Fires Ravaging Amazon Rain Forest
|Source: Amazon Burning|
Global Environmental Concern About the "Lungs of the World"
It's mind boggling and clearly an international crisis. The Amazon Rain Forest, which is the world's largest, is engulfed in raging fires. In Brazil alone, there have been 74,000 fires in the Amazon this year. The Amazon Rain Forest covers parts of nine countries, but Brazil is key. Importantly, the Amazon produces 20% of the oxygen on Earth. The situation is so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for it to be included on the agenda at the G-7 Meeting in Biarritz. The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, whose environmental policies are under attack, has just announced he may call in the Brazilian Army to fight the unprecedented fires in the Amazon, which is known as "the lungs of the world."
Fires Sending Smoke 2,000 Miles Away
The fires are so extensive that smoke extends 2000 miles away and is spewing carbon into the air. This is choking smoke from what was one of the most pristine regions on Earth that accounts for 10% of the planet's biodiversity. NASA scientists say most the fires are intentionally set. The fires bring renewed scrutiny to Brazil's environmental policies. Just in June, deforestation of the Amazon in Brazil was 88% higher than a year ago. The Brazilian space agency reports that the Amazon region has seen an 80% increase in fires this year over last. It's a disaster for the region's environment and economy. And, incredibly, 99% of the fires are the result of human activity, such as burns by farmers, ranchers and other business interests.
Why This Personally Matters to You
The Amazon is "the lungs of the world". It's your world and the air you breathe. The Amazon absorbs heat and consequently reduces Climate Change. It stores CO2, cutting Climate Change, and it produces oxygen. Environmentalists are very concerned about the impact of the fires and the loss of huge swathes of the Rain Forest. The very real concern is the impact on the air we breathe, the decline in the natural system the Amazon has historically provided for carbon dioxide storage and the resulting escalation in Climate Change and global warming. That doesn't even touch on the loss of species. The big innovation question is: are there significant innovation technologies available to stop these raging forest fires? And when will the Brazilian Army deploy and what technologies will they use to fight it?