International Development News
Development News Edition

Rains bring some relief to surging deforestation in Brazil's Amazon

Rains bring some relief to surging deforestation in Brazil's Amazon
Image Credit: Flickr

The pace of surging deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest this year eased in October, government data showed on Friday, with the onset of the rainy season making the muddy forest tougher to penetrate and helping prevent fires.

Compared to October last year, deforestation for the month was up 5%, according to preliminary data from Brazil's space research agency INPE. This was a minor increase compared to the 83% rise from January to October over the same period last year. For the first 10 months, deforestation totalled 8,408 square kilometers (3,246 square miles), an area more than 10 times the size of New York City.

"We've had several good spots of rain," said Philip Fearnside, an ecologist at the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, the largest city in Brazil's Amazon. He emphasized that a 5% increase in October still represents a worsening from last year.

The Amazon is the world's largest tropical rainforest, absorbing vast amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Fires swept through the Amazon in August, with the number of hotspots on a year to date basis surging to the highest point since 2010, drawing global outcry from world leaders and the public.

Environmentalists and scientists have blamed the destruction of President Jair Bolsonaro - for emboldening deforesters with strong rhetoric in favor of developing the Amazon and also for reining in the country's environmental enforcement agency. "There is no other explanation other than the government's constant discourse plus the actual concrete actions in weakening environment," Fearnside said.

Bolsonaro's office declined to comment, while Brazil's Environment Ministry did not immediately respond. The fires fell substantially year-on-year in September and October after Bolsonaro temporarily banned setting fires in the region and sent in the military to battle the blazes. Year-to-date, the number of fires recorded in the Amazon has dropped back to only the highest since 2017.

But fires continue to rage in neighboring biomes like the Pantanal wetlands, an area renowned for its unique wildlife that draws tourists in search of jaguars and rare birds. Roughly 12% of the Pantanal has gone up in flames from January to October, the most since 2007, according to INPE. Scientists worry that the Amazon may be being pushed toward a point of no return, after which it will dry out and degrade into a savannah.

Research from U.S. space agency NASA released this week showed the atmosphere above the Amazon has dried out over the past 20 years because of human activity including fires, deforestation, farming and ranching. "The trees need to transpire to cool themselves and to add more water vapor into the atmosphere. But the soil doesn't have extra water for the trees to pull in," said Sassan Saatchi, a co-author of the study, in a written statement.

"If this continues, the forest may no longer be able to sustain itself."

Also Read: Amazon's faster shipping dents profits, more pain to come

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



How music can help expectant mothers during pregnancy

Music provides pleasant ambience for all but its more important for expectant mothers as besides ensuring pleasant environment for them it also directly and indirectly influences the unborn babies. There are various scientific findings to c...

EdTech: A technical approach to flexible and cost-effective education

Its hight time for the world to go for innovative approaches like e-learning over traditional learning methods that need physical infrastructure, long-term planning, and huge investment. ...

Our school campaigns are our strongest ally: Joaquin Antuna, founder of Peace and Cooperation

Joaquin Antuna is the founder of Peace and Cooperation, a Spanish NGO which was nominated as peace messenger by the United Nations in 1986. Antuna is of very firm opinion that in order to have an incisive impact on the community we live in,...

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....


Latest News

Tesla unveils first-ever electric pickup truck

Tesla Inc unveiled on Thursday its first-ever pickup truck, a long-awaited expansion to its product line-up that poses a direct challenge to Detroit automakers.At a launch event in Los Angeles, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk unveiled a tru...

Soccer-Leicester will not sell players in January, says Rodgers

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers says they will not be selling players in the January transfer window but could make additions if an opportunity to improve the squad comes their way. Rodgers, who took charge in February, has guided Le...

Brookfield Properties Joins Global Campaign Driving Disability Inclusion at the Workplace

Prepares to host India Inc.-The Valuable 500 with CII-India Business Disability Network IBDN and EnAble India, to make disability inclusion a boardroom agenda. New Delhi, India Business Wire IndiaBrookfield Properties today announced its ...

IIT Kharagpur researchers find Iron Age evidence in Gujarat

Researchers from IIT Kharagpur have found archaelogical evidence of a 3,000-year-old Iron Age settlement at Karim Shahi and a Historic to Medieval settlement at Vigakot near Thar desert. While the archaelogical remains found at Karim Shahi...

Give Feedback