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The greatest of the remaining rain forests of the world, the Amazon is half the size of the United States. It contains about a fifth of the fresh water and a third of the plant and animal species on the planet, as well as vast public lands and untapped mineral wealth. Rain forests act as the world's lungs by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and "sequestering" it in living trees and plants. Over the last decade, the Brazilian Amazon burned at the rate of 13,000 acres a day, about 8 football fields a minute. This destruction is a result of unsound logging practices, construction of roads and dams, and the clearing of land for cattle ranches. This photo is an aerial view of the fires in the Amazon burning.

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Fires from the Air by Stephan Schwartzman
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