by R. Walker, August 21, 2019 in Science20
Short summary: we have had wild fires for many years now in the Amazon, even in the tropical rainforest – mainly started by humans for forest clearing and ranching. It is not enough to impact significantly on the Paris agreement pledges yet, though it is important in the long term if this continues for decades. It does of course have major and immediate impacts on forest residents, nature services and the biodiversity in Brazil.
This image is being shared widely, for instance in National Geographic’s “The Amazon is burning at record rates – and deforestation is to blame”. Similarly, the BBC is reporting it as ‘Record number of fires’ in Brazilian rainforest.
Yet, NASA’s own description for this photo says that it is burning at close to the average for the last 15 years. So, what is going on here?
APOLOGIES – UPDATE FROM NASA FROM 19TH AUGUST – THEY NOW CONFIRM INPE INSTEAD OF SAYING IT IS BELOW AVERAGE
Previous version of this article was mistaken. I have made a copy on my website here (the comments on this article are based on that earlier version):
It accurately summarized the article it linked to from NASA (Fires in Brazil) and that page showed as updated on 22nd August which lead me to believe it was up to date. But apparently it isn’t, that’s just the date for a minor update of the page.