Destruction of Earth’s largest rainforest is accelerating ahead of the region’s peak fire and deforestation season, reveals data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute INPE. According to INPE’s satellite-based deforestation tracking system, DETER, forest clearing in the Brazilian part of the Amazon amounted to 1,391 square kilometers, an area 24 times the size of Manhattan, in May. That represents a 67% increase over May 2020 and puts deforestation nearly on pace with last year’s rate, when forest loss in the region reached 11,088 square kilometers (4,281 square miles), the highest level since 2008. Monthly deforestation alert data from INPE’s DETER system and Imazon’s SAD system. Imazon independently tracks deforestation to provide a check against official Brazilian government data. The figure also represents the highest recorded in any May since at least 2007. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon typically peaks from June to September, when the region experiences its dry season, which also coincides with when most fire-setting occurs. 97% of the deforestation detected during the month occurred in just four states: Pará (37%), Amazonas (25%), Mato Grosso (20%), and Roraima (15%). Pará and Mato Grosso normally rank as the top deforesters in Brazil due to cattle ranching and clearing for agriculture. Amazonas and Roraima typically do not top the list of states in terms of deforestation. Acre, a state that has historically had high rates of deforestation but has implemented measures to control forest clearing, accounted for only 2%. Deforestation associated with mining amounted to 38 square kilometers,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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