Hexbyte Glen Cove New June record for deforestation of Brazilian Amazon thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove New June record for deforestation of Brazilian Amazon

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This file photo taken on August 16, 2020, shows a burnt area of Amazon rainforest reserve in Para, Brazil.

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon reached a record in June for the fourth consecutive month, according to official data released Friday.

A total of 1,062 square kilometers of forest was destroyed—an area almost the size of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

This was up from 1,043 km2 in the same month last year, said the INPE research institute, which uses to measure .

In total, 3,609 km2 of Amazon was lost in the first quarter of 2021, up 17 percent from the same period last year.

The figure was the highest for a month of June since the INPE started gathering data in 2015.

Since coming to power in 2019, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has promoted the commercialization of the Amazon and described NGOs trying to protect the jungle as a “cancer.”

However, he recently pledged to eliminate Brazil’s illegal deforestation by 2030, some 10 years ahead of target, though environmentalists say he is insincere.

Last month, vice president Hamilton Mourao announced a against Amazonian deforestation.

Two weeks ago, Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles resigned after the Supreme Court ordered an investigation into allegations he was involved in a timber trafficking scheme.

He was replaced by Joaquim Alvaro Pereira Leite, allied to one of the country’s largest agricultural lobby groups.

The Brazilian Amazon also marked its worst June for since 2007 this year, with some 2,308 fires detected—an increase of 2.3 percent from the same month last year.



© 2021 AFP

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New June record for deforestation of Brazilian Amazon (2021, July 9)
retrieved 11 July 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-june-deforestation-brazilian-amazon.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Researchers record largest aggregation of fishes in abyssal deep sea thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Researchers record largest aggregation of fishes in abyssal deep sea

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Cutthroat eels (Ilyophis arx, Family Synaphobranchidae) swarming at a small bait package deployed on the summit of an unnamed abyssal seamount in the southwestern Clarion Clipperton Zone at a depth of 3083 m. Credit: Deep Sea Fish Ecology Lab, Astrid Leitner and Jeff Drazen, Department of Oceanography, SOEST University of Hawaii Manoa, DeepCCZ expedition

The largest aggregation of fishes ever recorded in the abyssal deep sea was discovered by a team of oceanographers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UH, U.S.), Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI, U.S.) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC, UK). Their findings were published recently in Deep-Sea Research.

“Our observations truly surprised us,” said Astrid Leitner, lead author on the study, who conducted this work as graduate researcher in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). “We had never seen reports of such high numbers of fishes in the sparsely-populated, food-limited .”

The researchers, including Leitner, Jennifer Durden (NOC) and professors Jeffrey Drazen (Leitner’s doctoral research advisor) and Craig Smith, made the observation on an expedition to the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ). The CCZ is a large region stretching nearly from Hawai’i to Mexico, which is being explored for deep sea mining of nodules containing metals such as copper, cobalt, zinc and manganese.

Abyssal seamounts, deep underwater mountains whose summits are 9,800 ft (3,000 m) below the sea surface, dot the deep seascape and are some of the least explored habitats on the planet. During the expedition, the research team sampled three of these seamounts and their surrounding plains as part of an effort to establish an ecological baseline prior to extraction activities.

Cutthroat eels (Ilyophis arx, Family Synaphobranchidae) swarming at a small bait package deployed on the summit of an unnamed abyssal seamount in the southwestern Clarion Clipperton Zone at a depth of 3083 m. Credit: Deep Sea Fish Ecology Lab, Astrid Leitner and Jeff Drazen, Department of Oceanography, SOEST University of Hawaii Manoa, DeepCCZ expedition

On the summit of one of the three previously unmapped and completely unexplored seamounts, the team captured on video a swarm of 115 cutthroat eels (Family Synaphobranchidae) at a small bait package containing about two pounds (1 kg) of mackerel. A few eels were caught in a baited trap and identified to be of the species Ilyophis arx, a poorly known species with fewer than 10 specimens in fish collections worldwide.

These eels were observed at the top of all of the seamounts, but not on the surrounding abyssal plain. The findings provide evidence for an abyssal seamount effect (where these mountains can support much higher numbers of animals than other surrounding habitats), and also indicate these eels are likely to be specialists.

After returning from the expedition, the team determined they had documented the highest number of fishes ever been recorded at one time in the abyssal ocean—almost double the previous record.

“If this phenomenon is not just isolated to these two seamounts in the CCZ, the implications on deep sea ecology could be widespread,” said Leitner, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. “Our findings highlight how much there is still left to discover in the deep sea, and how much we all might lose if we do not manage mining appropriately.”



More information:
Astrid B. Leitner et al, Synaphobranchid eel swarms on abyssal seamounts: Largest aggregation of fishes ever observed at abyssal depths, Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2020.103423

Citation:
Researchers record largest aggregation of fishes in abyssal deep sea (2020, November 23)
retrieved 24 November 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-11-largest-aggregation-fishes-abyssal-deep.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.