Wildfires and Rainforests – A big data analysis using the Amazon Rainforest

Fires in the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil image by @NASA MODIS. August 1, 2020.

Abstract

Deforestation has been an increasingly relevant topic not only in research, but also for the wellbeing of future generations. In 2019 the world was in awe at the sight of raging fires in the Amazon Rainforest. 2019 saw the largest loss of forest cover in the Amazon since 2008.1 Rainforest devastation will increasingly affect integral aspects of our eve- ryday life in the decades ahead. Capturing around 5% of global CO2 output each year, the Amazon Rainforest already plays a critical role in restraining the effects of climate change.2 Setting the Amazon ablaze not only decreases the capacity to absorb carbon, but also releases more carbon. This has serious consequences with a possible tipping point at which the damage caused is irreversible eventually turning the region into a “tropical savannah”.3

1 Cf. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/18/amazon-deforestation-at-highest-level-in-a- decade, accessed on 25.02.2021
2 Cf. https://apnews.com/article/384fdb5ee7654667b53ddb49efce8023, accessed on 20.02.2021
3 https://apnews.com/article/384fdb5ee7654667b53ddb49efce8023, accessed on 20.02.2021

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