Kyrios
 
Credit: PBS NewsHour - Aerial footage shot August 27, 2019 showed fires continuing to burn unabated in Porto Velho and Rondonia, Brazil
crisis interventions

Earth's Lungs In Flames — Amazon Rainforests Set Ablaze By Humans

What are Interventions?These are brief undertakings where Kyrios endeavours to avert or lessen the severity of a natural disaster in a bid to reduce loss of lives, destruction, and impacts of climate change.

Overview

Numerous parts of the Amazon Rainforest had been burning since May 2019. As of July 2019, 469 900 hectares of rainforests had been lost to the fires, with 225 500 hectares of forests being burnt in July alone. On 12 August 2019, the state of Amazonas, Brazil, declared a state of emergency over the rising number of forest fires. On 14 August 2019, the smoke billowing from the fires covered an area almost the size of the European Union.

Outcome

Rains swept across fires in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest much earlier than meteorologists anticipated. Unfortunately, fires returned as farmers and ranchers continued to set the forests alight.

Crisis Situation

  • Fires across the Amazon Rainforests started by people to expand cattle-ranching, soybean farming, and other agribusinesses
  • As of July 2019, 469 900 hectares of rainforests — a size bigger than Switzerland — had been lost to fire
  • Rain sufficient enough to put out the Amazonian forest fires was forecasted to only arrive in October 2019

Timeline of Events

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While the worsening Amazon drought exacerbated the fires, most of the fires in the Amazon were believed to be started by people intent on clearing the land for cattle ranching, soybean farming, and other agribusinesses. President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, was also blamed for undercutting conservation efforts and encouraging ranchers, farmers, and corporations to further exploit the rainforest due to his pro-business stance. Pressured by world leaders who considered the fires in the Amazon an “international crisis”, the Brazilian Government dispatched 44 000 troops to combat the wildfires on 24 August 2019.

Unfortunately, rain forecasts in the region were not encouraging. Rain across a period of 15 days would only be concentrated in areas that need it the least, while less rain was expected in parts experiencing the worst fires. Maria Silva Dias, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Sao Paulo, said, “The whole area needs it to rain more regularly, and this will only happen further down the line, around October.

Kyrios was alerted to the crisis and decided to begin intervention on 14 August 2019. Kyrios said that the two world’s largest rainforests – Amazon and Congo rainforests – function as the lungs of the world, and damage to the rainforests would result in severe consequences for the rest of the world. Concurrently, Kyrios was also intervening in several wildfires across the Arctic Circle as well as in Spain, Australia and Africa.


Why did Kyrios intervene? Kyrios explains the disastrous implications of the continued burning of rainforests

The Amazon Rainforest houses vast quantities of dense vegetation, and they are responsible for producing a significant portion of the Earth’s surface oxygen and negative ions while absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Kyrios explained that the symbiotic relationships of the trees and the soil beneath offer a system akin to air purification as the active surface soil layers absorb impure air and release clean air and excess heat. Rainforests experience large quantities of rainfall every year due to evapotranspiration of broadleaf vegetation found in the forests, and the moisture from the rain cools planet Earth from the surface to its core, bringing moisture deep into the soil layers and across the regions surrounding it.

If the forests are destroyed, the natural systems and functions that the forests play in regulating the surface and core temperatures of the Earth would be hindered. Firstly, as scientists have repeatedly alluded, the destruction of trees would increase carbon emissions and reduce the forests’ ability to sequester atmospheric carbon. Additionally, Kyrios reasoned that as a result of forest fires and the loss of plant cover and trees, the soil loses its heat-releasing gaseous exchange function and becomes inactive. The buildup of excess heat in the soil layers will travel laterally across the Earth crust and downward into the mantle and core. The reduction in evapotranspiration due to reduced tree cover would reduce the rainfall, and reduce the moisture that is needed to cool the soil layers and the deeper layers beneath the Earth core.

