Greenpeace's Unearthed whistleblowing project on Thursday raised concerns about the intensity of wildfires raging in the Amazon region, which has reached its highest level over the last decade
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2020) Greenpeace's Unearthed whistleblowing project on Thursday raised concerns about the intensity of wildfires raging in the Amazon region, which has reached its highest level over the last decade.
"Fire season has kicked off early and with worrying intensity in the Amazon, with the worst start to August in a decade. Protected areas in particular have seen an increase in blazes over the past ten days," Unearthed said in a press release, adding that there were 10,136 hotspots across the Amazon biome over the first 10 days of August 17 percent more than the 8,669 hotspots registered over the same period in 2019.
Unearthed provided data from Brazil's space agency that showed that the number of hotspots is at their highest for the early weeks of August since 2010 - the year that saw a severe drought in the Amazon shrink the Rio Negro and record 11,280 hotspots across the region.
Given the increased deforestation, climate activists fear that the coming months could bring catastrophic damage to the Amazon. The Amazon rainforest has lost over 9,000 square kilometers (3,475 square miles) up to the first half of the year a third higher compared to the previous year with an equivalent of more than two football fields being cleared every minute.
"Fires in the Amazon last year prompted an international outcry, burning so fiercely and widely in August that drifting smoke turned the afternoon skies above Sao Paulo, 2,500 km from the forest, dark as night. Now experts say the triple threats of unchecked deforestation, tacit support from the [Brazilian President Jair] PBolsonaro administration and drier than usual weather could trigger an even worse environmental crisis in the coming months," the press release added.
Due to accelerating fires that pump out thick plumes of carbon dioxide-laden smoke, the Amazon region, a globally important carbon sink, could be at risk of becoming a net carbon source, causing an acceleration in climate breakdown, the project warned.