The Amazon is Burning – The Smoke Can Be Seen from Space

At this very moment, Amazon, the Earth’s lungs is on fire and it has been burning for 3 weeks now. When Notre Dame was burning, the world’s media covered every moment of it and billionaires rushed to restore it.

But for the Amazonian forest, which supplies more than 20% of our Earth’s oxygen, nothing. No media coverage, no billionaires, no outrage, no mobilisation. It seems that nobody really cares.

N’dea Yancey-Bragg reports for USA Today:

Forest fires in the Amazon are generating smoke that can be seen from space and may have caused a daytime blackout more than 1,700 miles away in the country’s largest city.

In the middle of the day on Monday, the sky above São Paulo was blanketed by smoke from the wildfires raging in the Amazon region, according to local media reports. The smoke resulting from some of these wildfires was also captured in satellite images released by NASA last week.

“The smoke did not come from fires from the state of São Paulo, but from very dense and wide fires that have been going on for several days in Rondônia and Bolivia. The cold front changed the direction of the winds and transported this smoke to São Paulo,” Josélia Pegorim, Climatempo meteorologist, told Globo.

Reuters reported the Amazon rainforest has experienced a record number of fires this year, citing new data released by the country’s space agency The National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The agency said its satellite data detected more than 72,000 fires since January, an 83% increase over the same period of 2018.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently fired the space agency’s director, brushed off the news, telling Reuters it was attributed to the time of year when farmers use fire to clear the land.

The firing came after Bolsonaro criticized INPE deforestation data which showed a significant increase in illegal logging, claiming officials had manipulated figures to make his administration look bad. The INPE found 370 square miles of Amazon forest were lost in June — an 88% increase from the same month last year.

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