Amazon


Brazil’s Progress in Reducing Deforestation – Is It Over?

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Shortly before I arrived here in Paris for the climate negotiations, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research released the annual figure on Amazon deforestation for 2014–2015. This number comes out each year about this time, and is eagerly awaited as a sign of whether the dramatic progress that Brazil made over the past decade in reducing deforestation by three-fourths, is continuing.

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Three Datasets Agree: Amazon Deforestation Has Been Reduced

, , scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Has there been any progress at all in reducing global warming pollution? Is anybody doing anything to deal with climate change seriously? Is it all bad news, or are there at least a few rays of hope? As a scientist, I try to deal with these kinds of questions by looking at data rather than just listening to the radio or watching the TV news, which can be very discouraging. And in the last few months, three new datasets have been released that show us what has been happening to Amazon deforestation since the 1990s. Although they have lots of differences among them, they do agree that in the Amazon — the world’s largest expanse of tropical forest — there has indeed been some progress.

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Another Large Drop in Deforestation in Brazil

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Over the past several years, one of the few pieces of hopeful news about global warming has been the annual release of data from Brazil on its rate of Amazon deforestation. Since forests are immense storehouses of carbon, deforestation causes high levels of greenhouse gas emission. Brazil, which contains about 60% of the Amazon forest, is key to those emissions, and over the last six years it has made important progress in reducing its deforestation rate.

Today, the new data for 2011-2012 were released, and once again they are a ray of sunshine on an otherwise gloomy day. They show a decrease of deforestation to 4,656 square kilometersdown 27% from last year.
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