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Climate change, human activity fuel fires in Brazil

The Pantanal region in Brazil, the world’s largest tropical wetland, is experiencing an unprecedented number of fires, largely attributed to climate change and human activities, experts have revealed. Reduced rainfall and low river levels due to El Niño have rendered the region more susceptible to fires.

According to Brazilian environmentalist Delcio Rodrigues, farmers’ field burning practices worsen the situation. Human actions have been identified as the primary cause of these fires.

“The weather conditions are favourable, and this concerns climate change. But what causes the fire, at least most of the fire, is human action,” Rodrigues said.

He added: “Climate change plus the fires end up completely changing the environment. In the long term, there will be a reduction in biodiversity and loss of habitat. I mean, wild animals have nowhere to go. Loss of soil quality, consequences for human health, you have several impacts from this situation.”

Rodrigues also highlighted that these fires have severe consequences, including significant wildlife mortality, ecosystem changes, long-term biodiversity reduction, and habitat loss.

According to Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE), the number of fires in the Pantanal so far this year has increased tenfold compared to the same period last year.

More than 3 400 square km (1 315 sq miles) of the Pantanal have burned from Jan. 1 to June 9, the highest level on record, according to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s satellite monitoring program, with data going back to 2012.

Source: SABC

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