A significant carbon sink of the world, Amazon rainforest has witnessed 72,843 fires since January 2019. According to Brazil’s space research centre Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), 2019 fires rate is up by 83 % when compared to the same period in 2018.
The Amazon rainforest in South America produces 20% of world’s oxygen and represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests. Covering much of northwestern Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries, Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest.
Know for its rich biodiversity, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species, amazon rainforest is crisscrossed by thousands of rivers including the mighty Amazon river.
The forest fires that started three weeks back have spread and burning at a record high has called for a state of emergency in Brazil.
This is not the first major fire in Amazon basin. It has happened earlier especially during the dry season 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010. According to NASA site during the fire outbreak in 2007 mentions that development of new frontiers is the main reason for deforestation. Where there was once no such thing as an “Amazon fire season,” fires are now widespread in the dry season as people clear forest or manage already cleared plots of crop or grazing land.
Fires have increased significantly in Amazon basic in last few years. However, the Amazon fire has been a concern from last 20 years, according to report in Mongabay.com
What is ?
Carbon sink is a forest, ocean, or other natural environment which absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere significantly. Major natural carbon sinks are forests, ocean and soil.
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Below is the map of Amazon rainforest map