"Area cleared in the first six months this year is five times the size of New York City"
"Deforestation of the Amazon hit a new record during the first half of 2022, the Brazilian Space Agency reported Friday, deepening concerns that the vast rainforest’s critical role in protecting the planet’s health will be irreparably damaged.
Satellite data showed more than 3,980 square kilometers, an area five times the size of New York City, were deforested in the first six months of this year, the highest figure going back to at least 2016. Data from the agency also indicated fire activity last month was the highest for June in 15 years from farmers burning forest vegetation to clear land for crops and livestock.
The world’s largest rainforest is one of the planet’s most important “carbon sinks,” absorbing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and storing it in its vegetation. By removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the Amazon serves as a powerful counterbalance to all the carbon being released and slows the pace of global warming."
Gabriela Sá Pessoa and Kasha Patel report for the Washington Post July 8, 2022.