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Amazon fires can worsen global warming

NOW: Amazon fires can worsen global warming

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Fires are burning in South America, and most importantly, in the Amazon rain forest, causing concern for the rest of us across the world.

This time of year is the typical fire season in South America, and the fires are mostly human made. Agriculture farmers typically start fires to clear land for cattle grazing. Recently, there has been an uptick in these agricultural practices, and now the fires are out of control. Typically the fires are confined to the forest floor, but this year they have spread quickly due to dry and windy weather conditions, and now it is destroying the forest canopy.

In 2019 so far, there has been an 84% increase in the number of fires from last year at this time. Around 75,000 fires have burned in Brazil alone, which is home to one-third of the world's rain forests. 52% of the fires have been in the Amazon.

This is a concern to us, because the amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. If the canopy of the forest is gone, that means more carbon dioxide and less oxygen in the atmosphere. Not only that, but the fires are releasing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the smoke.

This is bad for the world, as greenhouse gasses worsen global warming, and it is also unhealthy for the people who live nearby. In Sao Paolo, Brazil, smoke blew into the city, turning daytime into a night scene, prompting a state of emergency.

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