Rainforest fire is one of many effects of the climate crisis. Climate change seems to have hit the world with its full force this past year, contributing to more intense extreme weather. Back-to-back hurricanes devastated the Caribbean islands, monsoon flooding displaced tens of millions in South Asia, and fires raged on nearly every continent for unprecedented periods of time.
When we think of forest fires we tend to imagine dry, coniferous landscapes. Rainforests, known to us as one of the world’s wettest environments, don’t often stand out as being fire-prone.
In 2016 alone, however, a combined area of rainforest the size of New Zealand was lost largely as a result of fire. While some of the loss came from deforestation – logging and clear-cutting for farming and mining – fire played a huge role. In Indonesia, emissions from wildfires in 2015 surpassed emissions from the entire U.S. economy on a day-to-day basis while they burned.