News | Environment
17 Sep 2019 22:44
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Environment

    Record wildfires raging through the Amazon can now be seen from space

    Swathes of Brazil, including some of its biggest cities, have been covered in thick smoke as wildfires continue to ravage the world's largest tropical rainforest.


    New satellite data has captured giant rivers of smoke billowing across swathes of Brazil and other parts of South America as intense wildfires continue to ravage the Amazon rainforest.

    The forest fires have hit a record number this year, with 72,843 detected so far by the Brazilian Government's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and come as NASA scientists flag alarm over intense fires burning in the Arctic Circle.

    The surge marks an 83 per cent increase over the same period in 2018, INPE said, and is the highest since records began in 2013.

    Since last Thursday, the space agency said satellite images spotted 9,507 new forest fires in the country, mostly in the Amazon basin, home to the world's largest tropical forest — a habitat seen as vital to countering global warming.

    "One of the concerns with fires on this scale in the Amazon is the impact on the carbon cycle and whether it is turning those regions of the Amazon into a net source of CO2 due to the loss of rainforest and change in vegetation," Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), told the ABC.

    Strong winds drove thick layers of smoke more than 2,700 kilometres into Sao Paulo on Monday, blanketing the city in an eerie darkness in the mid-afternoon.

    The daytime blackout deepened concerns from thousands of people for the welfare of the Amazon rainforest, with the hashtag #prayforamazonia referred to more than 150,000 times on Twitter.

    With the fires raging for more than three weeks now, concerns are growing over right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro's controversial environmental policy and his firing of INPE director Ricardo Galvao several weeks ago, reportedly amid rows over deforestation data it captured.

    The unprecedented surge in wildfires has occurred since Mr Bolsonaro took office in January, vowing to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining and ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.

    Mr Bolsonaro has called the deforestation data "lies".

    While wildfires are common in the dry season, they are also deliberately set by loggers and farmers illegally deforesting land for cattle ranching, and conservationists say Mr Bolsonaro has only encouraged this activity.

    Asked about the spread of uncontrolled fires, Mr Bolsonaro brushed off criticism, saying it was the time of the year of the "queimada" or burn, when farmers use fire to clear land.

    ABC/wires

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


     Other Environment News
     17 Sep: Wellingtonians are being urged not to panic about a mysterious lack of Kereru
     17 Sep: Strong winds forecast for Dunedin - could help crews working at the site of a scrub fire
     15 Sep: Gough Island's giant Tristan albatross faces being wiped out by a tiny predator — the house mouse
     14 Sep: A tropical depression near the Bahamas has strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto
     14 Sep: A Bay of Islands oyster farmer has lost thousands of dollars in stock to thieves, who he says could cripple his business
     14 Sep: Fire races through Rio de Janeiro hospital, killing at least 11 and forcing staff to wheel patients into street
     13 Sep: An influx of residents in the regions is lifting median house price
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    History tells All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that this weekend's encounter against South Africa was always going to be huge More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    Doctor sues Google over negative reviews, but tech giant claims it is 'subordinate distributor' More...



     Today's News

    Athletics:
    Double Olympic 1500 metres medalist Nick Willis has missed out on a place in the New Zealand team for the upcoming athletics World Championships in Doha 21:57

    Entertainment:
    Victoria Beckham joked she hasn't "been near a thong in years" 21:46

    Law and Order:
    Police are calling for information after an armed group robbed a Kawerau dairy 21:17

    Entertainment:
    Mark Feehily can't wait to be a father 21:16

    International:
    More than half of fertility and period-tracker apps ineffective at predicting ovulation, study finds 21:07

    Entertainment:
    Helena Christensen is excited to see the Michael Hutchence documentary 20:46

    Business:
    Doctor sues Google over negative reviews, but tech giant claims it is 'subordinate distributor' 20:27

    Entertainment:
    Didi Conn says Olivia Newton-John is managing her cancer pain with cannabis 20:16

    Rugby League:
    Kiwi Corey Main has announced his retirement from competitive swimming 19:47

    Entertainment:
    Ozzy Osbourne has praised his wife Sharon as a "god" for taking him back after his 2016 affair 19:46


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd