Amazon Deforestation Shot Up by 278% Last Month

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest increased by 278% in July 2019 compared with July 2018, resulting in the destruction of 870 square miles (2,253 square kilometers) of vegetation, new satellite data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show.

That’s an area about twice the size of the city of Los Angeles. And, while the forest still spans some 2.1 million square miles (5.5 million square km — just a little bit bigger than Mexico), the spike in tree loss is part of a dangerous trend.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic who vowed on the campaign trail to open more of the Amazon to various mining, logging and agricultural interests, despite environmental protections on the land called the report “a lie” and vowed to hire a private firm to monitor rain forest loss.

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