What’s Going On With The Amazon Rain forest


A fire burns trees and brush along the road to Jacunda National Forest, near the city of Porto Velho in the Vila Nova Samuel region, which is part of Brazil's Amazon. (Washington Post)

Haydn Burton, Feature Writer

The Amazon rainforest, primarily located in northwestern Brazil, is currently on fire and shows no signs of slowing down. 

News articles covering the situation are being released practically every hour, giving the public more and more information over this ongoing crisis. The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this point, but many experts say they believe it was human-induced and can’t be attributed to the natural occurrence (such as a lightning strike). Although, there is a bit of discourse going on about what really started the fire. Environmental minister, Ricardo Salles, believes the fire was caused due to it being a very dry season for the Amazon. 

Despite the cause of the fire still being up to speculation, what we do know is the potential jeopardy something like this could put the Earth in. 

The Amazon rainforest plays an essential role in our survival by absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it into oxygen, accounting for 20 percent of the Earth’s overall oxygen. Not only that, the direct absorption of this carbon dioxide helps to keep our climate stabilized. 

The United States, as well as Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom (the G7 nations), are getting involved in order to help assist Brazil in this time of need. If we don’t do everything in our power to stop the fire, it’s possible that 140 billion tons of CO2 could be released into our atmosphere. As a result, global temperatures would be at an all-time high. 

This whole ordeal is becoming a larger and more widespread issue as the days pass. “We believe that negative synergies between deforestation, climate change, and widespread use of fire indicate a tipping point for the Amazon system to flip to non-forest ecosystems in eastern, southern and central Amazonia at 20-25% deforestation,” said Carlos Nobre and Thomas Lovejoy as apart of their editorial in the journal Science Advances.

This situation can be attributed to the neglection of our environment by people and is one of many growing issues that we need to work on as a human race. Only time will tell what the future of the Amazon rainforest looks like, but pay close attention and realize the impact this could have on us.   

More information and articles regarding the fire: