Scientists from Brazil published a letter demanding a ban on deforestation in the Amazon. According to their calculations, this will accelerate global warming several times.
Researchers at the National Institute for Amazonian Research have published an open letter based on their research in the journal Science. They warn about the negative consequences of deforestation and forest fires. According to the researchers, the destruction will lead to the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which will further contribute to global warming.
Scientists noted that in June 2020, Brazilian authorities planned to lay a highway through the forests of the Amazon. However, the construction will require cutting down a huge number of trees – about 700 square kilometers. Deforestation will result in the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Scientists also speculate that forest paving will set a precedent for other rainforest projects, such as dams for hydroelectric dams or new highways. The researchers also note that the construction of the new highway will serve as a signal to the international community that Brazil does not want to fulfill its climate commitments.
Earlier, the Brazilian authorities reported that fires in the Amazon forests increased by 28%. The scale of fires may reach the same levels as in 2019. These numbers raise concerns among activists – they worry that the scale of the fires could reach the levels that they recorded in August and September 2019. “This is a terrible sign”, said Ane Alencar, director of the Brazilian Institute for Environmental Research in the Amazon. “We expect the number of fires to only increase in August and September to be even worse”.