Report: Amazon rainforest lost over 810,000 square kilometers in 18 years

Since President Jair Bolsonaro took power in 2019, the level of Amazon deforestation has been alarmingly high, making the fight against climate change even more difficult.

Deforestation is not only a tragedy for the natural ecosystem and its biodiversity. It also releases vast amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere.

Imazon, a Brazilian research organization that focuses on conservation and sustainable development, reported devastating news regarding deforestation.

“In July alone, 2,095 square kilometers were deforested, 80 percent more than in the same month in 2020,” said Imazon. “This area is larger than the city of São Paulo.”

Carlos Souza, one of the Imazon researchers, expressed concerns with the current policy of the Bolsonaro administration.

“Deforestation is still out of control,” said Souza speaking to the Guardian. “Brazil is going against the global climate agenda that is seeking to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research expert Luciana Gatti and her team collected air samples from 2010 to 2018 from a height of 4.5 kilometers or 2.8 miles over the surface of the Amazon.

They found that the northwestern part of the Amazon is still intact and absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits. However, the eastern Amazon gave off more CO2 than it absorbed, and the numbers are much worse during the dry season.

In addition, confirming Gatti’s findings, according to Forbes, the Brazillian rainforest emits carbon dioxide 20 percent higher than it absorbed from 2010 up to 2019.

The Amazon forest has a key role in stabilizing the global climate. A recent IPCC report said that unless drastic changes are made, the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold will be breached in 10 years. 

Climate change

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Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. (wikipedia)


Amazon (company)

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. (wikipedia)


Deforestation

Deforestation or forest clearance is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then converted to non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to farms, (wikipedia)


2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires

The 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires season saw a year-to-year surge in fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest and Amazon biome within Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, (wikipedia)