Wildfires are raging through Eastern Amazonia and Indonesia, a product of this year's intense El Niño together with land use change and forest clearance pressure. Some things have been written about Indonesia (but not enough), but there has been even less written about what is happening in Amazonia. One exception is this piece in the Conservation by our team member Erika Berenguer and colleague Jos Barlow.
Erika is conducting fieldwork in our carbon monitoring plots near Santarem, and yesterday she reported that two of the plots have just been been burnt through before her eyes. These are forests that are not adapted to fire, so the consequences can be devastating.
The loss is devastating, but Erika is working hard to get the plot reestablished as quickly as possible so we can understand the changes in carbon cycling and process of forest recovery after this event, to better inform our understanding of how tropical forest drought and fire affect the carbon budget of the planet.
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University