Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Amazon rainforest fires: How big is Amazon rainforest? How much of the rainforest is left? | World | News

According to National Institute for Space Research (INPE) satellite data, there has been an 84 percent increase from the same period in 2018. The space agency says they have detected more than 72,000 fires since January 2019. The data comes after President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, fired the head of the agency over controversy surrounding its deforestation data.

When asked about the fires, Mr Boslonaro attributed the rise to a the time of year, when farmers burn fires to clear land.

He told reporters: “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw.

“Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada.”

READ MORE: Amazon fires map: How much of the Amazon Rainforest has been LOST?

How big is the Amazon Rainforest?

It is thought the Amazon Rainforest spreads over some 5.5 million square kilometres.

If the Amazon Rainforest was a country, it would rank 9th in size.

The rainforest spreads across nine South American countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Brazil takes the biggest share of the Amazon with 64 percent.

The Amazon Rainforest is also home to many rivers, including the famous Amazon River.

The rainforest hosts a rich ecosystem, with around 40,000 different plant species.

More than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest, and is often referred to as “the lungs of the earth”.

How much of the Amazon Rainforest is left?

According to National Geographic, around 17 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years due to deforestation.

Recently, the rate of destruction of the world’s rainforests has been on the rise.

Farming, mining and drilling are major causes of deforestation.

Specifically for the Amazon Rainforest, clearing forest to make way for cattle ranching and soy plantations are massively to blame for its decline.

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