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The Destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest (Renamed)


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#1 LFC

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:05 PM

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's Trump, decided to open up the Amazon to wholesale destruction for short-term gain. (Sound familiar?) It's being burned like crazy now.

Quote

Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have hit a record number this year, with 72,843 fires detected so far by Brazil’s space research center INPE, as concerns grow over right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policy.

The surge marks an 83% increase over the same period of 2018, the agency said on Tuesday, and is the highest since records began in 2013.

Since Thursday, INPE said satellite images spotted 9,507 new forest fires in the country, mostly in the Amazon basin, home to the world’s largest tropical forest seen as vital to countering global warming.

Images show the northernmost state of Roraima covered in dark smoke. Amazonas declared an emergency in the south of the state and in its capital Manaus on Aug. 9. Acre, on the border with Peru, has been on environmental alert since Friday due to the fires.

Wildfires have increased in Mato Grosso and Para, two states where Brazil’s agricultural frontier has pushed into the Amazon basin and spurred deforestation. Wildfires are common in the dry season, but are also deliberately set by farmers illegally deforesting land for cattle ranching.

The unprecedented surge in wildfires has occurred since Bolsonaro took office in January vowing to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.

Asked about the spread of uncontrolled fires, Bolsonaro brushed off criticism, saying it was the time of the year of the “queimada” or burn, when farmers use fire to clear land.

“I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada,” he told reporters.

Space agency INPE, however, said the large number of wildfires could not be attributed to the dry season or natural phenomena alone.

“There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average,” said INPE researcher Alberto Setzer.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#2 LFC

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:41 PM

Brazil's Trump continues his Trumpiness by blaming the fires on environmental groups. Apparently they were the ones who set them. Uuuuuuh, huh. It's incredible how many truly insane men (it always seems to be men too) are being elected to head nations.

Quote

Wildfires in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil have ignited a firestorm on social media, with President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday suggesting green groups had started the blazes.

Images of fires purportedly devouring sections of the world’s largest rainforest have gone viral on Twitter. #PrayforAmazonas is the top trending hashtag in the world Wednesday, with 249,000 tweets.

[snip]

The head of INPE, the agency tasked with monitoring forest clearing, was sacked over the figures.

While it was not possible Wednesday to measure the size of the area affected by fires, thick smoke in recent days has reportedly blanketed several cities, including Sao Paulo, and even caused a commercial flight to be diverted.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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#3 pnwguy

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:44 PM

 LFC, on 21 August 2019 - 02:41 PM, said:

Brazil's Trump continues his Trumpiness by blaming the fires on environmental groups. Apparently they were the ones who set them. Uuuuuuh, huh. It's incredible how many truly insane men (it always seems to be men too) are being elected to head nations.
Those evil environmentalists get into the way of forest raking.
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#4 pnwguy

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:25 PM

 LFC, on 21 August 2019 - 02:41 PM, said:

It's incredible how many truly insane men (it always seems to be men too) are being elected to head nations.
We could use some dominant matriarchal societies.

I might be up for Death By Snu Snu...
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

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#5 LFC

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:29 PM

 pnwguy, on 21 August 2019 - 04:25 PM, said:

We could use some dominant matriarchal societies.

Maybe, but to quote Madeleine Albright...

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Well I do think, when there are more women, that the tone of the conversation changes, and also the goals of the conversation change. But it doesn't mean that the whole world would be a lot better if it were totally run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten high school.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

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#6 LFC

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 12:46 PM

Destruction of the Amazonian forest coupled with climate change may cause an unstoppable feedback loop where the rain forest ecosystem implodes.

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The Amazon rainforest is still burning.

Blazes have been torching the world’s largest tropical forest for three weeks now. French President Emmanuel Macron called it an “international crisis” and put the fires on the agenda of the G7 meeting over the weekend, triggering a diplomatic spat with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. G7 countries promised €20 million in aid for the rainforest, which Bolsonaro said Tuesday he would reject.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has reported at least 74,000 fires in the Amazon this year so far, an increase of 84 percent compared to the same time last year.

The smoke from the fires has cast a pall stretching across the country and reaching coastal metropolises like São Paulo.

It’s an alarming increase because the Amazon almost never burns on its own and the increase in fires this year has been so dramatic. The region is usually too wet to ignite, so the vast majority of fires are caused by humans. Some of the blazes are started by farmers aiming to clear land, some by illegal loggers trying to cover their tracks, and some by negligence. Fires and logging had been on the decline for years in the Amazon until Bolsonaro, who made his intentions to exploit the Amazon perfectly clear, took office last year.

Bowing to domestic protests and international pressure, Bolsonaro deployed the military over the weekend to fight the fires now burning across six Brazilian states.

