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Amazon Rainforest Fires Emitting Carbon Dioxide (CO2) by City Tech Blogger Matheus Figueroa

The definition of ironic is to diverge from what is expected for a specific situation or from physical reality. The sole purpose of trees and plant life is to consume and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into a useful element known as oxygen (O2). Humans need oxygen to survive and without it, life will not be possible. Fires in the Amazon Rainforest are an actual danger to our survival and should be considered a threat to the livelihood of not only Brazil, but the entirety of the planet Earth. The Amazon fires could be responsible for the acceleration of climate change on a global level as the burning forest will be releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

So far, there have been over 100,000 wildfires in the entire country of Brazil as of 2019. “More than half of the fires, about 53,000, have occurred within the Amazon,” stated the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research. Fire is utilized in Brazil in order to clear land. Fires are actually a technique by farmers to deforest land for agriculture, by land miners, and by businessmen. The continuing loss of trees in the Amazon will further diminish the role of the Amazon Rainforest as the “carbon sink”. A carbon sink means that the Rainforest has the ability to absorb as much carbon dioxide as possible which in turn greatly benefits the fight against climate change. Not only are we losing the “lungs” of the Earth, but we are also contributing to pollution by deforestation. This happens because of the burning of trees, causing the direct release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This then accelerates the buildup of greenhouse gases, as we have no trees to absorb the carbon dioxide. Ecologists claim that half of the carbon dioxide that is pulled out of the atmosphere is sucked up by tropical rainforests.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/three-things-know-about-fires-sweeping-through-amazon-rainforest-180972962/

Since Early January, there have been 1,330 square miles of Rainforest lost. A contributing factor that lead to the spread of the wildfires is that the dry season tends to make the environment more susceptible to fire. The Amazon spans at 2.12 million square miles and takes in a quarter of the 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide that global forests absorb. If fires continue to spread with nothing done to stop them, our carbon sink will vanish. It will be harder to be in compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement, which states that countries must hold global warming to below 3.6 degrees. As we burn more trees, we will release roughly 90 billion metric tons of carbon into the air;  these trees tend to hold a total of decades’ worth of carbon. Deforestation seems to be the main threat to tree species, and dryness can reduce the species by up to 60%. Modeling a worst-case scenario wherein no climate change polices are administered, the Amazon Rainforest can be fragmented into smaller groups, harming more than just tree species but animals as well. This will also result in the Amazon’s inability to be a carbon sink afterward.

Gathering data and information regarding the Amazon Rainforest is critical and can lead to informing the general population about the actual and apparent danger we are facing by manmade natural disasters. If nothing continues to be done, we will be jeopardizing our chances to change or reverse climate change altogether. We are losing our “lungs” of the earth as the Amazon Rainforest is one of the main sources of a carbon sink in the entire world.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/08/21/amazonian-rainforest-is-ablaze-turning-day-into-night-brazils-capital-city/

https://www.newsweek.com/amazon-rain-forest-fires-co2-trees-atmosphere-1458536

 

 

 

 

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