August 2019

The Amazon Rainforest Fires: Explained

According to the BBC, there are  currently more than 2,500 fires  burning in the Brazilian rainforest. The fires are burning in  several Brazilian states,  including Para, Mato Grosso, Rondonia and Amazonas. Most of the fires are thought to  have been started by humans  attempting to clear land for farming  and ranching during the dry season. Brazilian right-wing nationalist president  Jair Bolsonaro made claims that the fires  were started by non-governmental  organizations because of reduced funding. He later stated he  made no such claims. The fires could be adding to a vicious cycle of climate  change in which the blazes add to greenhouse gasses. This leads to rising temperatures, which leads to longer  dry seasons, which leads to more devastating fires. Referred to as the "lungs of the earth,"  the rainforests of Brazil generate more  than 20% of all the oxygen in  the world. Smoke from the fires has  traveled about 1,700 miles  and can be seen in Argentina.  The fires are also visible from space. U.S. President Donald Trump  has joined other nations of the  world in offering assistance to  Brazil in putting out the fires. #ActForTheAmazon has been trending  on Twitter. Protests against what has  been viewed as inaction by President  Bolsonaro have sprung up all over the world.