Fires in the Amazon: Everything you need to know

By Nyra Pasha, News editor

Recent news has amplified the horrifying fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest. Brazil has had 40,341 fires, the highest number since 2010, according to the country’s National Institute of Space Research Agency. Many assume that these fires are the result of climate change; however, this is not the case. This summer, Brazil has seen an increase in man made fires that are set by farmers in order to clear the land for a new growing season.

Climate change can make the fires worse by making the fire burn hotter and spread faster. As a result, over sixty percent of trees are dying after every fire. The Amazon rainforest holds 100 billion tons of the world’s
carbon in its millions of trees. If these fires continue to rage on, the once bountiful rainforest could transform into a dry savanna, which could contribute to an extreme reduction in Earth’s oxygen levels. Another effect would be a great output of carbon dioxide into the air since savannas are unable to maintain vast quantities of the gas.

Scientists have declared that the Amazon could face severe deforestation
that will not be reversible. The Amazon rainforest fires have garnered a great amount of attention and global response. Thousands have shared posts about the devastating fires on social media like Twitter and Instagram. Pictures of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s capital, covered in smog with a black sky have circulated through the internet causing great concern.

Many celebrities have also spread awareness on social media. Most significantly, Leonardo DiCaprio pledged to donate 5 million dollars to help aid relief efforts in the rainforest. Brazil’s president Bolsonaro originally rejected 20 million dollars in foreign aid through the G7 aid program, but has since reversed his decision and is now accepting the money.