New Research Refutes Claim That Recent Amazon Fires Were ‘Normal’

Published by Matt Fishman on

New research out of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Lancaster “refutes suggestions that August 2019 was a ‘normal’ fire month in the Amazon”. “[M]arked upturn in both active fire counts and deforestation” plus the fact the Amazon fires “occurred in the absence of a strong drought” disproves “the Brazilian government’s claims that the Amazon fire situation in August 2019 was ‘normal’ and ‘below the historical average’”, the research asserts.

The researchers assessed “the longer term trends in active fires and annual deforestation and recent monthly deforestation trends. The number of active fires in August 2019 was nearly three times higher than in August 2018 and the highest since 2010.” To prevent future fires the research suggests tackling deforestation, as “forest clearance is a major source of ignition” which ultimately raises regional temperatures and reduces rainfall. “Brazil’s successful deforestation action plan of 2004-2012” is referenced for its success, but “the current government’s approach [is] undermining forest monitoring” and action is needed “to prevent illegal logging operations”. Concluding, the researchers say controlling climate change in the Amazon is “dependent on reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the world.”

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