by Alan Davison | September 11, 2019 12:19 am
At the start of the year, the Amazon rainforest had suffered a substantial amount of wildlife damage.
It is estimated that more than 70,000 wildfires sparked up in the rainforest, destroying precious sections of the forest.
A Washington Post report stated that this is an astounding 85% increase of fires in the area in a year-by-year case.
Forest fires are certainly nothing to scoff at and with such a large number of them rampaging through the Amazon rainforest, it is definitely concerning.
In fact, these fires are said to be rapidly spreading as well. With such a large number of raging fires and an overall increase in fires from previous years. some people question how is this occurring?
Unfortunately, drought is a huge culprit behind some of these fires. One particular region of the rainforest, Pantanal, is a well-known wetland section of the rainforest.
This portion alone has experienced a higher-than-normal drought in recent years which has contributed to the fires spreading throughout the area.
The drought is a huge factor behind the fires but the environmental impact that is happening due to these fires is also an alarming issue.
With the number of fires so high, the plantation around the fires has also struggled with surviving in the aftermath left behind.
Fires obviously produce smoke so, with such a massive increase in fires within a short span of time, the smoke has also destroyed parts of the rainforest that weren’t directly set ablaze.
The smoke released from fires tends to have large amounts of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and non-methane compounds.
The combination of these creates a truly devasting event among other trees around areas affected by the fires.
This is a severe problem that is becoming an ongoing issue for the Amazon rainforest.
While there are many factors at play here on why this issue is so horrible, like the destruction of wildlife and their homes, it also is destroying a large portion of the Earth’s oxygen.
The Amazon rainforest is said to contribute about 20% of the Earth’s oxygen levels. 20% might not seem like much, however, that is a lot when looking at the bigger picture.
These fires are doing compounded damage the more they rage on and on.
The Amazon rainforest is located in South America and is said to cover around 40% of the continent.
With fires on the rise. this percentage is sure to shrink year after year. So what are the local countries actually doing about this issue?
Recently, Brazil attempted to address the issue with a fire ban. The biggest onset of fires occurred in August 2019 and Brazil did implement a fire ban which seemed to help the problem a little bit. In fact, the ban was lifted come October 2019.
The decrease in fires was estimated to be around 34%.
Drought does play a large role in the fires but the human impact is another concern. Fire bans are rules just like any rules and unfortunately, not everyone is going to follow them.
It is said that human impact is more to blame on the fires over drought itself. This is particularly true in the wetland areas of the rainforest like Pantanal.
Some people attribute the decrease to law enforcement making efforts to actually enforce the fire bans. However, will it be enough to keep the forest protected from future fires? The answer isn’t so simple.
It could be yes…it could be no. It would be nice if everyone followed the rules, however, that simply isn’t the case.
While the ban could help in the future, there is no guarantee that humans won’t continue to disobey the regulation efforts by the local governments.
Many feel that the ban put in place by Brazil is simply slapping a bandaid on a larger issue at hand. The larger problems at hand include the impact that the fires are having on business, wildlife, and the Earth in general.
But what more can South America really do? Some say that they should be attempting to use more of the funding that certain programs have raised to address the fires.
An estimated $20 million was raised in 2019 to bring emergency funding to the rainforest.
Additionally, local demonstrators in South America have expressed that they feel that the government is blatantly disregarding environmental protections.
This could be a reasoning behind the spike in fires in recent years, however, it can’t be completely confirmed.
These fires become a responsibility of more than local governments in the area though. Businesses worldwide have been making attempts to create more sustainable products.
Using more sustainably sourced products reduces the need to use any rainforest trees during production. This helps to preserve what is left of the Amazon rainforest.
But is this enough? Even with businesses striving to protect what is left of the rainforest, the fire impact on the rainforest still continues to be an issue.
As expressed before, the ban that Brazil had put into place did help a little. However, it was only around 34%. Some might say this should be looked at from a glass-half-full perspective. But others aren’t quite convinced.
Because of this, it really has to be up to humans to make the decision to be careful with fires around forested areas. Unfortunately, this decision has to be theirs.
Sure, fines could pile up for violators, but is that even enough? Humans have to realize the impact that these fires are having on various aspects of the world.
Of course, oxygen is a large concern as we need this to thrive and survive. And there’s no debating that wildlife in the rainforest is obviously being affected. But what other factors are coming into play here?
The Amazon rainforest has much more of an impact on the Earth other than providing 20% of its oxygen.
It is estimated that around 25% of pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants that grow in the Amazon. These just account for pharmaceutical drugs that are being sold in the United States.
Another outside factor that could be affected by prolonged Amazon fires could include emissions that are being released from local businesses.
These emissions, combined with the smoke from the fires, simply compounds the issue even further. This is just one of many reasons that demonstrators feel that local governments aren’t taking these issues into consideration.
This increase of fires in the Amazon rainforest during 2019 should be a huge concern for everyone.
The best that we can hope for is that local governments use funding wisely to help protect not only the rainforest but all of the things that depend on its survival as well.
Source URL: https://www.newsinsider.org/578/amazon-rainforest-had-suffered-more-than-70000-wildfires-since-the-start-of-the-year-2019/
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