Amazon forest fair

Amazon rainforest fire: How did the Amazon fire start? How long has it been on fire?

Amazon rainforest fire
Amazon rainforest fire: The Amazon has seen a record number of fires this year (Image: REUTERS/WINDY)

BRAZIL’S Amazon rainforest has seen a record number of fires this year, - but how did the Amazon rainforest fire start and how long has it been on fire?

The Amazon rainforest is burning record numbers of fires this year, and now smoke from the expansive flames has been captured on both NASA and NOAA satellites from space. According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) satellite data showed an 83 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. The space agency reports its satellite data has detected more than 72,000 fires since January 2019. Follow the express.co.uk l
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The heavy smoke caused a daytime blackout more than 1,700 miles away in Brazil’s largest city São Paulo on Monday.
Josélia Pegorim, Climatempo meteorologist, told Globo: “The smoke did not come from fires from the state of São Paulo, but from very dense and wide fires that have been going on for several days in Rondônia and Bolivia.
“The cold front changed the direction of the winds and transported this smoke to São Paulo.”
The smoke resulting from some of these wildfires was also captured in satellite images released by NASA.

Amazon sees 93 percent surge in fires

Brazil’s space research centre Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), recorded 72,843 fires in the Amazon this year alone, marking an 83 percent surge compared to the same period in 2018.
Satellite images revealed 9,507 new forest fires have burned in the country since Thursday.
Most of the recent blazes were located in the Amazon basin, which is home to the world’s largest tropical forest seen as vital to countering global warming.
The savage fires led to Amazonas declaring a state of emergency on Monday after three weeks of particularly severe fires have plagued the country. CONTINUE READING
Amazon rainforest fire: The smoke from the fires can be seen from space (Image: NASA)

How did the Amazon rainforest fires start?

Wildfires often occur in the dry season in Brazil, but this year has been worse than normal, according to INPE.
In addition, fires are deliberately started in efforts to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching.
Cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, accounting for 80 percent of current deforestation rates.
Amazon Brazil is home to approximately 200 million head of cattle, and is the largest exporter in the world, supplying about one-quarter of the global market.
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The space agency said it had detected more than 72,000 fires between January and August and more than 9,500 forest fires since Thursday, mostly in the Amazon region.
In comparison, there were fewer than 40,000 for the same period in 2018.
Some conservationist have blamed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the forest fires, saying he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land.
Mr Bolsonaro said he disagrees with the latest data presented, saying it was the “season of the queimada”, when farmers use fire to clear land.
He said: “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame.”
Amazon rainforest fire: Thousands of acres of land have been destroyed (Image: EPA)
The Amazon rainforest has been fire-resistant for much of its history because of its natural moisture and humidity but NASA has said drought and human activities are causing wildfires.
A release from the space agency said: “The intensity and frequency of droughts in turn, have been linked with increases in regional deforestation and anthropogenic climate change.”
Ricardo Mello, head of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Amazon Programme, added the fires were “a consequence of the increase in deforestation seen in recent figures”.
Amazon rainforest fire: Brazilian PM Jair Bolsonaro has been blamed by conservationists (Image: GETTY)
Now Brazilian federal prosecutors have said they are opening an official investigation into the rise in deforestation and forest fires. 
The prosecutors said on Thursday they will investigate a spike in deforestation and wildfires raging in the Amazon state of Para.
They will work to determine whether there has been reduced monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections.
The investigation announced by the prosecutors office in Para follows a surge in fires and destruction of the Amazon rainforest that experts blame on reduced protection of the environment under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

Amazon rainforest fire: More than 72,000 fires have started since January 2019 (Image: REUTERS)

How long has the Amazon been on fire?

Due to the number of fires in the Amazon rainforest, it’s hard to predict exactly when it started.
However, the fires have increased recently, with more than 9,500 infernos since Thursday.
Since January, 72,000 fires have blasted the rainforest, a number that is likely to go up in the coming weeks.
Amazon rainforest fire: NOAA has captured satellite images of the blaze from the sky (Image: NOAA)
Amazon rainforest fire: The fires cover a massive area (Image: WINDY)

Why is the Amazon rainforest so important to life on Earth?

The Amazon is often referred to as the planet's lungs.
This is because it produces 20 percent of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere.
The rainforest is considered vital in slowing global warming and is also home to uncountable species of fauna and flora.
The Amazon is the largest rainforest on the planet.

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