The “world’s lungs” are being consumed by fires in South America

Rainforests in Brazil are burning up and it could have a drastic effect on the planet


Photo taken by Eraldo Peres

The Amazon Rainforest has been ablaze since January 2019, and many are blaming cattle ranchers burning more land for their cattle. 

The Amazon has faced nearly 85% more deforestation as opposed to last year, according to c|net. Even towns and cities over 1,000 miles away are dealing with smoke from the fires, showing its impact on not only nature but families and our society. 

The rainforest is home to several million species, multiple lifeforms, and a large array of trees.  Many animal species are already endangered, including the jaguar, gorilla, golden-lion tamarind, and the three-toed sloth; and are endearing immense complications due to the increase in deforestation.

This tremendous forest is designated as “the world’s lungs,” because it takes carbon dioxide out of the air and releases oxygen. The Amazon Rainforest is, in fact, source to at least 20% of the world’s oxygen, as reported by CNN. As the forest burns, more carbon dioxide is released, which adds to the already excessive amounts in the atmosphere, causing climate change to worsen. 

Cattle ranchers and farmers are starting the fires to clear new land and make more grazing areas for their animals according to Express. “It’s the best time to burn because the vegetation is dry,” according to meteorologist Haley Brink. 

Many environmental groups place the blame on Jair Bolsonaro, the 38th president of Brazil, who reduced environmental controls and encouraged deforestation, which may have initiated these now-harmful problems. 

There are a handful of organizations and programs working to protect the forest, such as donating to the Amazon Watch. The Amazon Rainforest, as it burns now, needs all the help it can get.