Amazon Rainforest Fires 2019 - Cause & Effect

Amazon Rainforest Fires 2019 - Cause & Effect 

What is the Amazon Rainforest?

The Amazon Rainforest is a large tropical rainforest that covers the most part of the drainage basin of the Amazon river and its tributaries in South America. The basin itself covers an enormous area of 2,700,00 square miles of which a massive 2,100, 000 square miles are covered by rainforest. The Amazon is spread across 9 different countries. 58.4% can be found in Brazil, Peru has 12.8%, Colombia 7.1%, Venezuela 6.1%, Ecuador 1%, Bolivia 7.7 %, Guyana 3.1%, Suriname 2.5%, French Guiana 1,4%.The Amazon represents 50% of the planets remaining rainforests and is made up of the biggest and most biodiverse area of tropical rainforest in the entire world. It contains an estimated almost 400 billion trees of which 16,000 different species. It also inhabits 2.5 million species of insect, at least 40, 000 plant species, 2,200 fish 1,294 birds, 428 amphibians,  427 mammals and around 378 reptiles. Not only plant and animal life thrive within the rainforest. One million indigenous people still live in the Brazilian part of the Amazon basin, many of whom are in complete isolation from the outside world. Needless to say, a huge amount of life is bursting within the Amazon, most of which is currently in danger. Now we are going to see why and take a closer look at what exactly is happening currently.

The Amazon Rainforest

Why the Amazon Rainforest Burns?

During the dry season, which include the months of June through to November, The Amazon rainforest suffers from forest fires due to the extreme climate in this period. Although this is a common occurrence during certain periods of the year, this year the Amazon has suffered an unusually intense epidemic of wildfires. Satellite data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) as well as other environmental organisations show that this year alone 72, 843 fires have been detected. This is an enormous 83% increase in respect to the same period in 2018 last year. It is also officially the highest number of forest fires recorded since 2013. Moreover, in other states, the quantity of ash and smog during the month of August this year is the highest it has been since 2010. Fortunately, most of the agricultural burn-offs are in fact in deforested areas, though there have also been fires in protected reserves, endangering rainforest life and creating an imbalance in its fragile and fundamental ecosystem. Let’s go on to look in more detail about why this is happening.

Amazon Forest Fires

Amazon Deforestation - Highest Level in 10 years

Is the Amazon Rainforest on fire? Well - Deforestation levels in the Amazon have reached their highest level in the last 10 years. This is due to a dramatic rise in Industrial development in Brazil. Brazil's current government continue to reverse previously agreed policies to enforce environmental regulations. They are instead moving towards more industrial-based negotiations. More industrialisation means more deforestation. More deforestation means a higher risk of forest fires, as as well as a drastic reduction of natural plant life that is desperately needed to create the good clean oxygen on which all living creatures rely on for life itself. Scientists are concerned that if there is not an increase in control over deforestation, that the Amazon rainforest will lose its ability to generate its own rainfall, thereby preventing the rainforests ecosystem from functioning as it should. This would lead to the green leafy forest drying up into a desolate expanse of shrublands and would contribute further to the already highly disconcerting issue of climate change that is already taking its effect on the entire world.

Amazon Rainforest Fires Effects on Climate Change

Climate change is something that affects not only the Amazon Rainforest, but the whole world. Glaciers are melting too rapidly which is causing our sea levels to rise fast. Cloud forests are dying leaving wildlife struggling for life as well as rare species risking extinction. Climate change is definable not only as the rising temperatures such as can be found in the Amazon, but also it can be seen in extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and change in habitats and many more very serious global issues. These changes are increasing as humans are contributing more and more to the addition of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere also known as ‘the greenhouse effect’. This is what leads to often drastic changes in the climate. All plant and animal life depend on climate and the fate of the world's forests, farms oceans coasts and snow-covered mountains are all at risk.

What can we do to slow down Climate Change?

So the big question is: what can we do to slow down this climate change caused by the human population? The answer is not a simple overnight change and requires a collective effort as well as an individual and drastic change in perspective. 

Join a party or campaign such as WWF, Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth who fight for the Amazon on a daily basis and work towards a brighter future in terms of its sustainability. You can also donate to organisations that support the forest and biodiversity such as Rainforest Alliance who are fighting hard to prevent the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest. 

The most Famous Environmentalists on Climate Change

Look for inspiration where you can. Leonardo Dicaprio is a huge climate change activist and his self started campaign the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation which is a world-renowned organization created in order to address the urgent threats to our planet’s life support systems.

It doesn’t matter how young you are or how famous you might not be. Speak up and take action. Just look at the power of the famous 16-year-old Greta Thunberg speech. Whilst she is travelling the world with her "school strike for the climate" making speeches and promoting changes to save our climate. She is also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize due to her efforts.

What we can do on an individual level to fight Climate Change

Try eating vegetarian meals prepared using local produce as often as possible in order to decrease your carbon footprint. Mindful chef is an ethically responsible meal delivery service that source only local organic free-range produce. They use recycled materials and for every meal they sell, they donate a meal to a child living in poverty. With Mindful chef you can avoid ordering produce that has been shipped in from other parts of the world making it much more environmentally friendly. 

Shop organic wherever possible. lookfantistic offer a range of organic beauty products designed to respect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.

Shop smart and look for products with ethical resources such as Levi’s and White Stuff, who both use carefully chosen, ethically and sustainably sourced cotton. 

Adidas offer an incredible initiative of a 75% paper reduction per employee aiming to work hard at cutting back on deforestation wherever they can.

Plant a tree, plant flowers and grow your own veg. Plants are a crucial part of our ecosystem and help create good clean oxygen. Suttons offer a wide range of plants and seeds allowing you to grow your very own products from home thus hugely reducing your carbon footprint.

Nobody’s child is a modern forward-thinking fashion outlet that aims to work hard on reducing textile waste by upcycling and producing small collections rather than large ones that often lead to more waste.

You can be an eco-friendly shopper while taking care of the world we live in by taking steps to ensure that you choose the right brands that work hard to protect our planet!

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