News/OP-ED: Catastrophe In South America, The Amazon Fire Increases As Global Warming Worsens By The Minute

By Aydn Morris

As the Amazon continues to burn down to ashes, much of the world’s focus is on the future of the planet, while politicians keep beating around the bush when discussing the topic.

The Amazon Is Burning - EcoHealth Alliance
Fire decimating the environmental ecosystem in the Brazilian border of the Amazon.

The Amazon is one of the world’s most important oxygen producers as well as the largest rainforest that spans through most of South America. The Amazon covers territory shared by nine countries. 

Majority of the Amazon is under Brazilian jurisdiction, accounting for 60%; followed by Peru at 13%, Colombia at 10%, and small amounts under the control of Bolivia Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. 

The Amazon accounts for the most biodiverse tract in the world, with over 390 billion trees and divided into 1600 species. The Amazon is a very important part of the world’s ecosystem and has existed for at least 50 million years, although it does not guarantee a protection status.

The Amazon rainforest has always been prone to fires, but this year the fires have surpassed those of last year. According to The Conversation, “In July 2020 the Amazon fires have increased by 28% and the fires in the first week of September were double those numbers.” The fires may even increase drastically due to international agreements to prioritize funding COVID-19 relief incentives before the well-being of the rainforest.

The Brazilian government tried to keep the Amazon fires a secret and presumably lied to the people of Brazil, constantly insisting that there were no more fires. 

The Amazon is a rainforest, meaning it is extremely wet and damp throughout the year, where fires are almost non-existing in normal circumstances, while other forests, similar to those found in California, are dry and accommodate to regenerate with fires.

The fires have increased catastrophically, with 10 fires in only one part of the rainforest in the Brazilian state of Pará. The state of Pará is also considered the most deforested part of the Amazon and has majorly changed the ecosystem. 

There were a total of 28,892 wildfires in the area, according to NASA. The fires have been moving into farmland, ranches and also into nearby forests that are not a part of the Amazon; such as the Virgin forest. The rainforest has been getting drier and drier, as deforestation continues, making it more prone to fire. 

In some areas, fires have been horrific by how large they are. According to Sky News, “fires are as big as 84,000 square kilometers of land which is as big as the country Scotland, and one fire team has to contain that amount of land, and there are 5 other fires just like that.” The fire teams do not even stop the fire, they just try to contain them before the fire restarts again and grows bigger. 

The Amazon Fire has been named the worst fire by many of the firefighters that have worked for over 20 years. 

Fire control has told people if it does not rain it will be very hard to try and contain all of the fires. The fire teams have been working as hard as they can to put out the fires and try and control and prevent them from getting into the deeper rainforest.

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