Arquivo da tag: Incêndio florestal

Amazon rainforest reaches point of no return (Climate News Network)

March 16th, 2020, by Jessica Rawnsley

Satellite mapping of the devastating fires that swept through the rainforest in August last year.
Image: NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens

Brazilian rainforest expert warns that increased deforestation under President Bolsonaro’s regime is having a catastrophic effect on climate.

LONDON, 16 March, 2020 – Antonio Donato Nobre is passionate about the Amazon region and despairs about the level of deforestation taking place in what is the world’s biggest rainforest.

“Just when I thought the destruction couldn’t get any worse, it has,” says Nobre, one of Brazil’s leading scientists who has studied the Amazon – its unique flora and fauna, and its influence on both the local and global climate – for more than 40 years.

“In terms of the Earth’s climate, we have gone beyond the point of no return. There’s no doubt about this.”

For decades, he has fought against deforestation. There have been considerable ups and downs in that time, but he points out that Brazil was once a world-leader in controlling deforestation.

“We developed the system that’s now being used by other countries,” he told Climate News Network in an interview during his lecture tour of the UK.

“Using satellite data, we monitored and we controlled. From 2005 to 2012, Brazil managed to reduce up to 83% of deforestation.”

Dramatic increase

Then the law on land use was relaxed, and deforestation increased dramatically – by as much as 200% between 2017 and 2018.

It’s all become much worse since Jair Bolsonaro became Brazilian president at the beginning of last year, Nobre says.

“There are some dangerous people in office,” he says. “The Minister of Environment is a convicted criminal. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is a climate sceptic.”

Nobre argues that Bolsonaro doesn’t care about the Amazon and has contempt for environmentalists.

His administration is encouraging the land grabbers who illegally take over protected or indigenous tribal land, which they then sell on to cattle ranchers and soybean conglomerates.

For indigenous tribes, life has become more dangerous. “They are being murdered, their land is being invaded,” Nobre says.

In August last year, the world watched as large areas of the Amazon region – a vital carbon sink sucking up and recycling global greenhouse gases – went up in flames.

Nobre says the land grabbers had organised what they called a “day of fires” in August last year to honour Bolsonaro.

“Half of the Amazon rainforest to the east is gone . It’s losing the battle, going in the direction of a savanna.”

“Thousands of people organized, through WhatsApp, to make something visible from space,” he says. “They hired people on motorbikes with gasoline jugs to set fire to any land they could.”

The impact on the Amazon is catastrophic, Nobre says. “Half of the Amazon rainforest to the east is gone – it’s losing the battle, going in the direction of a savanna.

“When you clear land in a healthy system, it bounces back. But once you cross a certain threshold, a tipping point, it turns into a different kind of equilibrium. It becomes drier, there’s less rain. It’s no longer a forest.”

As well as storing and recycling vast amounts of greenhouse gas, the trees in the Amazon play a vital role in harvesting heat from the Earth’s surface and transforming water vapour into condensation above the forest. This acts like a giant sprinkler system in the sky, Nobre explains..

When the trees go and this system breaks down, the climate alters not only in the Amazon region but over a much wider area.

Time running out

“We used to say the Amazon had two seasons: the wet season and the wetter season,” Nobre says. “Now, you have many months without a drop of water.”

Nobre spent many years living and carrying out research in the rainforest and is now attached to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The vast majority of Brazilians, he says, are against deforestation and are concerned about climate change – but while he believes that there is still hope for the rainforest, he says that time is fast running out.

Many leading figures in Brazil, including a group of powerful generals, have been shocked by the international reaction to the recent spate of fires in the Amazon and fear that the country is becoming a pariah on the global stage.

Nobre is angry with his own government, but also with what he describes as the massive conspiracy on climate change perpetrated over the years by the oil, gas and coal lobbies.

Ever since the late 1970s, the fossil fuel companies’ scientists have known about the consequences of the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“They brought us to this situation knowingly,” Nobre says. “It’s not something they did out of irresponsible ignorance. They paid to bash the science.” – Climate News Network

Jessica Rawnsley is a UK-based environmental journalist. She has written stories on the Extinction Rebellion movement and police tactics connected with demonstrations. She has a particular interest in campaigning groups and their influence on government climate policies.

Chuva auxilia no combate ao fogo na Austrália (Isto É) – Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral

A Semana

Antonio Carlos Prado e Guilherme Sette

24/01/20 – 09h30

Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

A Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral foi contratada por um grupo de empresários australianos para auxiliar, por meio de intercessão espiritual e científica, no combate aos resistentes incêndios que estão afetando o país desde a virada do ano – sobretudo nas regiões de florestas e rurais, já tendo causado a morte de aproximadamente um bilhão de animais. O porta-voz da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral, Osmar Santos, afirma que a instituição tem o poder de atuar, a partir de conhecimentos esotéricos e da ciência, na atração ou afastamento das chuvas. Essa não é a primeira relação entre a entidade e a Austrália, visto que desde 2011 ela faz previsões alertando sobre o potencial catastrófico dos incêndios. Na segunda-feira 20, fortes chuvas caíram na Austrália, abrandando sensivelmente as áreas mais prejudicadas.

