Brazil made international headlines after skies in its biggest city, São Paulo, turned abnormally dark at 3 pm on Monday afternoon. While largely caused by thick low clouds and an incoming cold front, there is the suggestion the darkness was compounded by traveling smoke clouds from Brazil’s Amazon and Center-West regions.
Over the past five years, Brazilian forests have been burned down at a never-before-seen rate. Between January and August 19, the country registered an 83-percent increase in forest fires from the same period in 2018—with a total of 72,843 occurrences over the last eight months, according to the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe).
Fires have also increased in protected areas, with 68 blazes in indigenous territories and conservation areas this week alone.