Amazon deforestation soars after a decade of stability

Posted by Mike Confino, March 2, 2015

dn27056-1_300

Deforestation in the Amazon has skyrocketed in the past half a year, according to analysis of satellite images issued by Brazil’s non-profit research institute, IMAZON.

The results compared the deforestation in a particular month with figures from the same month a year before, and the difference ranged from a 136 per cent increase in August to a 467 per cent rise in October.

“Rates have way more than doubled over the equivalent period in the previous year,” says Phillip Fearnside, an ecologist with Brazil’s Amazon research agency INPA. And the numbers probably underestimate the problem, because the satellite system used, DETER, can only recognise clearings larger than 250,000 square metres. Many farm plots are smaller than that.

via Amazon deforestation soars after a decade of stability – environment – 27 February 2015 – New Scientist.