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Deforestation in Brazilian State of Pará

7.1S 55.3W

July 16th, 2010 Category: Climate Change

Brazil - June 26th, 2010

Brazil - June 26th, 2010

The feathery tan lines cutting through the dark green of the Amazon Rainforest are from deforestation and agricultural fields or pastures on cleared land. Nearly 80 percent of land deforested in the Amazon from 1996-2006 is now used for cattle pasture, according to a 2009 report released by Greenpeace.

The report confirms that cattle ranching is the primary driver of deforestation in Earth’s largest rainforest: the Brazilian Amazon. Over the past decade more than 10 million hectares – an area about the size of Iceland – was cleared for cattle ranching as Brazil rose to become the world’s largest exporter of beef.

Now the government aims to double the country’s share of the beef export market to 60% by 2018 through low interest loans, infrastructure expansion, and other incentives for producers. Most of this expansion is expected to occur in the Amazon were land is cheap and available — 70 percent of the country’s herd expansion between 2002 and 2006 occurred in the region.

Sediments Expelled by the Amazon River, Brazil

1.6N 49.9W

January 4th, 2010 Category: Rivers

Brazil - November 17th, 2009

Brazil - November 17th, 2009

Thick brown sediments flow forth from the mouth of the Amazon River in northern Brazil. The land west of the river belongs to the state of Amapá, while that east of the river is part of the state of Pará. The habitat of both states is mostly tropical rainforest.

The rivermouth itself, usually measured from Cabo do Norte in Amapá to Punto Patijoca in Pará, is some 330 kilometres (210 mi) wide. As one can observe here, the Amazon does not have a protruding delta. This is due to an intense tidal bore that rapidly whisks away the vast volume of sediments carried by the Amazon before a delta can form beyond the shoreline.

Rainforest Vegetation Near Mouth of Amazon River, Brazil

1.4S 51.6W

December 19th, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Rivers

Brazil - November 17th, 2009

Brazil - November 17th, 2009

The majority of the land visible in this FAPAR image of Brazil near the mouth of the Amazon River, is part of the states of Amapá (west of the river) and Pará (east of the river). The habitat of both states is mostly tropical rainforest. The State of Amapá has the lowest rate of loss of its original vegetation of any Brazilian state: only 2%.

In FAPAR images, the color spectrum over land runs from red (1.0), to green, to yellow and white (0.0), while bodies of water, such as the Amazon River, appear blue. Green to dark red areas indicate the presence of good to high photosynthetic activity, while white to yellow areas indicate none to low activity. Some cloud-covered patches, however, do appear white as well.

Vegetation Index and Deforestation Near Manáus and Santarém, Brazil – December 2nd, 2009

3.1S 60W

December 2nd, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Rivers

Brazil - November 19th, 2009

Brazil - November 19th, 2009

This FAPAR image shows an area of Amazon rainforest in Brazil, between Santarém in the state of Pará, where the Tapajós joins the Amazon River (right edge), and Manáus at the convergence of the Negro and Solimões (Upper Amazon) Rivers (left). FAPAR stands for Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation, which corresponds to the  area’s vegetation index.

In FAPAR images, the color spectrum over land runs from red (1.0), to green, to yellow and white (0.0), while bodies of water, such as the Amazon River running through the image center, generally appear blue.

High photosynthetic activity is present in dark red regions, such as those concentrated on the left side of the image. The photosynthetic activity decreases as one moves to the right side of the image, although green areas are also productive. Yellow to white zones, with the exception of clouds, indicate a low degree of photosynthetic activity; however, few such areas are present here.

Upon opening the full image, the distinctive herringbone pattern of some deforested areas is visible. Near the Amazon River, these areas appear as yellow lines amidst the surrounding green, while in the upper left quadrant the lines are green in contrast to the surrounding dark red.

Ilha Grande do Gurupá and the Mouth of the Amazon River, Brazil

1S 51.5W

November 20th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Brazil - September 1st, 2009

Brazil - September 1st, 2009

Close-up of river

Close-up of river

The Amazon River flows through the Amazon Rainforest before emptying its dense load of sediments into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil. The mouth of the river is about 330 kilometres (210 mi) wide.

The close-up focuses on the intricately woven branches of the Amazon, its tributaries and its islands southeast of the rivermouth.

The large island visible here is the suitably named Ilha Grande (Big Island) do Gurupá, the second largest island of the Amazon River delta. It lies in the Brazilian state of Pará, west of Marajó and near the confluence of the Amazon and the Xingu. The island has an area of 4,864 square kilometres (1,878 sq mi).

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