But when the smoke dissipates and the flames die down to embers, another perilous threat is looming for the Amazon rainforest. Scientists warn that if enough of the forest is lost, it could enter a spiral of collapse. This is an outcome with global consequences, and if we cross this threshold of deforestation, it could be a point of no return.


Quote

The rain in the rainforest is not an accident of geography or meteorology. The towering mahogany, kapok, and Brazil nut trees of the Amazon play important parts in the orchestra of the region’s water system.

The trees take in rainwater through their roots, move it up into the canopy, and release it into the air, a process called evapotranspiration. The trees also release volatile organic compounds that react to form tiny particles. These particles serve as nucleation points to form clouds and eventually lead to more rainfall.

Multiply this pattern by the hundreds of billions of trees in the rainforest and you get a powerful mechanism for recycling water and generating rainfall that keeps even the thirstiest of trees quaffed in hot tropical weather.

This rainfall pattern helps sustain agriculture throughout Brazil and top up reservoirs that hydrate major cities, feeding and quenching the thirst of millions.

But these trees are rapidly disappearing, along with the shrubs, grasses, fungi, and soil bacteria that work alongside them to circulate moisture. The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has picked up again after years of decline, with roughly a soccer field-size area lost every minute.

Once the rainforest loses a certain amount of area, this orchestra will fall out of tune. There will not be enough remaining tropical woodlands to continually evaporate and condense moisture through the forest. Without this cycling of rainfall, downwind vegetation will not get enough water. That flora in turn will weaken and move less moisture through the air, resulting in less rainfall for the forested areas even further downwind. These parched trees will become more vulnerable to pests and fire. The mighty stalwarts of the Amazon will shrivel up, and a wave of death will start at the periphery and propagate throughout as much of it degrades from a dense tropical forest into a sparse savanna. The cycle will continue without our input. And there will be little we can do to stop it.

This is a scenario known as a forest dieback.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#7 LFC

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 11:25 AM

I renamed this thread since it appears that the current fires aren't the only threat. While 7 South American nations containing some part of the Amazon have pledged to protect it the Portuguese speaking Trump of Brazil has gotten together with the barely English speaking Trump of the US to develop it. Of course they're mouthing words of protection but those are obviously bullshit.

Quote

The US and Brazil have agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon, during a meeting in Washington on Friday.

They also pledged a $100m (£80m) biodiversity conservation fund for the Amazon led by the private sector.

Brazil’s foreign minister said opening the rainforest to economic development was the only way to protect it.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#8 golden_valley

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

 LFC, on 14 September 2019 - 11:25 AM, said:

I renamed this thread since it appears that the current fires aren't the only threat. While 7 South American nations containing some part of the Amazon have pledged to protect it the Portuguese speaking Trump of Brazil has gotten together with the barely English speaking Trump of the US to develop it. Of course they're mouthing words of protection but those are obviously bullshit.

All those trees and plants get in the way of building big beautiful roads, golf courses, and buildings.

#9 pnwguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 10:48 AM

 golden_valley, on 14 September 2019 - 11:30 AM, said:

All those trees and plants get in the way of building big beautiful roads, golf courses, and buildings.
Wilderness is a foreign idea to Republicans. It's "wasted space"
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

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#10 golden_valley

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 11:23 AM

 pnwguy, on 15 September 2019 - 10:48 AM, said:

Wilderness is a foreign idea to Republicans. It's "wasted space"

That concept of wasted space probably fueled a lot of expansion in the American West in particular.

#11 pnwguy

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 08:42 PM

 golden_valley, on 15 September 2019 - 11:23 AM, said:

That concept of wasted space probably fueled a lot of expansion in the American West in particular.
Here's a good clip to demonstrate that
"All glory to the HypnoTrump, or else..."

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#12 LFC

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 01:26 PM

Researchers are saying that the Amazon is reaching a tipping point. We really just can't help but f*** up everything.

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The world’s largest rainforest may be reaching its “tipping point” as a key player in the global carbon cycle, according to a new commentary written by leading researchers in the environmental fields.

"Although 2019 was not the worst year for fire or deforestation in the Amazon, it was the year when the extent of fires and deforestation in the region garnered full global attention," wrote the authors in a commentary published in Science Advances. "The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we."

The editorial pulls largely on two studies in which Thomas Lovejoy, a university professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University, and Carlos Nobre, senior researcher in the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo, Brazil, write that the Amazon is being threatened due to deforestation, which is being exacerbated by human-caused global warming. The Amazon plays a crucial role in the planet’s hydrological cycles, but when the land is deforested, more than half of "rainwater runs off and is not available to recycle."

“Researchers predict that deforestation will lead to developing savannahs mainly in the eastern and southern Amazon, perhaps extending into central and southwestern areas, because these zones are naturally close to the minimum amount of rainfall required for the rain forest to thrive,” write the authors, adding that loss of forested lands will “lead to staggering losses of biodiversity, carbon, and, in turn, human well-being.”

