The Amazon forests are still burning. Probably one of the most tragic histories of humankind is taking place in Brazil right now. Fires rage in the Amazonia forest – a forest that has been referred to as the lungs of the earth. Brazil has had a record number of fires this year, about 80,000, increasing up by 85% from last year as per CNN. The belching smoke from the recent fire of the Amazon forests had covered the skies of San Paulo in Brazil on 19th August. Smoke was spotted from Argentina too. But the fire raged on and an International Space Station captured images of the smoke. It almost resembled clouds.
It’s not very clear why the fire was caused but there was a definite human involvement in it. Generally, the rainforests are humid. However, during July and August, they end up being one of the driest seasons. Nonetheless, the fire is not attributed to natural causes. It is said that many lands are being cleared for farming and cattle raising. These cleared areas are then put on fire for proper clearing. This could have resulted in the spreading of the Amazonia fire.
What can be the effect of such fires on the planet?
Amazon is responsible for producing about 20% of the world’s oxygen. It also helps in regulating the climate. So, if the rainforests disappear it would result in massive climatic changes all over the world, which includes changing patterns of rainfall and thereby, agriculture. But the immediate effect is greenhouse emissions. The fires in the forest will spew out more greenhouse gases and this can result in the rise of the overall global temperature. NASA has even released the maps which show the carbon monoxide being spewed out by this tragedy. It is said that about 2500 zones are still on fire.
When the social media exploded with this news, people came out on the streets demanding politicians to take a step and stop the fires. The G7 countries tried to offer a $20 million package as an aid which Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, rejected. However, the international community is still trying to help the cause with Canada offering water bombers and $15 million to help fight the fire back.
We don’t know what will happen. Patchy rainfall is expected on 10th September which might bring some relief. But hopefully, the fires will be brought under control by then. Let’s #PrayforAmazonia and hope things take a positive turn.