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World Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest surge in July, worst in recent days

17:08  01 august  2020
17:08  01 august  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Brazil. 28% increase in fires in the Amazon in July

 Brazil. 28% increase in fires in the Amazon in July © Illustration Agência Estado A fire in the Brazilian Amazon, in August 2019. The number of forest fires in the Amazon in Brazil increased by 28% last month by report to July 2019, fueling fears that the world's largest rainforest will again be devastated by fires in 2020. Brazil's National Space Institute , INPE, has identified 6,803 fires in the region Amazonian in July 2020, against 5,318 the previous year, according to data published this Saturday, August 1.

fires .

The number of fires in Brazil ' s Amazon rainforest jumped 28% in July from a year ago, official data showed on Saturday, as some environmentalists Brazil ’ s space research agency Inpe recorded 6,803 fires in the Amazon last month, up from 5,318 in July 2019. Although that is a three-year high

By Jake Spring

a steam train on a track with smoke coming out of it: FILE PHOTO: Fires in the Amazon: a barrier to climate change up in smoke © Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino FILE PHOTO: Fires in the Amazon: a barrier to climate change up in smoke

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The number of fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest jumped 28% in July from a year ago, official data showed on Saturday, as some environmentalists warned a jump this week could signal a repeat of last year's surging destruction of the world's largest rainforest.

Brazil's space research agency Inpe recorded 6,803 fires in the Amazon last month, up from 5,318 in July 2019.

Brazil: three times more fires this year in the Pantanal

 Brazil: three times more fires this year in the Pantanal © Chico Ribeiro A forest fire in the Pantanal ecoregion in Brazil, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, on October 30, 2019 The fires of vegetation recorded since the start of the year at the Pantanal, a biodiversity sanctuary located in the south of the Brazilian Amazon, have almost tripled compared to 2019, according to satellite data available on Thursday.

What caused this? Forest fires do happen in the Amazon during the dry season between July and October. This matters because the Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and a vital carbon store that "The fires in the Amazon might have slowed after Brazil ' s firefighting response, but this

Forest burning near Porto Velho, a city in Brazil ’ s Amazon .Credit Victor Moriyama for The New But that effort, which relied heavily on aggressive law enforcement operations, has lost traction in recent years. The number of fires raging in the Amazon rainforest this month is the highest in a decade

Although that is a three-year high for July, the figure pales in comparison to last year's peak of 30,900 fires in August – a 12-year high for that month.

Still, environmental groups say there are worrying signs of what may come, with the final days of the month showing a sharp spike. More than 1,000 fires were registered on July 30, the highest number for a single day in July since 2005, according to an analysis by advocacy group Greenpeace Brasil.

"It's a terrible sign," said Ane Alencar, science director at Brazil's Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM). "We can expect that August will already be a difficult month and September will be worse yet."

Environmental advocates blame right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro for emboldening illegal loggers, miners and land speculators to destroy the forest with his vision of economic development for the region. Bolsonaro defends his plans to introduce mining and farming in protected reserves as a way to lift the region out of poverty.

Brazil. Aritana Yawalapiti, great indigenous chief, died of Covid-19

 Brazil. Aritana Yawalapiti, great indigenous chief, died of Covid-19 © REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino The great indigenous chief Aritana Yawalapiti, fervent defender of indigenous rights and the preservation of the Amazon rainforest, died Wednesday of a severe form of Covid-19. The one who devoted his entire life to defending the rights of his people and the Amazon, died Wednesday of the coronavirus. He was about 70 years old. Before falling ill, Aritana Yawalapiti had launched a fundraising campaign to facilitate access to healthcare for members of her community.

Brazil has banned setting fires to clear land for 60 days in response to a massive increase in the number of fires in the Amazon rainforest . Why could 'the worst be yet to come'? Writing in O Globo newspaper, Tasso Azevedo - who runs the deforestation monitoring group Mapbiomas - said those

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has ruled out accepting a G7 offer of aid to fight fires in the Amazon rainforest unless he gets an apology from his French counterpart After more satellite data was made accessible, it has been updated to reflect the fact the fires are instead the worst since 2010.

This year, the president authorized a military deployment from May to November to combat deforestation and forest fires. He has also banned setting fires in the region for 120 days.

In 2019, Brazil instituted the same temporary policies later in the year, only after fires in the Amazon provoked global outcry in August.

Scientists say the rainforest is a vital defense against climate warming because it absorbs greenhouse gases.

Non-government organization Amazon Conservation says it has tracked 62 major fires for the year as of July 30. Many of those came after July 15, when the fire ban went into affect, indicating it has not been entirely effective, said Matt Finer, who leads the NGO's fire tracking project.

The overwhelming majority of large fires, where elevated levels of aerosols in the smoke indicate large amounts of burning biomass, happened in recently deforested areas, with none found in virgin forest, Finer said.

Coronavirus: Almost 60,000 new cases reported in Brazil

 Coronavirus: Almost 60,000 new cases reported in Brazil SANTE-CORONAVIRUS-BRAZIL-BALANCE SHEET: Coronavirus: Almost 60,000 new cases reported in Brazil © Reuters / PILAR OLIVARES CORONAVIRUS: NEARLY 60,000 NEW CASES REPORTED IN BRAZIL RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil has recorded 59,961 new confirmed cases of coronavirus contamination and 1,311 additional deaths linked to the epidemic in the past twenty-four hours, the health ministry said on Thursday. The toll of the epidemic is now approaching 2.3 million cases of infection, while the death toll

Brazil ’ s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been widely criticised for failing to respond quickly to the crisis, issued a decree on Thursday banning fires Photograph: Lucas Landau/Reuters. Images from Brazil ’ s space research institute INPE showed multiple fires inside the reserves in recent days

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has backtracked on claims the Amazon forest blazes were In the last seven days more than 9,500 fires have ripped through Brazil ' s dense rainforest and activists 'It is very difficult to have natural fires in the Amazon ; it happens but the majority come from the hand of

Criminals generally extract valuable wood from the jungle before setting fire to the land to increase its value for farming and ranching. Natural fires are very rare in the Amazon.

Deforestation hit an 11-year high in 2019 and has soared a further 25% in the first half of 2020.

Earlier this month, scientists with U.S. space agency NASA said higher surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean in 2020 were drawing moisture away from the southern Amazon.

"As a result, the southern Amazon landscape becomes dry and flammable, making human-set fires used for agriculture and land clearing more prone to growing out of control and spreading," NASA said on its website.

Fires are also worsening in the Pantanal, the world's largest wetlands, adjacent to the southern Amazon. In July, the number of blazes there more than tripled to 1,684 compared to the same month a year ago, according to INPE data, the most for that month since records began in 1998.

(Reporting by Jake Spring; Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Brad Haynes and Bernadette Baum)

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