The Amazon forest produces about 20% of the world’s oxygen and is called “the planet’s lungs,” which is now under great danger. For the last few weeks, Amazon has been burning, filling the Brazilian sky with smoke. The number of fires in the region this year may have set a new record. This is probably is the most intense blazes in almost a decade.
How bad are the blazes? The Amazon rainforest fires have seen a record number in 2019, Brazilian space agency data suggests. This year undoubtedly has seen more than double the number of fires in Brazil than in 2018. The surge marks an 83% increase in wildfires over the period of 2018, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
NASA said, “it is not unusual to see fires in Brazil at this time of year due to high temperatures and low humidity it seems this year the number of fires may be record-setting.”
Amazon rainforest fire was started by loggers and farmers clearing the land for industrial and agricultural purposes which then got out of control. So far 39,194 fires have been detected in the rainforest this year. The blazes are so large and intense that their smoke has wafted thousands of miles to the Atlantic Coast.
On Monday, the largest state in Brazil, Amazonas, declared a state of emergency as the smoke plumes from blazes in the Amazon have been spreading from the state of Amazonas to the nearby states of Pará and Mato Grosso.
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The blazes have created a layer of smoke, which is estimated to be 1.2 million square miles wide. The Bolivian government has hired a fire-fighting air tanker to help extinguish wildfires in the east of the country.
Images have been captured from satellite showcasing how the smoke is sliding from north to south in Brazil. This has also set a new record for the most deforestation ever in the Amazon in a single month. The rainforest is estimated to be shrunk by 519 square miles, which is 23 times the size of Manhattan.
The Amazon is incredibly essential for our future, for our ability to stave off the worst of climate change, and if this gets destroyed, then it is inevitably the destruction of our planet.