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Many of Those Viral Amazon Rainforest Fire Photos Are Outdated or Unrelated Is it raining in the Amazon? Is the rainforest on fire? Sometimes viral photographs don't tell an accurate story.
Alarmed Brazilians have declared an “apocalypse” as the worst rainforest fires in history ravage the Amazon, plunging a city into darkness..
Alarmed Brazilians have declared an “apocalypse” as the worst rainforest fires in history ravage the Amazon, plunging a city into darkness.
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Smoke and flames from the raging fire can been seen in images captured from space.Source:AFP
Wildfires and plumes of smoke from the Amazon rainforest can been seen from space in the latest set of satellite images captured by US space agency NASA.
The disturbing photos show smoke and fire across several Brazilian states as the crisis reaches record-breaking levels.
More than 75,000 fires have erupted since the start of the year — an 83 per cent increase on last year and the highest since records began in 2013.
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NASA satellites track actively burning fires across South America and capture images of smoke. Picture: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua StevensSource:Supplied
The latest fires have been burning for three weeks now, prompting anti-government protests and international furore.
NASA’s images show the increase in smoke and fire activity as flames break out in Rondonia, Mato Grosso and Amazonas.
More than half of the fires are in the massive Amazon Basin, where more that 20 million people live.
Some 1663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
The region is experiencing more fires, with more intense burns, than in recent years. Picture: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua StevensSource:Supplied
Environmental organisations and researchers say the blazes were most likely set by humans who wanted to clear and use the land for business purposes.
Amazon Watch, a non-profit organisation that works to protect the rainforest, said farmers had been setting the forest ablaze to create pastures, emboldened by Brazil’s conservative pro-business government.
“The unprecedented fires ravaging the Amazon are an international tragedy and a dangerous contribution to climate chaos,” Christian Poirier said, the organisation’s program director.
On August 20, @NASA/@NOAA's Suomi NPP mission captured this image of smoke and fire across several Brazilian states >> https://t.co/[email protected]/WOF5VsqXIF— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) August 23, 2019
NASA's AIRS instrument maps carbon monoxide (CO) from fires burning in Brazil's Amazon region.
This time series ⬇️ shows CO high in the atmosphere over Brazil from Aug. 8-22, 2019. Each 'day' in the series is made by averaging three day's-worth of data: https://t.co/binaSKsGcmpic.twitter.com/tcg2W311Pm
Where Is The Amazon Jungle— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) August 23, 2019
So far in 2019, the region is experiencing more fires, with more intense burns, than in recent years. 12am utc. pic.twitter.com/PhqRBMjfsu— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) August 23, 2019
See entire fire seasons flash by in seconds in this animation of nearly two decades of active #fire data from the #MODIS on the Terra satellite. https://t.co/fmStzrAjzg#NASApic.twitter.com/cMTJ4IgsAi— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) August 23, 2019
— ALBERT GARZIA ⌘ (@albertgarzia) August 23, 2019
#ARMYHelpThePlanet save Amazon.. The pictures are so frightening. amazon is Earth's lungs.the thought that it's been 3 weeks is unbelievable.. #armysavetheplanetpic.twitter.com/Gvi4jw03Ae— BTS 4ever (@gouryvijayakum1) August 21, 2019
He said the flames were “directly related” to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate sceptic who in the past has been criticised for claiming that environmental protections hinder the South American country’s economic growth.
“This devastation is directly related to President Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental rhetoric, which erroneously frames forest protections and human rights as impediments to Brazil’s economic growth,” said Mr Poirier.
He also said Mr Bolsonaro’s message allowed farmers and ranchers “to commit arson with wanton impunity”.
“The vast majority of these fires are human-lit,” he said.
He said farmers and ranches had long used fire to clear land, which was the most likely cause of the unusually large number of fires burning in the rainforest.
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Aerial picture showing smoke from a two kilometre-long stretch of fire billowing from the Amazon rainforest about 65km from Porto Velho, in the state of Rondonia, in northern Brazil. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday were deploying in the Amazon.
President Bolsonaro also tried to temper global concern, saying previously deforested areas had burned and that intact rainforest was spared.
Even so, the fires were likely to be urgently discussed at a summit of the Group of Seven leaders in France this weekend.
Some 44,000 troops will be available for “unprecedented” operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to six Brazilian states that asked for federal help, Defence Minister Fernando Azevedo said.
The states are Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins, Para, Acre and Mato Grosso.
National Force military firefighters stand in line to board a plane to Rondonia northern Brazil, to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest. Picture: Sérgio Lima/AFPSource:AFP
The military’s first mission will be carried out by 700 troops around Porto Velho, capital of Rondonia, Mr Azevedo said.
The military will use two C-130 Hercules aircraft capable of dumping up to 12,000 litres of water on fires, he said.
An Associated Press journalist flying over the Porto Velho region Saturday morning reported hazy conditions and low visibility.
On Friday, the reporter saw many already deforested areas that were burned, apparently by people clearing farmland, as well as a large column of smoke billowing from one fire.
The municipality of Nova Santa Helena in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state was also hard-hit. Trucks were seen driving along a highway Friday as fires blazed and embers smouldered in adjacent fields.
A C-130 Hercules aircraft dumps water to fight fires burning in the Amazon rainforest. Picture: Brazil Ministry of DefenceSource:AP
The Brazilian military operations came after widespread criticism of Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis.
Despite international concern, Bolsonaro told reporters on Saturday that the situation was returning to normal.
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He said he was “speaking to everyone” about the problem, including Mr Trump, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and several Latin American leaders.
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Backed by military aircraft, Brazilian troops on Saturday were deploying in the Amazon to fight fires that have swept the region and prompted anti-government protests as well as an international outcry. Picture: Sérgio Lima/ AFPSource:AFP
Bolsonaro, who has previously described rainforest protections as an obstacle to Brazil’s economic development, sparred with critics who warn the Amazon absorbs vast amounts of greenhouse gases and is crucial for efforts to contain climate change.
The Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries who believe Bolsonaro has neglected commitments to protect biodiversity.
The Amazon is often referred to as the planet’s lungs, producing 20 per cent of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
As the largest rainforest on the planet, it is considered a vital instrument in slowing global warming.
According to the National Institute for Space Research, more than one-and-a-half soccer fields’ worth of Amazon rainforest are being destroyed every minute.