Amazon Rainforest Fire Causes Global Anger, Natural Disaster or Man-made Disaster?

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 Amazon Rainforest Fire Causes Global Anger, Natural Disaster or Man-made Disaster?


Recently, the Amazon Tropical Rainforest, known as Lung of the Earth, has suffered a huge forest fire. As of 22 local time, the fire had been burning for 17 days. On Friday, protestors gathered outside Brazilian embassies in many countries, demanding that the Brazilian government deal with the rainforest fires. Faced with heavy pressure, Brazilian President Bossonalo finally signed a decree on Friday asking Brazilian armed forces to travel to the Amazon region to help cope with the burning fire. However, the Amazon fire, which has been burning for several weeks, remains uncertain whether it can be effectively controlled.

The number of forest fires has reached 36,771 since this month.

_Local time, August 23, in the northern state of Rondonia, Brazil, aerial photography of the Amazon rainforest fire disaster area. Photo Source/Visual China

According to data released by Brazils National Institute for Space Research on the 22nd, the number of forest fires in Brazil has reached 75,336 since this year, an increase of 85% over the same period last year, with more than half of them in the Amazon rainforest, Xinhua reported. Since this month, the number of forest fires has reached 36,771, an increase of 175% over the same period last month.

The heavily damaged area of the fire is located in the Amazon region on the border of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. The more concentrated areas are located in the Brazilian states of Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Amazon and Bolivia. According to the statistics of the global fire database, as of August 21, the number of fires in Mato Grosso has nearly doubled to 25 650, an increase of 10 176 over last year.

Multinational demonstrators protested against the inaction of the Brazilian government

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Brazilian Embassy in Britain on August 23, holding up signs with the words Our Home Fires to protest Bossonalos inaction against the Amazon rainforest fire, the Guardian reported.

_On August 23, local time, people gathered in London, England, calling on the Brazilian government to take measures to control the Amazon rainforest fire. Photo Source/Visual China

In addition, many demonstrators gathered outside Brazilian embassies in France, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Colombia and other countries to protest. Many cities in Australia, Sweden, the United States and other countries are also preparing to hold demonstrations and protests. In Brazil, many people are organizing public protests in several cities, calling for a response to rainforest fires.

Prior to this, social media pray for Amazon, act for Amazon and save Amazon have become hot topics for many days. Many netizens appealed to relevant departments to pay attention to the Amazon rainforest fire and save the lungs of the earth.

Multinational politicians voiced on Amazons Fury

This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Mark Long and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson all spoke about the fire, calling it an international crisis, according to the BBC. Merkel called it a real emergency and Marklong tweeted that our home is burning and the two said they would discuss the issue at this weekends G7 summit. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau also expressed support on Twitter.

France and Ireland also said they would not ratify trade agreements with South America if Brazil did not step up its response to the Amazon fire; Finlands finance minister, the rotating presidency of the European Union, even called on the European Union to suspend Brazils beef imports.

U.S. President Trump tweeted Friday night that he had spoken to Bossonalo and suggested that the United States could help them.

In the context of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford the consequences of damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity, U. N. Secretary-General Guterres said on Twitter on Thursday. Amazon must be protected!

Bossonalo announced that he would send troops to deal with the fire

_Brazilian President Bolsonaro. Photo Source/Visual China

Regarding Marklongs statement, Bossonalo countered that discussing the Amazon fire in G7 without the participation of the Amazon countries was the colonial ideology of the 21st century.

However, under pressure from the international community, Bossonalo delivered a televised speech on Friday announcing that he would send armed forces to help cope with the Amazon rainforest fire. In his speech, Bossonalo reiterated his condemnation of those who disseminated false information, saying that Brazil has its own laws to protect its rainforests. But he also said, We need to provide opportunities for development, not just protection issues, calling the fires average over the past 15 years.

Question 1:

What is the cause of the fire?

Local experts in Brazil call the human factor the main cause.

According to the early warning information of the global fire alarm database, the sea surface temperature of the tropical Pacific and North Atlantic in 2019 is higher than the average during the satellite fire observation period from 2001 to 2015.

In addition, the Washington Post quoted local media in the Brazilian state of Para as saying that the reason for the surge in wildfires in Para was Wild Fire Day. In order to reclaim suitable fields in the rainforest, local farmers will burn the whole area of the rainforest for cattle and soybean cultivation. This years Wild Fire Day is scheduled for August 10. According to Brazils current relevant laws, most of the deforestation and land conversion acts are illegal. In an interview with Reuters, Alberto Sezer, from the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research, said that it is undoubtedly the responsibility of human beings to cause fires, whether intentionally or accidentally. We have experienced more severe droughts in the past... We have never experienced so many fires.

_Local time, August 23, in the northern state of Rondonia, Brazil, aerial photography of the Amazon rainforest fire disaster area. Photo Source/Visual China

How long will the rainforest regenerate after the fire?

Experts say it usually takes 20 to 40 years.

According to the BBC, Yadvinder Malhi, a professor of Ecological Sciences at Oxford University, said, Rainforests generally take 20 to 40 years to regenerate.

However, the fires currently burning will make the trees that have escaped the fires more vulnerable to drought or further fires. Professor Malhi said that if fires destroyed large areas of rainforests every few years, they could cause permanent damage to Amazon, which could even be reduced to shrubbery.

_Local time, August 23, Port Vero, Brazil, burnt Amazon jungle. Photo Source/Visual China

Question 3:

Why did the fire last for weeks?

The current Brazilian governments efforts to protect rainforests have slowed down

Zhou Zhiwei, a researcher at the Latin American Research Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences, believes that the current Brazilian governments slowdown in rainforest conservation and its relatively negative policy towards its predecessor are one of the reasons why the fire lasted for several weeks.

Brazilian farmers may be encouraged by default by Bossonalo, Reuters reported. Bossonalo has said many times since taking office in January that Brazil should open up the Amazon rainforest for commercial interests and allow mining, logging and agricultural enterprises to exploit the natural resources of the rainforest. According to media reports, Bossonalo has cut environmental funds, criticized environmental organizations and denied logging data since taking office. Realizing the economic value of the Amazon region may be the biggest reason for the governments attitude to conservatism.

For the fire, Zhou Zhiwei believes that the Brazilian governments rescue is not active enough. If the government pays enough attention to the protection of rainforests, then the fire can be put out earlier.

Question 4: What will be the impact of the fire?

Carbon emissions may exacerbate global warming

According to satellite imagery released by the European Union, the smoke from the fire not only covered nearly half of Brazil, but also spread to neighboring Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Fire has a great impact on the animals, plants and indigenous people in the rainforest. According to the BBC, the ongoing fires have produced a lot of carbon dioxide in recent years.

Wood burning also releases a lot of carbon monoxide, and climate monitoring agencies show that a lot of carbon monoxide has even drifted to the coastline of South America.

Experts say the fire will have a direct impact on South Americas climate, such as reduced rainfall and drier climate. In the long run, carbon emissions from fires may lead to more serious global warming.

Source: New Beijing Daily Responsible Editor: Dai Wenjia_NB12498