Forest fires have narrowed Argentina since the beginning of 2021. Experts estimate that the fires have swallowed more than 500,000 hectares of land by February. They displace animals, destroy agriculture and stop traffic. Suffocating thick smoke suffocates Paraguay. Deforestation, drought, and the La Niña climate phenomenon are to blame.
Forest Fires Are Persisting in Argentina
Last year, the northern Argentine province of Corrientes faced devastating forest fires. The cause of dry weather is the La Niña phenomenon. As of February 16, the flames had ravaged about 519,000 hectares of land. About 10 percent of this land belonged to the Ibera National Park, which provides a home to about 4,000 species of plants and animals. NASA noticed the transformation of a part of South America on satellite images.
With the advent of the recurring pattern of La Niña weather, ocean temperatures are falling throughout the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Temperatures off the west coast of South America and along the equator are lower, with humidity in Australia and Indonesia rising. As a result, the southwestern US faces dry winters, while the northwestern Pacific is generally wetter and colder.
Thick Smoke Is Suffocating Paraguay
Traffic is affected by active pillars, the roads are closed, and severe traffic jams occur due to poor visibility. In addition, a thick cloud of smoke enveloped much of the neighboring state of Paraguay. As a result, ash, smog, and debris spread throughout the capital, Asuncion, and the surrounding suburbs.
Everything became black in a matter of minutes. People can’t throw it out because of the smell of burnt plants. According to the US EPA, the Air Quality Index shows high levels of hazardous particulate matter in the air.
La Niña appears every 3 to 5 years. It generally takes nine to one to 12 months but can sometimes take up to two years. In December 2021, the Argentine government declared a state of emergency valid until December 2022.
Source and credit: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/argentina-wildfire-smoke, featured photo: Photo by Malachi Brooks on Unsplash