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Deforestation Boom in Brazilian Amazon

The Brazilian Amazon registered a 104 percent surge in deforestation last month, compared to the same month last year. The 563 km2 [217 square miles] razed area that month is also the highest number for any month of November since 2015, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research [INPE], which provides official data on deforestation. This stark change is particularly interesting, for during the rainy season, general deforestation activity slows.

During Bolsonaro’s first 11 months in power, deforestation totaled almost 9000 km2 [8,974.3 to be exact], nearly twice the area for the first 11 months of last year [4,878.7 km2 reported]. Data was gathered by the satellite-based DETER system, which monitors deforestation in real time. PRODES, another satellite-based system used by the INPE, considered more reliable but slower to compile data, reported in late November that for 12 months, starting with August 2018, deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon surpassed the 10,000 km2 threshold for the first time since 2008, a 43 percent increase from the preceding 12 month period. INPE reported a higher percentage for indigenous areas, almost 75 percent for the same period.

PRODES revealed that the world’s largest tropical forest lost 10,100 km2 in that 12 month period, compared to 7,033 km2 in the previous 12 months. INPE’s former president, Ricardo Galvao, was named by the British Journal of Nature on Friday [one day ahead of the institute’s report on the Amazon] as one of the top 10 most important scientists of the year. A few months ago, in early August, the Bolsonaro administration fired Galvao, accusing him of exaggerating the level of deforestation.

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Vera Gottlieb
Vera Gottlieb
December 15, 2019

We are going to pay a price for this. And they will pay a price too. Their gains are going to be short-lived.

Tjoe
Tjoe
December 15, 2019

My state has 23,000,000 acres total (93,000 km2) and was 95% covered with hardwood forest. By harvesting, clearing and burning, for farm row crops (and urban sprawl), it went under 15% forested in 1920 and today is at about 20% forested. We have a loss of deciduous forest to row crops in just one midwest US state of nearly 17,000,000 acres or 68,796 km2. Yes, that is over a couple hundred years, but is a huge tonnage of carbon storage that is no longer here….we get corn and beans….no carbon sequester at all. Loss of forest in my one state… Read more »

Elza Harish
Elza Harish
Reply to  Tjoe
December 15, 2019

That photo is a royalty free stock image that’s not from Brazil and it’s been on the internet for a good long while. Duran doesn’t post copyrighted images, at least that’s their policy.

M droy
M droy
December 16, 2019

“This stark change is particularly interesting, for during the rainy season, general deforestation activity slows.” Quite incredible really, I just heard that there has been so much rain in Brazil there was almost no deforestation in November – I guess it must have been a really low number in 2018 not high in 2019. Bullshit antenna are beating loudly on this report. At no point does he put anything into context. % of forests deforested – not given. % of forests deforested in other countries – not given. 5, 10 25 year trends? Not given. Highly selective data giving no… Read more »

Pierre Vaillant
Pierre Vaillant
Reply to  M droy
December 16, 2019

What are you talking about? The data is from Brazil’s own institution. It compares it to last year and to data from back as 2015 and 2008. Brazil has its own situation. What’s the use in comparing Brazil with say Russia or France?
Also, where is the manipulation? Under Bolsonaro this industry is doing a lot better, just like he promised. And the article mentions how the British are involved in decorating the former institute head before the stats were put out.

Tjoe
Tjoe
Reply to  M droy
December 17, 2019

Obviously a political agenda when they don’t even mention the growth rates in tropical rain forest. Generally articles are better researched on Duran.

Luiz da Silva
Luiz da Silva
Reply to  Tjoe
December 17, 2019

Rubbish. You don’t understand statistics. Our forests lost more during Bolsonaro’s first months than during the last year in NET terms. You think trees grew as if on steroids during 11 months? Get the hell out of here.

Tjoe
Tjoe
Reply to  Luiz da Silva
December 17, 2019

Lets hear some statistics for growth then Luiz. Ad hominum attack isn’t helping your argument. I understand the math of growth and removal very well.

Compared to the deciduous forests that were removed in my part of the world, they do grow on steroids (abundant sunshine and (generally) plenty of water).

Go some place else to curse people.

Tjoe
Tjoe
December 17, 2019

The problem of fire in the Amazon is mostly on areas that have been stripped of timber and used for row crops of corn and beans. They abandon the sites when they become un-productive and the chemicals used cost more than the crops bring in, Then large volumes of brush and small trees spring up that have shallow roots and can’t survive the dry times. THAT is mostly what is burning….abandon row crop farms.

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