Recent Trends in Amazon Fires


The figure above is from a new paper (Lizundia-Loiola et al. 2020) on recent trends in burned area (BA) and active fires (AF) in the Amazon. The caption for the figure reads: “Country anomalies of BAs (solid line) and AFs (dotted line) for the 2001–2019 period (considering only from January to October).”

The press release on the study from the European Space Agency alludes to the stark difference between actual trends and media coverage of fires in 2019:

“Thousands of fires broke out in the Amazon last year – sparking an international media frenzy. A detailed analysis, using data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, indicates that while there was a small increase of fires in 2019 compared to 2018, fires in Brazil were similar to the average annual number of fires detected over the past 18 years.”


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