The deforestation rate in the Amazon in January and February was 70% higher than that of the same period in 2019.
According to satellite images from INPE, the Brazilian space agency, the Amazon lost 181 square miles of forest in the first two months of 2020, compared to 106 square miles lost in January and February 2019.
This is a larger increase than in 2016, during a mega-drought that was worsened by El Nino, when around 133 square miles were lost.
New data from the Brazilian space agency, INPE, shows that deforestation in the Amazon has accelerated despite torrential rains during the country’s rainy season, losing 181 square miles of rainforest in the first two months of 2020
The results were collected as part of DETER, a program launched by INPE in 2015 to use satellite imagery to study deforestation in the Amazon.
This increase has disturbed many people because January and February are the rainy season in Brazil, which means that the burning operations commonly used to clear the forest are considerably slowed down.
“The increase in deforestation rates cannot be explained by any climatic factor”, Carlos Nobre, University of São Paulo Told New scientist.
“It is likely that it is only through the sense of impunity of environmental criminals that law enforcement is very weak and absent.”
Nobre blames the significant increase in illegal logging operations that have been fueled by the lack of any law enforcement to protect the Amazon.
As the rains begin to decrease, some fear that the rate of deforestation will accelerate.
While the rains make it much more difficult to clean up the space by burning the rainforest, experts point out that illegal logging is the main source of the increase, and fear that more forests will be lost later in the year. year when the rains stop
“The data shows a trend and it is likely that in 2020 we will witness a continuous increase in deforestation over the year, especially as we move into the dry season, when deforestation peaks,” said Erika Berengeur of the University of Oxford.
“Unless there is a strong government response to the increase in deforestation, 2020 promises to be even worse than 2019.”
Deforestation rates in the Amazon raged throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, peaking in 1995 with a total loss of more than 11,580 square miles for the year.
This figure has been reduced to a minimum of 1,764 square miles lost in 2012.
Since then, however, much of those gains have been wiped out – by 2019, deforestation had climbed to 3,769 square miles lost for the year, more than double the 2012 low.
According to preliminary data for 2020, it is likely that this year will see even more lost forest than in 2019.
THE MAP REVEALS THE RIGHTLY DEFORESTATION RATE AROUND THE GLOBE
Using Landsat imagery and cloud computing, researchers have mapped the world’s forest cover and forest loss and gain. In 12 years, 888,000 square miles (2.3 million square kilometers) of forest have been lost and 309,000 square miles (800,000 square kilometers) have regained
The destruction caused by deforestation, forest fires and storms on our planet has been revealed in unprecedented detail.
The high resolution maps published by Google show how the world’s forests suffered an overall loss of 1.5 million km2 over the period 2000-2012.
For comparison, this is a loss of woodland equal in size to the entire state of Alaska.
The maps, created by a team involving researchers from NASA, Google and the University of Maryland, used images from the Landsat satellite.
Each pixel in a Landsat image showing an area the size of a baseball diamond, providing enough data to zoom in on a local area.
Before that, country-to-country comparisons of forest data were not possible at this level of precision.
“When you put together data sets that use different methods and definitions, it’s hard to synthesize,” said Matthew Hansen at the University of Maryland.