The Amazon

The World on Fire

Massive uncontrolled unprecedented wildfires are consuming portions of the Amazon rainforest and several regions of the Arctic. Somebody somewhere must be asking why all of a sudden in unison, all over creation, two of the planet’s largest ecosystems are going up in smoke.

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Amazon Rainforest Hit By Killer Droughts

Over the past 20 years, like clockwork, severe droughts have hit the Amazon every five years with regularity 2005, 2010, 2015. Of course, droughts have hit the Amazon rainforest throughout paleoclimate history, but this time it’s different. The frequency and severity is off the charts.

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Amazon Onslaught

This month, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill promoting mining, expanded agriculture, and energy production on indigenous lands in the Amazon. During Bolsonaro’s first full year in office, Amazon deforestation increased by 85%, an eye-popping number expected to get even worse.

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The Amazon at a Tipping Point

The Amazon rainforest is a crucial life-support ecosystem–without it, civilization would cease to exist beyond scattered tribes, here and there. But recent research concludes that the life of this beacon of biodiversity and resilience may soon come to an end: “The tipping point is here, it is now.”

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The Companies Behind the Burning of the Amazon

The burning of the Amazon and the darkening of skies from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, have captured the world’s conscience. Much of the blame for the fires has rightly fallen on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for directly encouraging the burning of forests and the seizure of Indigenous Peoples’ lands. But the incentive for the destruction comes from large-scale international meat and soy animal feed companies.

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How Amazon Forest Loss May Affect Water—and Climate—Far Away

The Amazon has already been so degraded that even a small uptick in deforestation could send the forest hurtling toward a transition to something resembling a woodland savanna. But in addition to forever destroying huge sections of the world’s largest rainforest, that shift would release tremendous quantities of planet-warming greenhouse gases which will affect us all.

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Revealed: How the Global Beef Trade Is Destroying the Amazon

Between 1980 and 2005, Amazon deforestation levels reached 20,000 sq km per year — with an area the size of Wales being lost. Although there have been political murmurings about trying to halt the destruction, the latest data shows that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has risen by 73% since 2012. The number one cause? Raising cattle for beef.

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