Crime against the planet..
..and against all the creatures, including us, who have nowhere else to go. When is this going to stop? Destruction of the Amazon is going to negatively impact the entire planet. I don't understand why the rest of the world is not uniting and forcing the disgusting imbecilic criminal in charge of Brazil to put a stop to this atrocity before it is too late.
Tens of thousands of fires are pushing the Amazon to a tipping point
Fires continue to rage at high levels through the Amazon in Brazil for the second consecutive year, raising concerns among scientists that the rainforest's destruction could eventually reach a point of no return.
Since Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office, governmental measures to curb illegal fires have shown little impact, as flames and deforestation erase vast swathes of the world's biggest rainforest.
Most fires in the Amazon are set by land-grabbers and wildcat ranchers, seeking to transform parts of the rainforest into their own lucrative agricultural enterprises. And this August was a particularly bad time for such fires: Preliminary data collected by the National Spatial Research Institute (INPE) show 29,307 fires in the Brazilian Amazon last month.
However, due to a technical issue with the NASA satellite tracking fires, experts say that figure could be even higher. The final tally of fires recorded in August is expected to rise 2% above the August 2019 total, says Albert Setzer, INPE's senior scientist -- which would make this August the worst in 10 years.
The more fires there are, the faster the rainforest is transformed into grasslands for illicit cattle and soy-growing operations. According to research from NGO MapBiomas, which tracks land use in Brazil, 95% of the deforested area in Brazil in 2019 wasn't authorized. "Most of (the fires) are illegal," said Tasso Azevedo, a former head of Brazil's forest service and coordinator of MapBiomas.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon biome reached 1,830 square miles, an area bigger than Rhode Island state, in the period from January to July 2020,. August figures for deforestation are yet to be released.
One symptom of the accelerating deforestation is longer dry seasons, Nobre said. This will initially be felt in Brazil and elsewhere in South America, as the Amazon generates a great part of the rains for the rest of the country, and also affects the rains in neighboring Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.
And even farmers and ranchers will feel the consequences. "This 'savannah-ization' of the Amazon will lead to a reduction in rainfall that will affect especially the agricultural sector, which is driving deforestation further. It's a real shot in the foot," Batista said.
If the Amazon one day disappeared altogether, Brazil's rainfall on average would be reducedby up to 25%, predicts one modeling exercise by researchers at Princeton University. Average temperatures would also be expected to rise 2 degrees in Brazil and 0.25 degrees worldwide.
Nobre predicts that the tipping point for when the Amazon can no longer sustain itself lies between 20% and 25% of deforestation. So far, it has lost 17% of its original area, according to INPE.
"It's hard to say when it's going to happen, but we are seeing that it is coming faster than we previously thought," Nobre said.