Decades of deforestation, wildfires and political wrangling for either corporate or electoral gain have taken their toll on the Amazon rainforest, and international researchers claim parts of it now emit more carbon than they absorb.
Data from the University of Maryland, which employs satellite imagery, enables us to discern where deforestation and tree loss have been most pronounced within the Amazon biome.
In 2020, Brazil’s space agency reported that deforestation had surged to its highest rate since 2008, with thousands of miles of rainforest destroyed for city expansion or the logging industry.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, can be held responsible for the increasing rates of deforestation. In his election campaign in 2018 he promised to reverse environmental protection schemes to encourage development in the region.