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Amazon rainforest, a home to many, experiences the worst wildfires ever!

The European Union Earth Observation Program's Sentinel satellites are getting an eyeful of smoke. A view from August 14 shows a dark haze over the rainforest.

Anab Mehdi

Anab MehdiBy Anab Mehdi

Published on 22 Aug 2019 4:23 AM GMT

Amazon rainforest, a home to many, experiences the worst wildfires ever!
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Lucknow: Habitat of over three million species of not just animals but plants as well, and to nearly one million indigenous people, the Amazon rainforest is presently experiencing the worst wildfires ever!

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Recent satellite images of the Amazon rainforest show pervasive streaks of white. But it's not all clouds. It's smoke from thousands of wildfires tearing through the undergrowth.

The very concept of a rainforest evokes images of a wet, humid climate, but the Amazon has a dry season in July and August that's also the forest's fire season. A major cause of these fires is people clearing out the land for farming or ranching.

What's eye-catching about 2019 is the sheer number of fires. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) data shows the group has tracked over 74,000 fires so far this year. That's the most since INPE started keeping records in 2013.

The European Union Earth Observation Program's Sentinel satellites are getting an eyeful of smoke. A view from August 14 shows a dark haze over the rainforest.

NASA is also keeping an eye on the situation. As of August 16, "satellite observations indicated that total fire activity in the Amazon basin was slightly below average in comparison to the past 15 years," NASA said, but the activity level has ramped up since then. One of the best illustrations of this comes from Sentinel 2 with an animation showing smoke growing from July 28 to August 17.

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This year's fires are the latest in a long line of bad news for the Amazon rainforest, which has been suffering from deforestation due to logging, farming, ranching and fires.

"More than a third of all species in the world live in the Amazon rainforest," the European Space Agency reported in 2017. "Unlike other forests, rainforests have difficulty regrowing after they are destroyed and, owing to their composition, their soils are not suitable for long-term agricultural use."

This has already been a brutal year for devastating fires across the globe. We've watched from both the ground and space as Russia, Greenland and Alaska have all burned, generating massive amounts of smoke. This Amazon fire season will leave many scars.

Any threat to environment is a threat to humanity. Burning of Amazon forest will in turn, burn the humanity gradually.

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Anab Mehdi

Anab Mehdi

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