The Amazon fire and the Atlantic hurricane have something in common,media CNET reported. Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic are above average, which could signal a dangerous season for both. NASA announced Thursday that it has the potential for severe fires and hurricanes in 2020 because of “warmer surface water near the equator to the north and far south of the Amazon.” This could make the Amazon dry and fragile, but also provide a boost for hurricanes.
This year’s forecast comes after a devastating fire in the Amazon rainforest in 2019. Most of these fires are thought to have been caused by human activity because fires set up to clear forests for use in agriculture or pastures are out of control.
Doug Morton of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Biosphere Science Laboratory helped create an Amazon Fire Season Prediction Tool, which includes predictions of fire risk in various parts of the Amazon. “The fire season forecast is consistent with what we saw in 2005 and 2010, when warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic ocean spawned a series of severe hurricanes and record droughts in the southern Amazon, leading to widespread Amazon fires,” he said. “
Global warming is another factor that could fuel fire activity. “Climate change is likely to make the entire region drier and more flammable,” said Chen Yang of the University of California, Irvine, co-creator of the prediction tool. “
The Amazon fire forecast is an early warning and an appeal to people to be prepared. “Currently, satellite-based active fire and rainfall estimates will be the best guide to how the 2020 fire season unfolds,” Morton said. “