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in November 2019 increased by almost 104 percent compared to the same month in 2018, largely contributing to a fire season that researchers say should not be considered a “normal year”. The fire rates in August of this year were three times higher than in 2018 and the highest since 2010. The findings build on data compiled by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) released last month that showed a 29 percent increase in deforestation in 2019 compared to the previous year. Between August 2018 to July 2019, the INPE estimates 9,762 square kilometers (3,769 square miles) of rainforest was destroyed.

A study published this week in the journal Ecology adds to this evidence, suggesting that the regrowth of Amazonian forests after deforestation happens much slower than previously thought. This has significant impacts on climate change predictions as the ability of secondary forests to soak up carbon – such as the Amazon – from the atmosphere has largely been over-estimated, requiring “additional support and investment to overcome,” said the authors in a statement.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 LFC

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:01 PM

Brazil is accelerating its destruction of the Amazonian rain forest. Humans are a plague on the planet.

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It looks like loggers, ranchers, and miners in Brazil didn't have very ambitious new year’s resolutions. Off the back of an especially harsh year of forest fires in the Amazon, Brazil set a new deforestation record for January, doubling figures from the same month in 2019.

Upwards of 280 square kilometers (108 square miles) of rainforest were destroyed last month, according to AFP, which cites preliminary statistics from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), a Brazilian agency that uses satellite imagery to keep tabs on deforestation in real-time. That figure was around 136 square kilometers (52 square miles) this time last year.

This spike in deforestation is especially worrying since Brazil is currently in its rainy season when deforestation activities typically slump.

"The increase in January 2020 is very worrying. It suggests that the factors that caused the increase in deforestation in 2019 are still very active. It's time for effective and comprehensive action to control and contain illegalities in the Amazon," Carlos Nobre, a climatologist and senior researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies at São Paulo University, told Brazilian news portal G1.

All in all, 2019 was a terrible year for deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon, seeing some of the most extreme rates for a decade. INPE data shows around 9,800 square kilometers (3,783 square miles) of the Amazon were slashed, burned, and logged in 2019 – that’s an area considerably larger than the state of Delaware.

Deforestation in the Amazon is overwhelming driven by animal agriculture, although logging, mining, and infrastructure development also make significant contributions. Cattle ranching alone accounts for 80 percent of all converted lands in the Amazon rainforest, according to a report by the World Bank.

The past summer saw a huge amount of international attention on the surge in fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest across Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru. The Brazilian government claimed that the rates of deforestation were normal, arguing that the hysteria was being fanned by North American and European governments through NGOs. In an especially bizarre twist, President Jair Bolsonaro even accused the actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio of bankrolling the fires.

Bolsonaro, a vocal climate change skeptic and hostile opponent of environmental restrictions, attracted much of the criticism for last year’s fires. In the heat of the forest fire scandal last year, the notoriously hotheaded president fired the head of the INPE, Ricardo Galvao, and accused the agency of fabricating statistics.

However, an independent scientific study later found the 2019 Amazon wildfires should not be considered “normal,” despite such claims.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#14 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:23 PM

View PostLFC, on 10 February 2020 - 05:01 PM, said:


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#15 LFC

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 05:42 PM

The tipping point is coming, and fast.

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The Amazon rainforest is fast approaching a crucial tipping point. In the wake of relentless deforestation, the rainforest is struggling to recover itself, with huge swathes now turning from a carbon sink into a carbon source.

Environmental scientists in Brazil have found that up to one-fifth of the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. Although the rest of the rainforest is still in “working order”, this significant change could hold some profound implications for the world’s climate.

The full study has not yet been published, but the authors have spoken about their research to BBC Newsnight. The researchers said that their findings were based on new real-world data, gathered by flying aircraft fitted with sensors that can detect concentrations of greenhouse gases.

One of the chief reasons for this shift is deforestation. Rainforests act as carbon sinks through their wealth of trees and plant life “sucking up” carbon dioxide from the environment and using it for photosynthesis. The carbon is sequestered by the plants and stored as biomass. A huge amount of carbon is also stored in the soil as dead organic matter, such as decomposing trees.

However, rainforests also emit carbon, primarily through the respiration of microorganisms that decompose trees once they die. Equally, forest fires release the stored carbon back into the atmosphere too.

In the past, the Amazon has absorbed more carbon than it emits. However, with fewer and fewer trees around thanks to rampant deforestation, parts of the forest are now in carbon debt.

"[The Amazon] used to be, in the 1980s and 90s, a very strong carbon sink, perhaps extracting 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere," Professor Carlos Nobre, study co-author from the University of Sao Paulo's Institute for Advanced Studies and Brazil's leading expert on the Amazon, told Newsnight.

"Today, that strength is reduced perhaps to 1 to 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year."

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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