The Earth’s Rainforests are on Fire
This news is only a few days old, but the fires have been raging for years in the Amazon. Adam K. Raymond for New York Magazine:
Fires raging in vast stretches of the Amazon rainforest this week are darkening the skies of cities thousands of miles away, turning rainwater black, and setting disturbing records, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, better known as INPE. The agency, which uses satellite imagery to monitor fires in the world’s largest rainforest, said this week that the Amazon is burning at the fastest rate since 2013, when it began keeping records.
The 72,843 fires in Brazil this year mark an 84 percent increase over this time last year, with INPE recording a new fire somewhere in the country roughly every minute.
As images of wildfires in South America’s Amazon region draw global attention, a large and potentially devastating series of fires is raging in Central Africa and parts of Southern Africa.
Among the regions at risk is the Congo Basin forest, the second-largest tropical rainforest, after the Amazon, mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The region absorbs tons of carbon dioxide, a key in the fight against climate change, and has been called the world’s “second lung,” following the Amazon.
When I was a teenager, I remember being gravely concerned about the CFC problem and the Ozone Hole. The last time our nations came together to ban harmful CFC’s, it resulted in healing our planet’s Ozone Layer 30 years later. We have to band together again. This time, we must ensure protections for our precious rainforests before it’s too late. Protecting our rainforest are the last bastion of protection the Earth has against greenhouse gases.
As I’m writing this, Hurricane Dorian prepares to make landfall, the first major hurricane of 2019. As of writing, it’s predicted to make landfall as a Category 3 or 4 on Labor Day. When I look back on this post 20 years from now, I wonder how much worse shape our little planet will be in. I can only wildly speculate pessimistically now, but I really hope we can turn it around before it’s too late.
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