World: NASA Images Show Africa Has Five Times More Wildfires Burning Than The Amazon—Here's Why They're Different - PressFrom - US
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WorldNASA Images Show Africa Has Five Times More Wildfires Burning Than The Amazon—Here's Why They're Different

23:40  27 august  2019
23:40  27 august  2019 Source:   newsweek.com

Amazon rainforest fires: Smoke can be seen from space

Amazon rainforest fires: Smoke can be seen from space Smoke from record wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest blanketed São Paulo on Monday and could be seen from space.

NASA Images Show Africa Has Five Times More Wildfires Burning Than The Amazon—Here's Why They're Different© Victor Moriyama/Getty Images In this aerial image, smoke covers a section of the Amazon rain forest affected by wildfires on August 25, 2019 in the Candeias do Jamari region near Porto Velho, Brazil.

There are now approximately five times as many wildfires burning in Africa than in the Amazon, according to images captured by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) technology last week.

The affected countries include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Angola in the heart of Central Africa. The individual blazes are confined primarily to the Savanna, drawing concern because of their close proximity to forests in the Congo Basin, an area made especially vulnerable by deforestation caused by industrial activity in the region.

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The Savanna wildfires pose a threat to the world's second-largest tropical forest, which spans 500 million acres and provides a home to more than 2,000 species of animals and roughly 10,000 species of plants. The MODIS images documented more than 6,902 fires in Angola and 3,395 fires in the DRC, while picking up on just over 2,000 in Brazil.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted about the devastation in the Savanna during the G7 summit, prompting many on social media to ask why the African wildfires are not getting the same amount of attention as those in the Amazon. This came after Brazil's President JairBolsonaro rejected $22 million in proposed funding on Monday to help put out the blazes in Amazon, saying the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Brazilian environmental minister heckled over record Amazon fires: 'Stop Ecocide!'

Brazilian environmental minister heckled over record Amazon fires: 'Stop Ecocide!' The environmental minister of Brazil was met with boos and heckles when he took the stage at a meeting on climate change Wednesday as massive wildfires continued to rage for more than two weeks in the world’s largest rainforest. © FoxNews.com Amazon wildfires darkened the skies in Sao Paulo, Brazil as the blaze rages on. Ricardo Salles attended the U.N.’s Latin American and Caribbean Climate Week conference on Wednesday and when his name was announced, the plenary booed and shouted at him. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

However, as both government leaders and environmental advocates point out, there are no clear comparisons to be made between the two regions.

The longstanding practice of slash-and-burn agriculture, as well as a seasonal rise in temperature across the area, are primarily to blame for the flames in Central Africa—while the Amazon has been experiencing periods of drought that are uncharacteristic of the region, DRC Ambassador Tosi Mpanu Mpanu told theAFPon Monday.

While the Amazon rainforest has often been referred to as the Earth's "lungs," the areas of undergrowth in the Congo Basin has shared similar status for trailing marginally behind it as the world's second-largest tropical forest. It spans 500 million acres and provides a home to more than 2,000 species of animals and roughly 10,000 species of plants—30 percent of which grow only in that region, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

How Did the Amazon Rainforest Fires Start?

How Did the Amazon Rainforest Fires Start? Brazil has experienced a record number of wildfires this year, more than half of which occurred in the Amazon region. That's according to data collected by the country's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The figures show an 83 percent increase in comparison to the same period in 2018, representing the highest number of blazes since the agency began collecting such data in 2013, Reuters reported. In fact, INPE says it has identified more than 72,000 fires in Brazil between January and August this year, comfortably more than the roughly 40,000 recorded in the entirety of 2018.

Organizations like Greenpeace Africa, which focuses primarily on calling attention to issues of deforestation, are monitoring the situation while acknowledging that as of right now, the fires are relatively "small-scale" compared to the flames the in the Amazon or even previous African wildfires.

But that doesn't mean the flames are under control. "This is something we could experience again tomorrow if preventative measures are not taken today," Irène Wabiwa Betoko, Greenpeace Africa Senior Forest Campaign Manager, told Newsweek on Tuesday.

She recalled the 2016 wildfires that ripped through the Congo capital of Brazzaville. "We must learn from the ongoing fire crisis in the Amazon and take the necessary steps to ensure the flames are controlled and do not spread further in the Congo Basin forest," she said.

If the fires got out of control, the surrounding governments in Africa "are not prepared financially—and also technically—to stop the fire," Betoko noted.

The organization continues to stand against both the industrial activities of major corporations as well as slash and burn methods in favor of a more "sustainable form of agriculture."

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The Amazon Cannot Be Recovered Once It’s Gone.
The fires blazing in Brazil are part of a larger deforestation crisis, accelerated by President Jair Bolsonaro.

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