everyone Needs To Know

When Cara Delevingne posted a screenshot of a tweet that said the Amazon rainforest has been burning for three weeks, I was like, is this legit or #fakenews?

The tweet said “I’m just now finding out because of the lack of media coverage”. And I could say the same thing.

If you’re wondering just how serious it is, the smoke from the burning rainforest can be seen from space, according to images released by NASA last week.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview and VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview, and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.

INPE (which translates into National Institute for Space Research), a research unit of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, reported that there is a substantial rise in the rate of deforestation, but the President, Jair Bolsonaro, had fired the head of the agency and dismissed the report, stating that it was simply the period where farmers clear the land to rear cattles.

However, the agency had noted that there has been an increase in deforestation despite the climate remaining status quo. This suggests that some of the fires were man-made.

Inpe researcher Alberto Setzer told Reuters: “There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average. The dry season creates the favourable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident.”

Roraima, a Brazilian state located in the north of the country, was seen covered in dark smoke, while the state of Amazonas has declared an emergency over the fires. According to Euronews, the state had 1,699 forest fires this year that were detected by satellites, and 80% of them occurred last month.

The smoke from the fires had also caused a blackout in Sao Paulo earlier this week, which lasted for about an hour. A photo uploaded yesterday showed the city in darkness even in the afternoon because of the smoke from the forest fire.

Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, and plays a key role in slowing down global warming. According to WWF, the trees lowers pollutant levels, remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen, hence lowering the greenhouse effect that lead to climate change.

Amazon fires, on the other hand, releases large amounts of carbon that escalates global warming.

To put it simply, we are destroying the earth at a faster rate than we think.