Us Canadians, especially our friends out west, are all too familiar with the horrific effects that forest fires can have on the local environment. Last summer, the majority of the western provinces were covered in a blanket of smoke and suffered unprecedented levels of poor air quality for weeks due to an increased number of wildfires starting – the shocking thing was that the majority were man made.
In late August, a slew of posts from celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, who himself donated $5m, and other influencers on social media highlighted that the Amazon had been on fire for weeks and that we’d not heard anything about it. It wasn’t until mass-media outlets headed out there and shared footage of the devastation that we could really appreciate the shocking state of the fires raging in the Amazon, that is violently out of control.
When interviewed by the press, Trudeau was quoted saying that the people of the world were “shocked and devastated” over the current events happening there. He then offered to pledge waterbombers alongside $15 million to help the crisis and even got Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to reach out and offer aid to the country.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) based in the US, the Amazon is usually a naturally quite a wet area, so, in previous years, the fires haven’t been as widespread as they have been this year because the rainforest was naturally fire retardant. However, due to mass deforestation and the area going through a bit of a hot spell where tree leaves have been dying and falling, the humidity in the air has been lost and the fires have been far worse.
The Amazon, referred to often as the “Planet’s Lungs” as it provides 20% of the world’s oxygen, has had fires raging since the beginning of the year, which, usually, quite commonplace. However, “it’s the number of wildfires and how quickly they’re spreading that’s causing concern; numbers have almost doubled on 2018 figures” states Paulo Ramos, a spokesperson for REVIEWBOX.
Events like these can seriously increase the negative impacts of climate change and much more rapidly. The Amazon is so huge that it helps to regulate the temperature of the entire planet. If the Amazon were to eventually disappear, we could end up in a situation where we are no longer able to reverse the effects that climate change has had on our planet.
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