Over 260 Fires Ravage Amazon Rainforest as Control Measures Fail in 2021

In our battle against climate change safeguarding the Amazon is of global significance. In 2021, more than 267 major fires have been detected razing almost 105,000 hectares of the Amazon Rainforest. It is a matter of great concern since the current scenario is worse than the last year, despite Brazil’s ban on outdoor fires during the wildfire season.

According to a report by Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) more than 75 percent of fires blazed in the Brazilian Amazon followed by Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Fires are verified using Planet satellite imagery and reported using their real-time Amazon fire monitoring app.

MAAP detects major wildfires using heat alerts from the ground as well as aerosol emission data (able to detect smoke). MAAP has also detected the first forest fires of the season, which have escaped pastures and burned the standing Amazon Rainforest.

Over 260 Fires Ravage Amazon Rainforest in 2021 amid Climate Crisis

Image: AFP

According to the experts, this year is most likely to be a bad year for fires. 67 percent of Brazil’s fires have burned through already deforested areas. These fires also wrecked natural savanna grasslands, and burning in and around indigenous territories such as Xingu and Kayapó.  Forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon rose by 2 percent in June of this year than in June 2020.

These wildfires are and will be causing a humongous loss in terms of resources, public health and ecosystem to a large part of South America, consequently worsening the drought conditions there, said Mr. Douglas Morton, a NASA earth scientist who studies fire.

On June 27, the Brazilian government banned unauthorized outdoor fires for 120 days. This policy is a replica of previous fire bans from 2019 and 2020, which however failed.

Over 260 Fires Ravage Amazon Rainforest in 2021 amid Climate Crisis

Image: Carl de Souza

According to MAAP data, more than 75 percent of fires were not natural, despite the ban – meaning that the 160 fires detected since are most likely illegal. Last year, an unusual number of major fires burned in standing rainforest, where trees were being cut and according to experts fires were not historically naturally occurring.

Brazilian Amazon is now considered a carbon source, emitting more carbon than it captures. Deforestation is the major reason for the deterioration of the Amazon’s forest. Brazil’s foremost cause of environmental and ecological dismantle is the absence of environmental law enforcement and lack of environmental awareness among people.

The region’s extreme drought conditions and deforestation have culminated in the Amazon fires in 2021, which will have devastating repercussions on the entire planet. As Amazonian forests sustainably influence regional and global climates, it has become necessary to implement strict rules and regulations to put a stop to the ongoing situation.

Via: Mongabay

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