Massive wildfires in Amazon rainforest emerging as "global crisis"
Flames are spreading across the Amazon rainforest this summer, spewing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each day.
Leaders of the world's seven richest nations have vowed to help Brazil fight fires in the Amazon rainforest... as they recognized the Amazon rainforest as "the world's lungs."
Kim Jae-hee explains.
The largest tropical forest in the world has been burning by wildfires for the third week now, prompting world leaders to step up and call for efforts to save what's known as "the lungs of the planet."
The Amazon fires took center stage on the G7 summit on Saturday, local time, as French President Emmanuel Macron declared the situation a global emergency.
"The Amazon is our common good. The fires affects all of us."
"...regarding the Amazon, we will not only launch a call but also launch action from all the world powers present."
On Sunday, Macron announced that the G7 had agreed to an immediate fund of at least 20 million U.S. dollars to help Amazon countries fight the wildfires and launch a long-term global initiative to protect the rainforest.
According to BBC News, more than 75 thousand forest fires occurred in Brazil this year the highest number since 2013.
The Amazon rainforest covers at least 5-point-5 million square kilometers, nearly 25 times the size of the Korean Peninsula.
The rainforest is known to be home to a unique array of flora and fauna species.
The Amazon River provides twenty percent of the planet's unfrozen fresh water as well.
The forest is crucial to regulating global warming, as it absorbs more carbon dioxide and produces at least 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
The fires are not only destroying such important natural asset, but also releasing some 228 megatons of carbon dioxide,... the highest amount since 2010.
"Fires are directly burning into the amazon rainforest and that releases the carbon stored in those trees. The carbon then enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide or methane, where it contributes to the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change, bringing us a warmer and a drier planet."
International efforts to tackle the flames are ongoing, and amid pressure from the global community, the Brazilian government has deployed some 44-thousand troops and military vehicles to help tackle the fires. The cause of the fire is yet to be found, but the scale and scope of the damage have already raised concerns over the impact on climate change and the fight against global warming.