Carbon released by fires raging in the Amazon rainforest could be directly contributing to the melting of tropical glaciers in the Andes, scientists claim. The burning of biomass in southwestern Amazonia releases aerosols such as black carbon, which blow from the Amazon Basin (the Brazilian, Peruvian and Bolivian Amazon) to the Bolivian Zongo Glacier. These dark carbon pieces then settle in the snow, and may speed up the melting of the Andean glaciers, according to researchers from Rio de Janeiro State University. Huge clouds of smoke can be seen drifting from the northern Brazilian states of Amazonas, Para, Mato Grosso and Rondonia down through its borders with Bolivia, Chile and Peru as the fires which have raged since the beginning of the year continue This is because snow that is darkened by black carbon or dust particles reflects less light and is therefore absorbs more heat – melting faster. Newton de Magalhães Neto and colleagues modelled the possible effect by using data collected between 2000 and 2016 on fire events, the movement of smoke plumes, precipitation and glacier melting. Focusing their analyses on the years 2007 and 2010 when fire seasons were the most critical for the Amazon Basin, the authors investigated the… Read full this story
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