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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Annual Amazon farmland burn sets records for international outrage

amazon fires
© AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
Every year, farmers in the Amazon set fires to clear agricultural land during the dry season starting in August, but this year may be a record-setter, not for the number of fires, but for the global outrage.

The G-7 nations pledged Monday about $40 million to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest in response to the outcry from celebrities, media outlets and leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron, who said the blazes represented an "international crisis."

Climate scientist Roy Spencer had another term for the fires: "normal agriculture."

"I think the media focus on this is misplaced and exaggerated, as is virtually every weather-related story that appears these days," said Mr. Spencer, a former NASA scientist who does consulting on global crop-market forecasting.

"The driest years in Brazil will have the most fires set by farmers," the professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville said in an email. "That isn't a climate story, it's normal agriculture in a country where 50 million people living in poverty are trying to survive."

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Wildfires ignite across Indonesia with 700 sites identified

A man watches on as forests helplessly burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra
© Getty
A man watches on as forests helplessly burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra
As fires rage in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, the south-east Asian nation of Indonesia is witnessing a similarly devastating ecological tragedy unfold.

The dry season has arrived in Indonesia - home to some of the world's oldest tropical forests - bringing with it its worst annual fire season since 2015.

Close to 700 hotspots have been identified in fire-prone regions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and the Riau islands.



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World on fire: Five times more wildfires are burning in southern Africa than in Brazil

fires burning brazil
Blazes burning in the Amazon have put heat on the environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro, but Brazil is actually third in the world in wildfires over the last 48 hours, according to MODIS satellite data analyzed by Weather Source.

Weather Source has recorded 6,902 fires in Angola over the past 48 hours, compared to 3,395 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 2,127 in Brazil. It's not an uncommon phenomenon for Central Africa.
fires burning africa
According to NASA, which operates the Aqua satellite, over 67,000 fires were reported in a one-week period in June last year, as farmers employed slash and burn agriculture to clear land for crops.

Over the last 48 hours, Zambia placed fourth on the list, while Brazil's neighbor in the Amazon, Bolivia, placed sixth.
fires burning august 2019

Comment: Fires started by farmers are not wildfires, unless the burn gets out of control.

Now, the question is, how many of Brazil's wildfires are just controlled burns? Given the overall increase - year-on-year - in actual uncontrolled, naturally-started, or at least naturally-fueled, wildfires everywhere - from Alaska to California to Scotland to Siberia - in recent years, there's clearly a background rate of increase that the media is ignoring or conflating with man-made burns, all in service of the overall myth that climate change is driven by human activities.

It's not. After accounting for controlled, man-made burns, parts of the world are 'on fire' as part of increasing weather and other planetary extremes...


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Wildfires scorch Africa but world's media stay focused on Brazil's blazes

A tract of burnt jungle in Boca Do Acre, Brazil
© Reuters / Bruno Kelly
A tract of burnt jungle in Boca Do Acre, Brazil
Forest fires are tearing through the Amazon rainforest, prompting worldwide protests and demands for action to protect the "lungs of the world." But, away from the spotlight, the Brazilian fires are dwarfed by blazes in Africa.

Fires visible from space are currently burning up the Amazon rainforest at a rate of three football fields per minute, according to Brazilian satellite data. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reported an 83 percent increase in wildfires on last year, with more than 72,000 fires spotted, 9,000 last week alone.


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The climate prophets have spoken!

wildfire
In this video I show how the press creates unimpeachable appeals to authority - by attaching the words "scientists say" to nonsense the journalists simply made up.


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Apocalyptic scenes in Brazil as smoke from major Amazon wildfires turns cities dark by lunchtime

sao paulo wildfire smoke
© @AndreTheSolo
Brazil's space agency has revealed a record number of fires are burning across the Amazon rainforest as smoke chokes cities across the country.

President Jair Bolsonaro is facing increasing pressure to take action against illegal deforestation fires that have spread across vast areas of the largest rainforest on the planet.

It comes as the city of Sao Paulo was brought to a grinding halt on Monday after choking smoke from fires in the states of Amazonas and Rondonia - almost 3000km away - caused a complete power blackout.




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Turkey turmoil: As floods inundate Istanbul region, nearby Izmir battles raging wildfires

wildfires turkey
© Getty
Forest fires have consumed some 500 hectares (over 1,200 acres) of land in Izmir on Turkey's Aegean coast, an official said Monday.

On Sunday, the fires broke out in four different regions -- including two in the southwestern Muğla province and others in Izmir province, according to Agriculture and Forest Ministry.

Speaking to reporters in Izmir, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said that the fire in Karabağlar district of Izmir has so far destroyed some 500 hectares of forestland and firefighters are still battling to contain the fire.

Comment: See also: Flash-floods hit Istanbul, northwestern Turkey - Entire winter's worth of rain falls in 90 minutes


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Gran Canaria: 4,000 evacuated as wildfires rip through island for second time in a week

Gran Canaria wildfires

Thousands of people have been evacuated in the area around Valleseco
Thousands of people have been evacuated from dozens of towns on Gran Canaria as firefighters battle to contain out-of-control wildfires.

The fires, which broke out on Saturday for the second time in a week, have forced around 4,000 people to evacuate at least 40 towns near Valleseco, a town situated on the north of the popular tourist island.

They had spread in two different directions and razed more than 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) by Sunday afternoon, according to the island's provincial government.

There is currently a huge operation under way involving nine helicopters, two planes and 600 emergency responders to control the fires, which officials say has "great potential" to spread further.

Angel Victor Torres, the Canary Islands' regional president, told a news conference that the blaze was neither "contained nor stabilised or controlled".


Comment: Huge wildfire on Gran Canaria, Spain sparks mass evacuation


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Strong winds and high temperatures fuel breakout of dozens of wildfires across Greece

Tourists evacuated from camp as wildfire rages on Greek island

Tourists evacuated from camp as wildfire rages on Greek island
Strong winds and high temperatures helped stoke dozens of wildfires across Greece.

The Fire Service said 63 broke out between 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.



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Massive wildfire spreads rapidly in Athens suburb overnight, sparking evacuations

Fire in Ymittos, Athens, Greece last night, August 11/12

Fire in Ymittos, Athens, Greece last night, August 11/12
A huge blaze prompted early morning evacuations in a suburb of the Greek capital. At least 140 firefighters and 46 vehicles were dispatched to battle the wildfire.

Locals in the city's eastern suburb of Paiania were awoken by authorities in the middle of the night to evacuate their houses. However, a spokesman for the fire service said there is no information on how many people fled.

Fanned by strong winds, flames from the large fire climbed 20 meters and spread quickly up the 1,026-meter (3,366-feet) slopes of Mount Hymettos.