Amazon rainforest fire: The fires cover a massive area – Cháy rừng nhiệt đới Amazon: Các đám cháy bao trùm một khu vực rộng lớn
[Reading level: C1 – Advanced]
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 Brazilian Amazon is ablaze as a record number of fires continue to ravage the vast rainforest. The Brazilian Army has been deployed to help tackle the vicious fires after the nation’s government faced mounting international pressure to take more action to tackle them. There have been a record number of wildfires in the Amazon this year, with most of them occurring with the past two weeks. The vast stretch of flames has been captured on both NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites from space. According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) satellite data showed an 84 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. The space agency reports its satellite data has detected more than 74,000 fires since January 2019.
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 air 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 rainforest fire: The smoke from the fires can be seen from space. – Cháy rừng nhiệt đới Amazon: khói từ đám cháy có thể được nhìn thấy từ không gian vũ trụ.
How did the Amazon rainforest fires start? – Các vụ cháy rừng nhiệt đới Amazon bắt đầu như thế nào?
Wildfires in the Amazon are not uncommon, but the way they are now spreading is a concern.
According to NOAA the rainforest has been “fire-resistant” for much of its history because of its natural environment.
INPE researcher Alberto Setzer told Reuters: “The dry season creates the favourable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident.”
The space agency said it had detected more than 74,000 fires between January and August and more than 9,500 forest fires since in less than a week, mostly in the Amazon region.
In comparison, there were fewer than 40,000 for the same period in 2018.
Some conservationists 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.
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 heads of cattle, and is the largest exporter in the world, supplying about one-quarter of the global market.
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.”
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.
On Friday, European leaders are about to tear up a trade deal with South America as anger against Bolsonaro rages on across the globe – with angry protests breaking out.
Bolsonaro previously said he would send 40 firefighters to tackle the blaze.
But in an address to the nation, he later pledged to mobilise the army to help combat the blazes, as his administration launched a diplomatic charm offensive to halt the EU anger.
How long has the Amazon been on fire? – Cháy rừng Amazon đã diễn ra bao lâu?
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.
Why is the Amazon rainforest so important to life on Earth? – Tại sao rừng nhiệt đới Amazon lại vô cùng quan trọng đối với sự sống trên Trái đất?
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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