Under Brazil’s new far right President Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has begun at an alarming rate. It is being reported that every single minute, an area the size of three football fields is being cut. This could spell disaster for the planet as the rainforest absorbs large amounts of atmospheric carbon, thereby reducing global warming and fighting climate change.
The disturbing rate of deforestation and its acceleration confirms suspicions that new president Bolsonaro has allowed illegal land invasion, logging and burning. He even dismissed concerns expressed by European Union members and called it hypocritical since so many European forests have been wiped out.
“You have to understand that the Amazon is Brazil’s, not yours,” Bolsonaro said. “If all this devastation you accuse us of doing was done in the past the Amazon would have stopped existing, it would be a big desert.”
As trees are lost, researchers said there is a risk that large areas could transition from rainforest to savannah as they lose the ability to make their own rainfall from evaporation and from plants giving off water vapor.