This picture made the rounds in summer 2019, supposedly showing the areas affected by rainforest fires in Brazil (and other countries) right now. Of course it looks very bad and I'm pretty sure it is. I am, however, curious how it compares to the norm, let's say same season in previous years?

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One of many stories talking about "record numbers of fires": A Record Number of Fires Are Currently Burning Across the Amazon Rainforest


1 Answer 1


I stumbled upon this article today. According to the article, the fires this year are 80% up as compared to the previous year, but only 7% above the 10-year average. The article ascribes the claim to Daniel Nepstad who holds a PhD in Forest Ecology and is the Executive Director of Earth Innovation Institute.

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    10-year average seems like a poor comparator given that the last ten years have been abnormally hot on the global scale. How does that ten years compare to the decades before? Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 9:29
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    Unfortunately, this is the best I've got so far. I'm not accepting my answer hoping that someone else will arrive with a better source.
    – user622505
    Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 9:52
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    @JackAidley I agree, the ten year average could be misleading if the climate is changing exponentially
    – PC Luddite
    Commented Aug 27, 2019 at 13:06
  • Probably, this means it's been bad for quite a while, and now the problem finally gets acknowledged internationally which is a good thing.
    – Wouter
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 18:44

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