Data and satellite images from the Amazon has caused concerns among scientists and environmentalists. Reports state that the region saw 72,843 fires this year.
The destruction of forests and wildlife for the selfish gains of mankind have resulted in various environmental issues. Though we have been experiencing major climatic changes and natural disasters across the world, we continue to exploit mother earth and neglect these issues as if it never existed. However, the events around us speak for itself calling for immediate attention to environmental conservation. The latest addition to these events are the Amazon fires which begun weeks before and are still continuing.
AMAZON FIRE SEEN FROM SPACE— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) August 21, 2019
LOOK: Huge pillars of thick smoke coming from a wild forest fire razing the Amazon rainforest for weeks were seen from space. | (Photos courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory) pic.twitter.com/kRpiRTj1XU
According to reports by Reuters, the Amazon rain forest has recorded 72,843 fires this year. As per Brazil’s space research center INPE, this is the highest recorded since 2013. The satellite footage by the agency showed an 83 percent increase over the same time in 2018. It stated that about 9,507 forest fires have been observed in the Amazon region since Thursday, 15 August 2019.
Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest is on fire since 3 Weeks. It’s an area that almost never burns on its own, yet the blazes have grown so intense that they blacked out the sky above. #AmazonRainforest #AmazonFire pic.twitter.com/P0eQSSCF2O— Zeeshan Saeed (@dudeimlegend) August 20, 2019
The continuous fires in the region have resulted in the spread of dark smoke in Brazil's northern state, Roraima. Satellite footage released by NASA also showed the regions covered in a dark blanket of smoke. On 19 August 2019, an hour-long daytime blackout was reported in Sao Paulo, because of the smoke brought on by the strong winds from fires in the state of Amazonas and Rondonia, located more than 1,700 miles away. "It was as if the day had turned into night," said a resident to CBS. The Amazonas, on the other hand, has declared a state of emergency in the southern part of the state and in its capital Manaus on 9 August 2019.
Though it is common for wildfires to occur during the dry season of July and August, it is suspected that fires were started deliberately to deforest the land for personal benefits.
"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 favorable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident," said INPE researcher Alberto Setzer to Reuters.
The head of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Amazon Programme, Ricardo Mello said that the fire was caused due to the increase in deforestation figures over the years. A report by INPE said that there was 88 percent increase in deforestation in June 2019 compared to the same month last year.
This is the sky from são paulo from the amazon fire..it's frightening pic.twitter.com/HXEZzCkrM4— Permanent Gay Brain Rot (@SimmerDownScaly) August 20, 2019
The fires at the Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest vital for fighting the ongoing global warming has raised concerns. Over the years, Amazon has been subjected to various changes. The land which was inaccessible to the outside world was exploited by humans who cleared the forest for farming, constructing dams and even digging minerals. The building of roads invited the world into the rich lush green forest causing environmental destruction like never before.
According to reports about 289,000 square miles of forest have been destroyed since 1978. A major reason behind this is the large scale increase in deforestation rates. The recent fires call in for immediate action by the government and other authorities. The Amazon is one of the greatest wealth that has the ability to help us keep our planet alive for our future generations.