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Deforestation in the Amazon up by 85% in 2019

The World's largest rainforest stands within Brazil's borders, it acts as the lungs of the World, soaking up huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And yet, illegal loggers and ranchers are hacking it down at an alarming rate. Experts have warned that unless something happens to stop the practice in the next two or three months deforestation could exceed the rise seen in 2019, when an 85% increase was recorded.

Data recorded from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research marked 9,166 square kilometres of rainforest with deforestation warnings across 2019, that's up from 4,946 in 2018.

Tasso Azevedo, co-ordinator of the group, MapBiomas, which monitors the rate of rainforest destruction says that 2020 could be even worse for the rainforest if measures are not introduced before we hit the dry season.

The high season of deforestation begins in May.

Last November, the deforestation fires and resulting soot from the rainforest was directly responsible for melting glaciers in the Andes over 1000 miles away, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

Indigenous leaders of Amazon communities are now forming an alliance against the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro. They oppose the Government's environmental policy and the threats to open the area up to mining operations. The Amazon tribes say Bolsonaro's plans threaten their way of life, the Amazon itself and ignores the rights they have to the lands of their people.

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