Now with more than 700,000 tweets, #prayforamazonia hashtag trends in various countries as parts of the Amazon rainforest continue to burn for more than 16 days. Social media users are flooding in their concerns and are calling for attention to be paid to the damaging fires that should already be considered an international crisis.

Darkness in São Paulo

According to witness reports, the municipality of São Paulo in Brazil experienced unusually black skies Monday afternoon.

Meteorologists are suggesting the blackouts were caused by thick smoke being blown from the rampant forest fires in the state of Rondônia, which is one of the most deforested regions of the rainforest. Residents are alarmed as Rondônia is 2,400 kilometres away from São Paulo and yet the fires are causing noticeable effects.

While the humidity of the rainforest is supposed to make it resistant to fire under normal conditions, NASA reports that the recurrence of droughts due to climate change on top of damaging human activities have made it extremely vulnerable.

Where is the President?

The public outcry is loud in social media as the citizens of Brazil have yet to hear from President Jair Bolsonaro. The trending hashtag that is shedding light to the incidents is also filled with disapproval regarding the inaction of the Bolsonaro government. "The Amazon has been burning for three weeks, and I'm just now finding out because of the lack of media coverage," posted user HonDommy in twitter.

Last month, even though it was reported by Brazil's National Space Research Institute, or INPE, that the rainforest is facing a growing rate in deforestation, the president dismissed the data by saying they were all 'lies' and were tarnishing the country's image.

Now many are expressing their concerns the destructing fires in the Amazon may have been mostly man-made, as people who want to capitalise from it are emboldened by the president's lack of concern.

The drastic effects

The rainforest provides a home for more than 10 million species of both flora and fauna, or around 30% of the world's species. If the forest is destroyed, many animals could lose their home and face the brink of extinction, which in turn could have negative effects on the ecosystem, and the world as a whole.

It also contains 25% of the earth's fresh water and provides a massive 20% of the world's clean oxygen.

Losing the Amazon, in simpler terms, would make it harder for one to breathe without poisoning the lungs.

If the Amazon becomes damaged beyond repair, the conditions we face today under climate change would only drastically worsen. Global temperatures could rise and rainfall patterns could become more unpredictable and hazardous.

The Guardian has reported that the Amazon, with its continuous deterioration, may be gearing towards an "unrecoverable tipping point" from which the earth could not recover, with deforestation rate amounting to almost three football fields lost per minute.

If this doesn't stop, the impending death of the Amazon rainforest may truly be one of the worst environmental crisis that the world has to face.

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