The Amazon Rainforest is Burning
The Primary: The Amazon rain forest is burning at a faster rate than usual, says Brazil's space research center.
Who? What? Why?: There have been 39,194 fires this year, according to the National Institute for Space Research, a 77 percent increase from the same period in 2018. The fires are mostly being lit by farmers "clearing their land," per the New York Times. To see the devastation in depth, check out the Washington Post's info graphic.
The Baseline: People refer to the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, as the "Lungs of the Planet" because of how much carbon dioxide its trees absorbs. It's estimated the trees of the Amazon rainforest take in carbon dioxide "equivalent to the fossil fuel emissions of most of the nine countries that own or border the forest between 1980-2010," as reported by BBC.