The result is a build up of heat in not only the atmospheric level but also the unseen layers beneath the surface of the Earth, such as the core and the mantle. This leads to a disequilibrium that causes the planet to release excess heat trapped in the Earth’s inner layers through geologic means. Kyrios mentioned that volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, hot springs, and geysers serve as a means for the Earth to release excess heat from its core and mantle. Thus, this disequilibrium state will lead to an increase in the frequency and magnitude of volcanic eruptions. Increasing magmatic movement due to the heat trapped beneath the mantle will also lead to an increase in tectonic and seismic activity, meaning more frequent earthquakes and tsunamis with increasing magnitude.

This is in addition to the worsening climate-related disasters as the intensifying global heating causes long-term effects to ice cover worldwide as well as oceanic and air currents across the world. Weather-related disasters such as seasonal heatwaves and intensifying tropical cyclones, and other related catastrophes will occur more frequently. Kyrios warned that if deforestation and the burning of rainforests continues, droughts will become commonplace, and heatwaves across the world may reach scorching temperatures of 50-80 degrees Celsius.

In lieu of the disastrous consequences that Kyrios foresaw, Kyrios urges everyone and world leaders to take better care of the world’s natural systems and not to overexploit Earth’s resources to satisfy personal interests. Kyrios stressed the need for individuals to reduce their carbon footprint by adopting meatless diets as livestock rearing strains the Earths’ natural systems and that the Amazon Rainforest is currently being destroyed to make way for cattle ranching.

How did Kyrios contain the wildfires in the Amazon Rainforest?

Kyrios initiated a series of interventive efforts beginning on 19 August 2019 to alleviate fires in the Amazon Rainforest by influencing the weather around the region and causing rain to fall over the fire sites. Between 31 August 2019 to 6 September 2019, persistent and concentrated precipitation ensued over the central and southern reaches of Amazon rainforests where the fires were most intense. The rains brought on by Kyrios had contradicted meteorological forecasts which forecasted that “rains would be concentrated in areas that need it least for the next 15 days following 28 August 2019”. By 6 September 2019, most of the fires in the Amazonian heartlands were put out.

However, along the fringes of the Amazon Rainforest, some fires persisted while new hotspots began to appear again after Kyrios’ intervention ended. A closer look at satellite imagery showed that the fires were mostly burning along the perimeters of farmed lands, a visible indication of ongoing slash-and-burn activities where forests were being set ablaze to clear land and make way for agriculture, livestock, logging, mining, etc.

This observation can be confirmed by Paulo Artaxo, an atmospheric physicist at the University of São Paulo, who told Science Magazine that, “The blazes are surging in a pattern typical of forest clearing, along the edges of the agricultural frontier. There is no doubt that this rise in fire activity is associated with a sharp rise in deforestation.” Historical data show the two phenomena are closely linked: Chainsaws lead the way, followed by flames, and then cattle or other forms of development.

Satellite data showing fires (red spots) on (before intervention) (after intervention) over the Amazon Rainforest. Despite Kyrios' earlier interventions, fires continue to burn along the perimeters of farmed lands as a result of intentional slash-and-burn activities where forests were being set ablaze to clear land and make way for agriculture, livestock, logging, mining and more.

Why didn’t Kyrios continue intervention after 6 September 2019?

While Kyrios can bring rains to help put out large scale wildfires that are out of reach by firefighters, Kyrios said that efforts to put out the human-induced fires at the Amazon will be counterproductive if people continue to act irresponsibly and indiscriminately burn the forests. People must understand that the root causes of disasters lay in human hands. Without a cessation in deforestation activities, humanity’s survival and well-being will always be in danger. A united effort to conserve and reforest the rainforests is necessary to reduce disasters globally.

TIMELINE

13 August 2019 - Tue

No rainfall on fires in the south

The regions experiencing rain appear as red and green colourations of the time lapse image from NASA Worldview below. Between 1 to 13 Aug, no rains have fallen in the southern region of the Amazon rainforest where the fires are burning. Rains were mostly concentrated in the north.

