Brazil: Amazon losses help drive growing wildfires elsewhere
By Fabio Zuker
More than 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) of land have burned this year in Brazil's wildlife-rich Pantanal, a tropical wetlands that normally alternates between periods of flooding and drought each year.
The increasingly severe drought behind the fires has its origins in the Amazon, said Pierre Girard, a hydro-ecologist at Brazil's Federal University of Matto Grosso, located in one of the states that contain the Pantanal.
But as the forest becomes smaller and more fragmented, it can produce less of the rain that other parts of Brazil - and Argentina - depend on.
"Burning the forest has an impact on the wetlands" - and potentially on food production in Brazil's rich southern breadbasket, Girard said.
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