Brazil's Amazon rainforest is often called the planet's lungs, because it produces 20% of the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere. Unfortunately our lungs are at risk. According to the National Institute for Space Research, who have been tracking fires in the Amazon since 2013, there has been an 80% increase in fires in the Amazon. This year alone, there have been 72,843 fires in Brazil, with more than half occurring in the Amazon region. Seeing that the Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest on the planet, these fires could be a huge setback for the fight against climate change. Not only does it produce a lot of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere, the Amazon rainforest is home to countless animal species.
This week people have been sharing dramatic images on social media to raise awareness on these growing fires. Pictures of the dark skies in Sao Paolo have even been circling today. Environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund warn that if the Amazon fires continue and reach a point of no return, it could become a dry savannah, not being habitable for much of its wildlife. In addition, it would start emitting carbon instead of oxygen, which is the major driver of climate change.