"SAO PAULO - Deforestation last year rose to the highest level since 2015 in Brazil's Cerrado, prompting scientists on Monday to raise alarm over the state of the world's most species-rich savanna, a major carbon sink that helps to stave off climate change.
The Cerrado, which is spread across several states of Brazil and is one of the world's largest savannas, is often called an "upside-down forest" because of the deep roots its plants sink into the ground to survive seasonal droughts and fires.
Destruction of these trees, grasses and other plants in the Cerrado is a major source of Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions, although it is far less densely forested than the more famous Amazon rainforest that it borders.
Deforestation and other clearances of native vegetation in the Cerrado rose 8% to 8,531 square kilometers in the 12 months through July, Brazil's official period for measuring deforestation, according to national space research agency Inpe. That is more than 10 times the size of New York City's land area of 783.84 square km."