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Amazon Deforestation Hits New Record In 2022, Area 5 Times Size Of New York Destroyed

BRASILIA, July 11: Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest hit a new record in the first six months of this year, Brazil's space agency Inpe reported on Friday. This has deepened concerns among the environmentalists that the damage sustained by the rainforest, which plays a crucial role in maintain the planet's oxygen and carbon dioxide cycles, is irreparable.

The satellite data shows that the Amazon rainforest has lost an area five times the size of New York City. This is the highest figure since 2016, the Brazil government said.

Satellite data showed that from January to June this year, 3,988 square km were cleared in the region. That's an increase of 10.6% from the same months last year and the highest level for that period since the agency began compiling its current DETER-B data series in mid-2015.

Last year, 3,088 square kilometres of the rainforest were destroyed during the same period.

In June alone, destruction rose 5.5 per cent to 1,120 square km, also a record for that month of the year.

The Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, contains vast amounts of carbon (that is why it is called "carbon sink"), which is released as trees are destroyed, warming the atmosphere and driving climate change.

In the last few decades, the existence of the rainforest has come under intense threat as the land is cleared and converted, largely for cattle ranching and farming. Various studies have pointed out that the Amazon has lost at least 17 per cent of its forest in the last five decades.

Some environmentalists also slam Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro claiming that he is doing very little to stop the deforestation of such an important part of Earth's atmosphere. They say Bolsonaro has rolled back environmental protections emboldening loggers, ranchers and land speculators who clear public land for profit.

The report further said that deforestation is creeping deeper into the forest. In the first six months of the year, Amazonas state in the heart of the rainforest recorded more destruction than any other state for the first time.

Delhi records 49 degrees, Gurugram simmers at 48

NEW DELHI, May 15: The national capital bore the brunt of the heatwave sweeping through north India with the mercury soaring to 49 degrees Celsius on Sunday. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded an orange alert for most parts of northwestern India, warning of severe heatwave conditions.

The temperature at Mungeshpur in northwest Delhi was recorded at 49.2, while it was 49.1 degrees Celsius at Najafgarh.

The maximum temperatures reached unbearable highs of 48.4 degrees Celsius at Sports Complex, 47.5 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur, 47.3 degrees Celsius at Pitampura, and 47.2 degrees Celsius at Ridge.

At the Safdarjung Observatory, the capital's base station, the maximum temperature rose to 45.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal and the highest this year so far. A day ago, the primary weather station had recorded a maximum temperature of 44.2 degrees Celsius.

According to IMD, the national capital will witness a thunderstorm or a dust storm on Monday.

National capital region's satellite city Gurugram reeled under sweltering heat with the maximum temperature reaching 48.1 degrees Celsius, the highest since May 10, 1966- when the city logged 49 degrees Celsius. However, pre-monsoon activity due to cyclonic circulation over Punjab and Haryana on Monday and Tuesday can bring some relief from the intense heat.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an "orange alert" for north-west India and a red alert for Rajasthan.

"We have issued a red alert for Rajasthan for an intense spell of the heatwave, and a yellow alert for tomorrow. Similarly, we have issued an orange alert for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, eastern Madhya Pradesh and Delhi," according to a news agency quoting the weather department as saying.

Madhya Pradesh will continue to reel under severe heatwave conditions for the next 2-3 days but with decreased intensity.

In Uttar Pradesh, the heatwave will continue on Monday.

A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above the normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.

Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius.

A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degree Celsius mark.




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