NASA Confirmed Urgent Need to Save the Amazon Rainforest

NASA Confirmed Urgent Need to Save the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is a biologically diverse region, a natural wonder that stretches from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the smaller parts in different countries in the South Americas.

There is now an urgent need to save the Amazon Rainforest because of the new threat that was previously difficult to detect, confirmed NASA. Between 2000 and 2010, the deforested area spread like the size of U.K., reports Latino Fox News. The Amazon Information Network, states that in the 10-year period, the devastation claimed 93,000 square miles of rainforest. Authorities blamed illegal logging, exploration for oil and gas, construction of highways, and dams, mining, farming, and ranching. It turns out, that there is another problem that exacerbates the problem.

NASA found another culprit – understory fires may have accelerated the deforestation problem. In a report, NASA discovered that these hidden fires are responsible for burning up 3 percent of the Amazon rainforest or 33,000 square miles, in just twelve years. A new satellite imaging technology allows scientists to see the fires through the dense jungle canopy. These slow, creepy fires published in the Journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, destroy the rainforest several times more than deforestation every year.

While fires in the grassy areas can spread rapidly and create towering infernos, the small fires were hidden in the canopies of the forest, making it nearly undetected. Today, scientists can see them, thanks to the new Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiomete technology (MODIS).

Doug Morton lead author of a study in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, says that human activity may cause the initial burning, such as cooking, smoking, and agricultural waste burning. However, they are not directly associated with deforestation activity, but the dryness, which is an indicator of fire’s risks.

NASA researchers found out that the understory fires can reach a few feet high but can burn for weeks, in a few feet per minute. In order to measure the destruction of the fires, Morton and his team of researchers observed the forest in the dry season, from June to August. They collected the data from the MODIS that tracks the timing and recovery of certain areas. The areas in the deforestation lack signs of recovery after two years, in contrast with the devastation of understory fires that showed signs of recovery after a year. Morton adds that the fire in relation to deforestation in Amazon rainforest is not unimportant, but the “fires” are the main source of carbon emission that needs consideration.

This study provides an understanding of the scope of carbon dioxide emission estimates. Morton agrees that more study in necessary, to look at climate mechanisms that cause the Amazon to burn, aside from human source of ignition. The University of California, in Irvine researchers are using the data collected from NASA MODIS, to help scientists predict the mechanisms of fire.

The information derived from the satellite-based measurements, indicated the amount of moisture in the region may be the major cause of fires. Yang Chen, the lead researcher and his team found out that the water estimates taken from GRACE or NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, allows them to monitor the development of dry conditions during the fire season. The study shows that in the low water in storage I, the soil can lead to a drier (near ground) atmosphere, which results to more flammable vegetation and fuel availability. In light of this new finding, the low-water soil condition can be detected several months before the fire season in the Amazon Rainforest starts.

Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Iranian Messi a Target for European Elite: World Cup Preview [Video] April 20, 2014
    A number of Europe’s elite clubs are targeting a young forward dubbed the “Iranian Messi” before he is selected to represent his country at the 2014 World Cup. Rubin Kazan forward Sardar Azmoun is a rising star and he is tipped to win senior honors at the big event in Brazil. Premier League side Arsenal […]
    Robert Shepherd
  • Los Angeles Times Building Scare April 20, 2014
    A scare at the Los Angeles Times building resulted in a lockdown and search of the entire premises. Suspect, Matthew Lowes, was detained by police and taken without incident from the second floor of the building. The second floor of the Times building has space rented by VXI Global Solutions, which Lowes works for. Lowes […]
    Raul Hernandez
  • Indiana Pacers Struggles Continue April 20, 2014
    The Indiana Pacers’ late-season struggles continued as the team lost to the visiting Atlanta Hawks yesterday by a score of 101-93. When the team is playing its best, the offense features a balanced attack. In order for the offense to hum, the team needs balanced scoring from the inside and outside. Against the Hawks, Roy […]
    William Costolo
  • Influenza B Virus Making a Strong Spring Appearance April 20, 2014
    The Influenza strain B virus is making a strong appearance, although spring is not its usual time of year. This strain of the flu is not the same one that was making people sick mid-winter. This means that even if someone has already had the virus once this flu season, they can still get it […]
    Twanna Harps
  • Toronto Raptors Have Bitten Off More Than They Can Chew April 20, 2014
    If you look at the day the city of Toronto and their beloved Toronto Raptor’s had, it would be really easy to come to the conclusion that the  Toronto Raptors have bitten off more than they can chew. Toronto Sun Times readers were greeted with an incendiary cover , featuring a picture of Kevin Garnett […]
    Daryl McElveen

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 628 other subscribers

Quantcast