日期:2019-09-01 21:08



What are the Risks of Fires in the Amazon?

The fires in many parts of Brazil's Amazon area have brought an internationaloutcry to save the world's largest rainforest.

Wealthynations have offered Brazil at least $22 million to fight the fires. ActorLeonardo DiCaprio also offered $5 million for efforts to save the forest.

Duringthe recent G-7 meeting in Biarritz, France, French President Emmanuel Macroncommented on the fires. He told leaders meeting there that the world cannotpermit Brazil to destroy what he called the "lungs of the planet."

What's in the Amazon?

TheWorld Wildlife Foundation (WWF) says the world'slargest rainforest contains millions of species of plants and animals. Many ofthem are still unknown. Among the best known animals are jaguars, eagles, pinkriver dolphins, parrots, large snakes and many butterflies.

TheWWF says the forests contain over 40,000 kinds of plants and the 6,500 kilometers of rivers contain 3,000 kinds of freshwater fish.

Thearea drained by the Amazon River covers 40 percent of South America. The forestextends over seven other countries and a French territory.

Morethan 30 million people, including 350 indigenous and ethnic groups, live in the Amazon area and depend on the forests for food and shelter.

Is the Amazon the lungs of the planet?

Therainforest is often called the "lungs of the planet." But that might not be the best way to describe the area's importance to the world's ecosystem.

CarlosNobre is a University of Sao Paulo climate scientist. He said a better way tothink about the Amazon's role is as a sink, taking heat-trappingcarbon dioxide, or CO2, from the atmosphere.

Currently,the world is releasing around 36 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphereevery year. And the Amazon absorbs about five percent ofthe CO2 making it important in preventing climate change.

Will the Amazon produce less oxygen for the planet?

Whileit is often said that the Amazon produces 20 percent of the world's oxygen,climate scientists say that is not the case.

They say forests, including the Amazon, absorb about the same amount of oxygen asthey produce. Plants produce oxygen through a process called photosynthesis,but they also absorb it to grow, as do animals and microbes.

Scientistssay the world's oxygen supply is not directly at risk from the fires. However,that does not mean the fires are not a problem. The Amazon forest also absorbs other heat-trapping gases produced by burning fossil fuels, like oil and coal.

What do the fires mean for the world's climate?

The fires not only destroy parts of the carbon-absorbing forests, but they releasemillions of metric tons of carbon into the air.

The Amazon rainforest also is important to rainfall in the area. Deforestationmakes rains less frequent, extending the dry season.

CarlosNobre estimates that if 20 to 25 percent of the forest were destroyed, the dryseason would expand. That would mean the area would no longer be a rainforest,but a tropical savannah, or an area with grasslands and few trees.

Nobreadded, "Unfortunately, we are already seeing signs of the Amazon turninginto a savannah."

What is causing the fires?

The current fires in the Amazon are not wildfires. They are mostly set illegally by people who are clearing the forest to raise cattle and crops.

People clear the land by cutting down the trees during the rainy season, letting thetrees dry out and burning them during the dry season. Fully clearing the thick forest for agricultural use can take several years of cutting and burning.

NASA researcher Doug Morton said researchers could see piles oftrees months ago in satellite images. He said, "They're burning anenormous bonfire of Amazon logs that have been piled, dryingin the sun for several months."

Nobresays Brazil's policy has changed under President Jair Bolsonaro. The newpresident has limited the power of forest protection agencies saying they getin the way of developing land.

Nobreadded, "The number of fires increasing is because people think lawenforcement won't punish them."


1.ethnic groups 民族

There are 56 ethnic groupsin China.


2.turn into 成为,变为

People are turning intomachines nowadays.


3.satellite image 卫星图

high-definition satellite image





为使巴西治理火灾,富裕国家向其提供了至少2200万美元,演员莱昂纳多·迪卡普里奥(Leonardo DiCaprio)也献出一份力捐出了500万美元。









卡洛斯·诺布雷(Carlos Nobre)是圣保罗大学的气候科学家。他认为描述亚马逊更好的方法是将视为水槽,吸入大气中的二氧化碳。









卡洛斯·诺布雷(Carlos Nobre)估计,如果20%-25%的森林被破坏掉,旱季就会延长。这意味着此地不再是一个雨林,而是热带无树大草原,或者是一片有草地和很少的数的地区。






美国国家航空航天局(NASA)研究员Doug Morton认为,研究人员应该能在几个月以前的卫星图中看到很多树木。他们正在燃烧巨大的亚马逊圆木,这些圆木已经经过几个月的晾晒。

诺布雷认为巴西的政策在总统迪卡普里奥(Leonardo DiCaprio)的领导下改变了。这位新总统限制了森林保护局的权利,认为他们阻碍了土地的发展。



  • sinkn. 接收端,沟渠,污水槽,散热器 vi. 下沉,下落,
  • describevt. 描述,画(尤指几何图形),说成
  • containvt. 包含,容纳,克制,抑制 vi. 自制
  • tropicaladj. 热带的,炎热的,热带植物的
  • indigenousadj. 本地的,土生土长的,天生的
  • expandv. 增加,详述,扩展,使 ... 膨胀, vi. (谈
  • currentn. (水、气、电)流,趋势 adj. 流通的,现在的,
  • absorbvt. 吸纳,吸引 ... 的注意,吞并
  • sheltern. 庇护所,避难所,庇护 v. 庇护,保护,隐匿
  • protectionn. 保护,防卫