An ancient aquatic system older than the pyramids has been revealed by the Australian bushfires (CNN)

By Eric Cheung, CNN

Updated 0638 GMT (1438 HKT) January 21, 2020 The Budj Bim aquatic system, located in southeastern Australia, was built over 6,000 years ago - older than Egypt's pyramids.The Budj Bim aquatic system, located in southeastern Australia, was built over 6,000 years ago – older than Egypt’s pyramids.

(CNN)Extensive water channels built by indigenous Australians thousands of years ago to trap and harvest eels for food have been revealed after wildfires burned away thick vegetation in the state of Victoria.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, consisting of channels, weirs and dams built from volcanic rocks, is one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems, according to UNESCO. Constructed by the Gunditjmara people more than 6,600 years ago, it is older than Egypt’s pyramids.

While the aquatic system was known to archaeologists — it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List last July — additional sections were revealed by the fires that have ripped through the state in December.

Gunditjmara representative Denis Rose, project manager at non-profit group Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, told CNN that the system was significantly bigger than what was previously recorded.

“When we returned to the area, we found a channel hidden in the grass and other vegetation. It was about 25 meters (82 feet) in length, which was a fairly substantial size,” Rose said.

He said other new structures resembling channels and ponds were now visible in the burnt landscape. “It was a surprise continually finding new ones that the fires revealed,” he added.

According to the Aboriginal Corporation’s website, the aquaculture system — which is part of the Budj Bim National Park — it was built by the indigenous population using the abundant volcanic rocks from a now-dormant volcano in the area.

UNESCO said Gunditjmara people used the system to redirect and modify waterways to maximize aquaculture yield.”

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions, knowledge, practices and ingenuity of the Gunditjmara,” it said.

The fire near the national park was caused by a lightning strike in late December, which eventually spread to some 790 hectares (3 square miles) in size, said Mark Mellington, district manager for Forest Fire Management Victoria.

In order to protect the world heritage, firefighters worked with local groups to identify culturally important sites, and used “low impact techniques” to replace heavy machinery when putting out the fires, he said.”

These actions prevented the fire spreading beyond containment lines even on an extreme fire day and protected the cultural sites from damage,” he added.

The Gunditjmara was one of several groups of indigenous people that used to reside in the southern parts of the present-day Victoria state before the European settlement, according to the Victorian government. Its population was believed to be in the thousands before the 1800s, but dwindled significantly after the Europeans arrived.

Rose said that he was relieved that the fires did not cause too much damage to the region compared to other parts of Australia, and hoped it would provide a good opportunity to further explore the ancient aquaculture system.”

Over the next few weeks, we are hoping to conduct a comprehensive cultural heritage survey to check areas that were not previously recorded,” he said. “It’s important because it provided a rich, sustainable life for the traditional people, and has continued to be an important part of our cultural life.”

Pajés Caiapó Kukrit e Mati-í fazem pajelança e terminam incêncio de mais de dois meses em Roraima, em 1998

“No dia 30 de março, quando o incêndio completava 63 dias, chegam a Roraima, levados pela Fundação Nacional do Indio-FUNAI, os pajés Caiapó Kukrit e Mati-í, determinados a realizar uma pajelança para atrair chuva para Roraima. Na noite do dia 30, os pajés dirigiram-se à beira do rio Curupira, que banha Boa Vista, e fizeram um ritual de chuva. Retornaram ao hotel, afirmando que no dia seguinte choveria “muito”. De madrugada choveu muito, apagando 95% dos focos de incêndio.

A partir desse fato a imprensa debruçou-se sobre o tema durante vários dias, mudando o rumo da discussão pública sobre o incêndio, concentrando-a na participação dos pajés nos esforços para debelar o incêndio. Antropólogos discutiram a eficácia dos rituais indígenas . José Jorge de Carvalho, da Universidade de Brasília, contemporizou: “Nem toda vez que você faz ritual para chover, chove. Como nem toda vez que você vai ao médico, o médico te cura.” Júlio Cezar Melatti, também da UnB: “Depende da fé de cada um. Fazer chover, eu acho que é coincidência”. Marcos Terena, organizador do I Encontro Nacional de Pajés (que se realizaria de 15 a 18 do mesmo mês, em Brasília): “Quem manda é o criador, a natureza. A gente pede. Não é uma coisa mágica”. Terena acredita que os rituais dão certo por causa da “relação íntima do índio com a natureza”.

O sociólogo Eurico Gonzalez, da UnB deu outra interpretação: “as crendices são fruto do fracasso da razão. Ou seja, da incapacidade do homem de resolver seus próprios problemas. O nosso projeto de sociedade moderna nunca funcionou direito. E isso abre espaço para que crenças mágicas ocupem o lugar das soluções.”

O temporal da madrugada do dia 31 de março alagou ruas e derrubou árvores em Boa Vista. Segundo relatório do Núcleo de Monitoramento Ambiental da Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária-Embrapa, chegou a chover mais de 30 mm em algumas regiões do Estado. O documento diz: “A principal e mais espetacular consequência das chuvas foi uma redução quase completa (em mais de 95%) dos pontos de incêndios e queimadas no Estado”. A avaliação foi feita a partir de imagens obtidas do satélite NOAA 14.”

Trecho do relatório da comissão especial do Senado Federal para acompanhar o caso, disponível em http://www.senado.leg.br/atividade/materia/getPDF.asp?t=79112&tp=1.

Agradeço a B. Esteves pela indicação do material.