The Amazon is burning at record rates—and deforestation is to blame
The blazes are so huge that smoke can be seen from space, and experts say the fires could have major climate impacts.
Wildfires are currently burning so intensely in the Amazon rainforest that smoke from the blaze has covered nearby cities in a dark haze.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported a record 72,843 fires this year, an 80 percent increase from last year. More than 9,000 of those fires have been spotted in the past week.
The size of the fires is still unclear, but they spread over several large Amazon states in northwest Brazil. On August 11, NASA noted that the fires were large enough that they could be spotted from space.
“This is without any question one of only two times that there have been fires like this,” in the Amazon, says Thomas