Raging Fires in the Amazon – Climate Context

The number of wildfires in the Amazon jungle has increased by almost 80% over last year. It’s important to note here that wildfires are not a natural phenomenon in that rainforest—these fires have largely been set by landowners clearing land for agriculture.
From a climate perspective, the widespread destruction of rainforest, including the Amazon, is highly detrimental. According to an article from The Globe and Mail, “the rainforest is one of the planet’s largest natural carbon sinks, absorbing about one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. When it burns, that CO2 gets released back into the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise even further.”
From a conservation and climate perspective, the key to protecting rainforest is not treatment—it is prevention. In terms of action, we encourage protecting intact rainforest in the Amazon. Junglekeepers is a great organization on the ground in the Peruvian Amazon working specifically to buy and protect contiguous tracts of rainforest—one of our own Brightspot Climate team members has personally worked with them.

About the Author

Sheldon Fernandes