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2019-10-11. Why Amazon Fires Keep Raging 10 Years After a Deal to End Them.

posted Oct 17, 2019, 9:06 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Oct 27, 2019, 11:51 PM ]
By Clifford Krauss, David Yaffe-Bellany and Mariana Simões, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/world/americas/amazon-fires-brazil-cattle.html] For GSS A New World View chapter 5. Excerpt: ...The immense scale of the fires in Brazil this summer raised a global alarm about the risks they posed to the world’s largest rainforest, which soaks up carbon dioxide and helps keep global temperatures from rising. ...A deal inked 10 years ago was meant to stop the problem, but the ecological arson goes on as the Earth warms. ...In 2009, the three biggest Brazilian meatpacking companies signed an agreement with the environmental group Greenpeace not to buy cattle from ranchers who raised their beef in newly deforested areas. The deal was meant to be a model for the world, a partnership between private industry and environmental activists that would benefit both. ...But the vows made by those three companies — JBS, Minerva and Marfrig, which handle about 50 percent of the beef raised in the Amazon — have been only partially kept, according to prosecutors, environmentalists and academics who study the cattle industry. The failure to fulfill crucial elements of the ambitious promise — which were always going to be a challenge to achieve — is one of the main reasons the Amazon is on fire. Cattle ranching has been responsible for 18,000 square miles of additional deforestation — equivalent to New Hampshire and Vermont combined — since the 2009 agreement between Greenpeace and the meatpackers, according to University of Wisconsin researchers....  

See also Deforestation Could Exacerbate Drought in the Amazon [https://eos.org/articles/deforestation-could-exacerbate-drought-in-the-amazon] by Kate Wheeling, Eos/AGU 2019-10-10. ... the Amazon also has a critical role in Earth’s water cycle, releasing water vapor into the atmosphere that can travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers before falling to the ground. A new study [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/eco.2126] finds that converted land is much less efficient at supplying this atmospheric river than intact rain forest. This reduced efficiency is most evident during droughts, which are expected to become longer and more frequent as climate change progresses....

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