- Amazon Rainforest ablaze again
- In August 2019, the Amazon Rainforest saw worst fires in the history
- Last year, the fire season saw a 200% Year-on-Year increase
One year ago the worst of fires befell the Amazon Rainforest. In August last year, almost 31,000 separate fires burned through the Brazilian Amazon which caused an international crisis and prompt warnings from the scientists that the world’s largest rainforest war teetering on the point of no return.
In the year 2019 people witnessed a surge in fires during the dry months of the Brazilian fire season which was a 200% year-on-year increase, engulfing more than 9,000 sq km of the Amazon.
The immediate cause behind those fires was found to be the illegal burning of felled trees by farmers and ranchers in the region.
People thinking that the destruction of 2019 was a one-off scenario, the 2020’s fire season has come as a rude wake up call. According to the data shared by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil, 29, 307 fires burned in the Amazon in August 2020.
A report said, “In Amazonas, one of the nine Brazilian states that are home to the rainforest, 7,600 fires have been detected in August, the highest since 1998.”
The report added, “And that’s not all. The world’s largest tropical wetland, Pantanal, on the Brazil-Bolivia border, is also on fire. Over 150,000 sqkm in size, the wetland recorded 4,677 fires in August, the worst in 15 years, according to INPE.”
It also added, “A combination of drought and record high temperatures has severely affected the wetland, making it susceptible to fires.”
Similar to the year 2019, the Brazilian Government led by President Jair Bolsonaro who denies climate change, is facing charges of not doing enough to either combat the fire or to put a stop to the deforestation.
Earlier this year, in July, the government banned the man-made fires for 120 days, but in early August, Bolsonaro had also called the fires raging in the Amazon “a lie”.
To make the matters even worse, on the 28th of August, the country’s Environment Ministry announced that it is suspending operations to combat illegal deforestation and the burning of the Pantanal, citing a funds crunch.
A report said, “It had come to light last year that the Amazon is heating up and drying out, and that over 17% of the forest has been lost to deforestation in the past 50 years. Since massive annual fires now seem to be the norm, it won’t be long till more than 20% of the Amazon is deforested.”
The report added, “Scientists predict that when this happens, a tipping point would be reached when the rainforest would be unable to recycle rainwater and wither away into grasslands”.