The world on fire

The world on fire

Fires are being the sad protagonist during this summer in many countries. Although there are increasingly better techniques to quench the fire and more qualified personnel for the work of extinction in many countries, the great amount of forest fires and the laziness of some governments are causing a worldwide unprecedented alarm.

There are currently more than 80.000 spotlights in Brazil, of which the majority (about 43.000) are located in the Amazon forest, the commonly called 'lung of the planet' which, this summer, is being devastated by the flames.

In addition, the Amazon is suffering from different flanks, in Colombia there are more than 14.000 active foci, in Bolivia more than 18.000 and in Venezuela the figure reaches 20.000 fires. From various organizations such as Greenpeace, they warn that main causes of these fires are related to human activities, mostly with livestock.

Image of the Amazon forest. POT

But, despite the importance of the thousands of fires in the Amazon rainforest, we cannot focus only on the countries of the American continent, which is that forests are burning in numerous countries on every continent.

The other "great lung" of the Earth is also on fire. We refer to boreal forest of Siberia. The Siberian forest is of vital importance for the terrestrial climate, since during the period of thaw produces more oxygen than any other forest (even the Amazon), despite its northern location it is very difficult to quell the flames since the work of extinction of these depopulated areas is quite arduous and already more than 5,4 million hectares have been burned.

The Asian continent also suffers another major focus, it is about the Indonesian area of ​​Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, where large fires have been caused that have displaced thousands of people. Indonesia is considered the fastest deforestation country, after the great fire that occurred in 2015, this summer's fires have once again left the island in a blanket of fire and smoke. The main suspect of these fires is palm oil. The large illegal palm oil plantations found on the edge of these forests are the main causes of these fires that seriously damage the planet biodiversityas they exist protected species such as the orangutan or rhino threatened by these fires.


In Africa don't be saved from fire The rainforest of the Congo basin is being eaten by the llamas. As in the Amazon, the use of fire from livestock and agricultural areas coupled with high temperatures are the main causes of more than 13.000 fires located between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

Image of the current fires in the world. Source: GreenpeaceThe forests burn and this causes an opposite effect that produces a vicious circle: the planet is getting hotter, the temperature is higher and the climate is drier, therefore there are more fires in the forests, which instead of producing oxygen, send more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, therefore, the planet warms more. But The big problem with these fires is not a shortage of oxygen production, since this is mostly our oceans, which produce 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere. The biggest problem that generate these fires and deforestation It is the loss of biodiversity of fauna and flora. Only the Amazon monopolizes up to 30% of our terrestrial biodiversity.

Although most fires are not intentionally caused by humans, the action of our species is the main cause of most of them. While it is true that we are also in charge of suffocating them thanks to the action of military forces, firefighters and civil protection, we have to consider whether the over-exploitation of our land for livestock, agriculture and various economic activities they are really necessary on a planet that runs out alarmingly their resources natural and that neglect its great treasures, forests and oceans.

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