Due to the amount of smoke emanating from the burning Amazon rainforest, Brazil's largest city, São Paulo's skies turned to dark in the middle of Monday afternoon.
This year, Amazon's fires have increased by 82% in comparison with this period last year, according to the Brazilian government's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) as reported by LiveScience.
A combination of the smoke, clouds, and cold air (as it's wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere) led to the city's midnight-like darkness.
The fires are mostly concentrated in the Amazon region of Rondônia, and neighboring country, Bolivia.
The Amazon fires
São Paulo itself is not experiencing any fires, the smoke is so dense and the fires so widespread in the Amazon, that the air is affecting millions of inhabitants of the city.
"The cold front changed direction, and its winds transported the smoke to São Paulo," said meteorologist at Climatempo, Josélia Pegorim.
This particular fire, in the state of Rondônia on the border with Bolivia, has turned almost 2,500 acres of land into ash. Aside from the horrific number of trees lost to the fire, the smoke the fire is creating has caused health concerns, and even leading to a flight changing its path.
Human-made fire, human-related consequences
According to Painel Politico, a national publication, the fire was man-made, which is apparently one of the most common ways these forest fires light up.
Just a reminder that the amazon rainforest has been ON FIRE. For 3 weeks with the media just barely covering it now . Think of all the wildlife and their homes that are being destroyed during this tragedy. #PrayForAmazonía pic.twitter.com/0hcYLz8HPa— 𝙴𝚖𝚖.𝚡0𝚡 (@IgTears) August 21, 2019
When farmers try and use fire to keep their crops in check, or clear land for pastures and farmland, these can sometimes get out of hand, burning up the land around it.
Unfortunately for us, with less dense rainforests, Earth's carbon dioxide levels increase. Typically during droughts, around July and August in Brazil, trees slow down their growth, and in doing so they struggle to remove the carbon dioxide from our air.
In nature's cyclical way, the trees' leaves and small branches drop and fall to the ground, creating perfect tinder to start a fire. With less density in the forest canopy, there's less moisture and shelter, leading the fires to burn up quickly, and vastly.
The effect was so widespread in Brazil, that the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia quickly became popular on Twitter.
With a lot of pain, and sometimes anger, some tweeters voiced their concerns on the social media site:
Horrifying that the Amazon rainforest which produces 20% of the earths oxygen has been burning to the ground for the last 3 weeks!! Where the hell is the media coverage about all of this? Our earth is dying and nobody wants to do anything about it, fucking sad. #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/95RBssUiLN— Nikhil Shahaney (@nikhilshahaney2) August 21, 2019
Here are some displays of what São Paulo looked like, very doomsday:
Amazon forest, one of the wettest place in the world is on fire. Has been burning for 3 weeks!— Best Baba 🇳🇬 (@iambestb) August 20, 2019
The loss of trees, the loss of biodiversity is what is accelerating CLIMATE CHANGE.
São Paulo, has been affected by the smoke. Yesterday the nightfall came at 2-3 P.M.#SaveTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/07OMX7nTwx
Imagine a city looking like this at 3 pm:
THIS IS THE SKY AT 3PM IN SÃO PAULO TODAY OVER THE SMOKE FROM THE AMAZON!!! pic.twitter.com/bDSJZI6wjO— ana (@littIewmen) August 20, 2019
Why is no one talking about what happened in São Paulo yesterday?— Vlone Bandit 🦂⛓ (@JoelMuthama_) August 21, 2019
The sky turned completely black around three in the afternoon partly because of smoke coming from the Amazon rainforest, WHICH IS 2300 KILOMETERS AWAY FROM THE CITY.... pic.twitter.com/8yiLSifqJ5