Parts of the Amazon rainforest are on fire and the smoke can be seen from space

Parts of the Amazon rainforest are on fire and the smoke can be seen from space

As a result of the disastrous effects of climate change, large swathes of the Amazon rainforest have reportedly caught fire during the hottest recorded summer ever.

The Amazon rainforest is known idiomatically as "The Lungs of the Earth", since the vast amount of greenery provides an incredible amount of oxygen for planet Earth. However, rising dry temperatures in the region have turned the biggest forest in the world into a tinder box, and now the wildfires are raging across Brazil.

Conservationists in the region have been quick to lay the blame at President Jair Bolsonaro's feet. Bolsonaro allegedly fired the head of the National Institute for Space Research when presented with troubling data on the effects of deforestation; namely that he had found evidence of an 88 per cent higher rate of deforestation compared to June of 2018.

In a bid to boost the Brazilian economy, Bolsonaro has encouraged loggers and farmers to cut down vast swathes of natural forest, destroying countless endangered species in the process.

Zoologists and other ecological and environmental scientists now claim that the Amazon region has suffered accelerated losses since Bolsonaro assumed office in January 2019.

Firefighters battling the Amazon blaze. Credit: Getty

The wildfires are now so intense that they can be seen from space via satellite, and the state of Amazonas has already declared a state national emergency earlier this month, due to infernos which have laid waste to the woodlands.

In the city of São Paulo, meteorologists reported uncommonly dark skies as a result of smoke from fires burning thousands of kilometres away. A number of concerned social media users proceeded to share images of the overcast sky.

Per CNN, according to the National Institute for Space Research's report, there have been a total of 72,843 wildfires in Brazil in 2019 - more half of which have occurred in the Amazon region - which is an 80 per cent increase compared to last year.

Wildfires in rainforests can occur naturally in certain conditions. However, they are often perpetrated by agriculturalists in an attempt to clear large areas and make them arable enough to plant crops.

Worryingly, CNN reports that president Bolsonaro has cut more than $23 million in funding to the Brazilian Environment and Renewables Institute.

Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, told CNN: "Over the past six months, Bolsonaro and his environment minister have been devoting themselves to the dismantling of the Brazilian environmental governance and neutralizing regulatory bodies."

He added: "The strong indication of the increase in the deforestation rate during the government of Jair Bolsonaro shouldn't surprise anyone. It's, after all, the accomplishing of a campaign promise: Bolsonaro was the first president in all of Brazil's history to be elected with an openly anti-environmental and anti-indigenous speech."