The Amazon rainforests in Brazil are burning high since the start of surveillance of the country’s space research center in 2013.
Until 20 August, the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe) reported a total of 72,843 fires in Brazil, an increase of more than 80% over the same period of 2018.
Of this total, 52.5% was located in the Amazon.
More than two-thirds of the Amazon is in Brazil, and environmental groups accuse President Jair Bolsonaro’s government of increasing deforestation, which they say has eased controls in the country. Only a few weeks ago, the head of Inpe was sacked after a dispute with Bolsonaro over data on deforestation.
The Amazon is known as the lung of the planet because it produces 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is considered vital in the current efforts to fight against global warming and is also home to countless species of flora and fauna. With about half the size of the United States, it is the largest rainforest on the planet.
Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation program, has published a map showing smoke from fires reaching the Atlantic coast of Brazil.
From the other side of Earth, here’s the latest on the Amazonia fires 🌳
Produced by @CopernicusEU’s atmosphere monitoring service, it shows the smoke reaching the Atlantic coast and São Paulo 🇧🇷
— WMO | OMM (@WMO) August 20, 2019