so there are fires raging in the Amazon rainforest over the past few days there’s been a massive surge of attention towards this on social media which is good but as always it’s led to a lot of misinformation being spread around so I felt like I needed to

make this video just to clear a few things up and to explain a few things a little bit further this is not going to be a comprehensive look at the entire situation and I want to keep it as brief as possible so that you can get the information

that you need as quickly as possible but hopefully it’ll fill in a few blanks for you I’ll put timestamps down below so that you can jump to whatever section that you think might be most helpful for you and I’ll also provide links to a bunch of articles that

I’ve used for this video and if I’ve missed out any information that you think is important then please leave it down in the comments below I’m not a journalist I just wanted to make a video using the information that I’ve found doing research of my own all right

let’s get on with it now first off I just want to say that if you’re passionate about a cause please be careful about the links and the images that you’re sharing recognize this image how about these they’ve been thrown around the internet by a whole load of well-meaning

people in the past few days but the thing is none of these images are from this year’s fires in the Amazon rainforest this one is from 30 years ago and this one isn’t even from the Amazon it’s from India now the reason I brought this up first is

because I really believe that spreading misinformation can bring more harm to your cause as it can be used as ammunition by the people that are against it and this actually happened with this image between the French and Brazilian presidents all right so what is actually happening so Brazil

Space Research Center has reported that preliminary data suggests that it’s detected over 74 thousand fires in Brazil between January and August this year which is an increase of 84 percent compared to the same period in 2018 and over half of these fires were in the Amazon rainforest this

is the highest number since these sorts of records began back in 2013 and so far the amount of carbon dioxide being released by the area is at its highest levels since 2010 these are just preliminary reports though confirmation is still needed nASA has even stated that using a

different mechanism it detected fairly average levels of fires in the Amazon basin over the same period compared to the past 15 years and it’s even detected below average amounts in certain regions so don’t treat these figures as 100% correct it could turn out that there are less fires

but it could also turn out that there are even more fires with even more recent estimates suggesting that the amount of fires is increasing more and more rapidly all right so does this mean that all the social media hype is potentially over nothing in my opinion no not

at all there are still a massive amount of fires occurring in the Amazon right now but despite what a lot of social media posts and some articles might make you believe the whole of the Amazon rainforest isn’t on fire and we’re not about to run out of oxygen

to breathe these fires aren’t all happening at the same time although it has been reported that thousands of fires are happening across the Amazon simultaneously now I think that a really crucial detail for everyone to understand is that it’s likely that the majority of these fires are occurring

in areas that have previously been cleared for the most part it isn’t really the fresh lush rainforest that you imagine when you think of the Amazon rainforest that’s actually burning but a vital distinction that comes with this is that these aren’t wild fires like you see in places

like California the Amazon just doesn’t burn like those sorts of drier landscapes and so natural wildfires are really rare no these fires that are happening right now are mostly intentionally set human-made fires you see fire is a crucial part of a technique known as slash and burn farming

which is used to clear land and convert it into agricultural land in the case of the Amazon rainforest trees are cut down they’re left to dry and then they’re burnt they do this for a number of reasons including the fact that weirdly soil in the Amazon is pretty

poor in nutrient content this is because the ecosystems and the organisms within it are so efficient and quick at recycling organic material that its nutrients barely reached the soil when it decays instead they’re locked up in vegetation so burning the trees that have been chopped down creates ash

that new crops can be grown in and that new pasture land for cattle can be created with but these farmlands are quickly worn out so new areas of forests need to be cut down and set alight in order to create new land for cultural use in the Amazon

these fires are set in the dry season which is what it is right now and during this dry season fires can more easily spread so these fires that were intentionally set in these cleared areas spreads into that primary growth the green lush rainforest growth which can lead to

wildfire breakouts and can be extremely damaging the farmers in the region do this every year at the same time which leads to the question if the estimates turn out to be true why the increase of fires compared to previous years this supposedly hasn’t been a particularly dry season

so it’s got to be something else and it’s most likely due to increased deforestation and it’s this issue that I think is most important about this entire situation the fires and the damage they bring are awful yes but the underlying cause of them is the deforestation of the

Amazon rainforest in order to make it useful the different industries now in the Amazon the leading driver behind deforestation is to convert it into pasture land for cattle which accounts for around 80% of current rates deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon have actually been falling dramatically since around

2005 which was seen as an environmental success story but in recent years that trend is reversing 20:18 showed Brazil’s highest deforestation rates in ten years an early data has suggested that July this year showed record rates possibly as high as several football pitches worth of forest every single

minute and with increased amount of deforestation for agricultural use comes increased amount of fires at this time of year again I have to stress that the data suggesting there are increased numbers of fires this year is preliminary and it needs to be confirmed at a later date now

some have suggested that the increases in deforestation for this sort of use are down to the policies and the views of the recently elected president Olson ro who has rolled back environmental protections and promoted the clearing of land by loggers farmers and miners for economic growth which could

definitely be the case or whatever the cause deforestation is the underlying issue and if deforestation rates continue to increase we could see a 40% loss of the Amazon rainforest in the next 50 years which could clearly be devastating for the entire world for a whole heap of different

reasons now I’m not going to be covering these reasons in this video bowling an article by the World Wildlife Fund which does a really good job outlining them so although the details of what’s happening and not completely understood just yet the take home message is that it indicates

an ongoing process of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest that is potentially increasing due to political and economic reasons now some of you might be wondering what you can do to help now the first and the simplest thing you can do is simply share this video help me spread

the message and counteract some of the misinformation that’s being spread on social media and online now secondly you can talk with your money look at the products that you’re buying and look at where they’re coming from and make an informed decision about whether or not you want to

continue to support those products this can also include reducing your intake of beef seeing as Brazil is the largest exporter of beef in the world the idea goes that the less the world demands the less demand for increased agriculture there will be and lastly consider supporting organizations that

actively try to protect the Amazon rainforest a couple that I’d suggest are Amazon watch rainforest trust and Amazon conservation team I’ll include links to all of these down below so you can easily find them and I’ll also be joining you by donating everything that I earned from the

aspect science patreon last month to Amazon watch alright so this was a little bit of a different video to normal but I really felt the need to make it as quickly as possible and just get it out there to you please consider supporting what I do on patreon

and thank you to everyone who has already done so as always your support means so much right so until next time you keep discovering the world around you and I’ll see you then you [Music]

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