The Amazon Forest Fire

Tony Ureste, Contributor

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The Amazon rain forest is home to many plant and animal species. It also houses many native tribes, who’ve lived there for generations and rely on the forest for their livelihood. However, there have recently been fires that broke out, destroying everything in their path, and causing death throughout the forest. Many people around the world were appalled by this news and are doing everything they can to help out with the disaster , including posting about it on social media or demanding politicians to do something about the flames.

Forest fires happen frequently in the Amazon, wildfires occur every few years to burn up fuel, plant debris, and dead trees, making way for young, healthy trees and vegetation to thrive. This year however, the fires were especially devastating this year, due to many factors. The many theories behind the reason of the fire include; a natural accident, climate change (dry seasons), and most notoriously, deforestation. Many people are arguing that deforestation from cattle farmers are the main reasons for the massive fires. “More than 60 percent of cleared land becomes cattle pasture, at least initially. There are roughly eighty million head of cattle in the Amazon, up from twenty-six million in 1990” stated by Rhett Butler.

Another major problem that everyone seems to be concerned about is the affects the fire will have on the climate and the ecosystem. Many scientists declare that the massive amount and size of the fires will increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and will gradually increase the overall global temperatures significantly. As the temperature increases, extreme weather events like major droughts happen more often. “In addition to increasing emissions, deforestation contributes directly to a change in rainfall patterns in the affected region, extending the length of the dry season, further affecting forests, biodiversity, agriculture and human health,” Greenpeace said in the release.

With the massive fires, it brings great difficulty to extinguish the flames in the Amazon. There were reports of scattered rain and thunderstorms on Thursday, but the patchy rain is only expected to bring minor relief, but it won’t help to extinguish the fire efficiently. The Brazilian government continues to assist by employing several firefighters to the forest to eradicate the fires, and with international aid from several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and many more, there might be a better possibility to put out the fire and save as much of the forest as possible.

However, there are more difficulties to putting out the fires. Financially speaking, putting out the fires would be very costly, and not to mention the lives that are at risk to put it out. Over the weekend, the G7 Summit (an annual meeting of the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US) agreed on an aid package consisting of millions of dollars and “water bombers” in order to save the Amazon. Brazil’s president originally had accepted the aid and tweeted that Brazil is committed to environmental protection.

Sources:

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/amazon-rainforest-fire-whats-happening-now-and-how-you-can-help-update-g7/

https://time.com/5659658/amazon-rainforest-fire-history/

https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-08-25/amazon-rainforest-fires-climate

www.reddit.com/r/environment/comments/ctwamz/local_tribe_reacting_to_fire_in_amazon_rainforest

https://sea.mashable.com/culture/5813/the-amazon-forest-is-burning-to-the-ground-heres-how-it-happened-and-what-you-can-do-to-help

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