Wildfires are a known calamity and we all saw the Amazon fires this year, and how much loss they incurred. While the Amazon fires were seen and heard of by everyone, there are some major wildfires in the world that most people don’t know about.
The Pantanal Region in South America has seen some major wildfires and these wildfires have caused serious damage to the ecosystem. These fires are not getting under control and it is with the helplessness that the world looks on as the fires have already burnt up 28% of the wetlands spreading between Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
While these fires have wreaked havoc on the ecosystem, the real damage caused is far beyond this. The Pantanal region is one of the world’s most potent carbon sinks. What are carbon sinks? Carbon sinks are the places on the Earth that retain carbon by taking in more than they give out. The Pantanal region makes up 3% of the world’s wetlands and they are imperative for keeping the carbon away from the atmosphere and away from where it can cause damage.
When an efficacious carbon sink is getting burnt, you can understand what that means for the Earth. The Pantanal region is home to some rare and endangered species due to its versatile nature.
During the wet seasons, the Pantanal gets flooded to such an extent that it gets drained in the dry seasons. This beautiful balance means that the nature of the habitat changes to accommodate different species. This favorable condition is not very common and it is one of the key traits of the Pantanal.
According to researchers, this is all interconnected. As the temperature of the Earth rises, these sorts of disasters become more commonplace. However, as we see further on, the fires in the Pantanal are not wholly because of natural purposes.
A researcher pointed out that these fires are caused by people more than they are done by natural causes. Farmers light fires in order to clear space for cultivating and this can lead to the instance of the fire spreading to a much larger area of land.
Although the governments placed bans on fires, it was not strictly enforced which led to its infringement. The increase in fires is due to the number of trees and forestation that farmers are clearing in response to the rising needs of agricultural products in the world.