Nature,  News

The Amazon Forest Has Been Burning For Weeks – Photos Show Smoke From Space

On Monday afternoon, the whole city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, went completely dark – as it turns out, the city was buried in smoke by the strong winds coming from forest fires burning nearly 1,700 miles away. According to Reuters, Brazil’s space research center INPE has detected almost 72,843 wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

The research center states that their satellite data showed an 83% increase on the same period in 2018, showing that this year Amazon rainforest has suffered a record number of fires.

The citizens of Sao Paulo were shocked when they witnessed a daytime blackout, one Twitter user said: “Imagine how much has to be burning to create that much smoke”.

 

The blackout lasted around an hour and came from the fires burning in the states of Amazonas and Rondonia.

 But they weren’t the only ones who noticed an increased fire activity. NASA released photos taken from space which show smoke surrounding the Amazon rainforest.

Even though the Amazon has been relatively fire-resistant due to its natural moisture and humidity, wildfires have increased during the last couple of decades and the cause is attributed to a combination of drought and human activity.

Experts associate this year’s increase with Jair Bolsonaro who took office as president in January and vowed to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring the increased deforestation.

This map shows current CO concentration level in South America.