Amid record-high fires across the Amazon, Brazil loses primary forests

By Sarah Brown
April 23, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The number of fires shows no signs of easing as Brazil’s Roraima faces unprecedented blazes, and several Amazonian countries, including Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela, registered record-high outbreaks in the first quarter this year. Fire outbreaks in primary (old-growth) forest in Brazil’s Amazon soared by 152% in 2023, according to a recent study, rising from 13,477 in 2022 to 34,012 in 2023. Fires in the mature forest regions are the leading drivers of degradation of the Amazon Rainforest because the biome hasn’t evolved to adapt to such blazes, according to the researchers. The fires are a result of a drought that has been fueled by climate change and worsened by natural weather phenomena, such as El Niño, which has intensified dry conditions already aggravated by high temperatures across the world, experts say.

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