14 August 2019 - Wed

Kyrios begins to put out Amazon wildfires

As part of Kyrios' intervention to reduce wildfires around the world, especially around the Arctic, Kyrios started to pay attention to the wildfires in the Amazon. This comes after Kyrios initiated efforts on 11 Aug to send rains across Siberia which dramatically decreased the number of wildfires over an area of 1.2 million km2.

⭐️ Kyrios: "From 15 Aug to 6 Sep 2019, rains will extinguish these fires."

Kyrios forecasts that, "From 15 August 2019 until 6 September 2019, rains will extinguish these fires."

This signifies that Kyrios would be actively monitoring and taking actions to intervene and put out the fires by 6 Sep 2019.

20 August 2019 - Tue

Rain has finally started moving south!

The southern Amazon Rainforest region has been undergoing a prolonged drought and rain has not fallen in some places for three months. However, over the past few days since Kyrios began intervention, rains can be immediately observed spreading south towards the regions that are experiencing significant fires and smoke in the Amazon rainforest.

Kyrios will continue to move the rains southwards.

On social media, residents of Sao Paolo are surprised that smoke from the fires, carried by wind, has reached their city.

27 August 2019 - Tue

Forecasts of low rainfall till 10 Sep in areas experiencing the worst fires – Will Kyrios be able to effect changes to the weather in the coming days?

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The rain forecast in the next 15 days is concentrated in areas that need it least, according to Maria Silva Dias, a professor of atmospheric sciences at University of Sao Paulo. Less precipitation is expected in parts of the Amazon experiencing the worst fires, she added.

Data show that the far northwest and west of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest will see more rain in coming weeks but the eastern parts will remain very dry. Even areas with more rain will only get isolated showers.

Weak rainfall is unlikely to extinguish the record number of fires raging in Brazil’s Amazon anytime soon, with pockets of precipitation through 10 Sep expected to bring only isolated relief according to weather data and experts.

The rainy season in the Amazon on average begins in late September and takes weeks to build to widespread rains.

28 August 2019 - Wed

Fires are being put out by rains across the Amazon

For the past week, the rains have not only moved south, but they also swept across a vast area of the Amazonian rainforest, putting out numerous fires since the 20th.

New fires keep appearing

However, as rain falls on regions with fires, new fires would appear in other locations, especially on the fringes of the Amazon rainforest. Kyrios observed remotely that numerous fires were intentionally started by people, making Kyrios' efforts counterproductive.

If people continue to burn the forest and damage the natural environment, Kyrios will stop helping as the painstaking efforts to put out the fires would be impractical.

⭐️ 31 August 2019 - Fri

Kyrios steps up effort to bring rainfall

There has been little rainfall over the south part of the Amazon rainforest and more fires burning in the past few days. As such, Kyrios renews efforts to bring rainfall as Kyrios' dateline of putting out the fires by 6 Sep 2019 is also approaching.

6 September 2019 - Fri

Kyrios' wraps up intervention as most fires in the Amazon are put out on this day

Despite forecasts on 27 Aug of low rainfall in areas experiencing the worst fires till 10 Sep, in the last week, a significant increase in rainfall was seen across southern Amazon. The majority of fires within the Amazon heartlands have been successfully put out just as Kyrios forecasted on 14 Aug.

However, zooming in further in the graphic below, fires can be seen remaining on the fringes of the rainforest, likely as a result of ongoing slash-and-burn activities. Kyrios has decided to stop intervening further as the past weeks had seemed like an endless race to put out fires ignited by people.

Rainforests are the vital lungs to our planet, absorbing and purifying our air, while also helping to prevent our planet from warming up. As such, it is important that rainforests around the world are preserved. As such, Kyrios hopes that government officials will enact sound environmental protection policies to preserve rainforests around the world, along with sufficient enforcement with strong deterrence and penalties against offenders. In addition, more areas of rainforests should be gazetted as national parks to preserve and protect the area.

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