Destructive fires in the Amazon rainforest fire a toxic bridge into the air and cause a peak in air pollution, new satellite images from the European Space Agency show.
The ESA images released on Monday show an increase in pollutants such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and aerosols, as the number of fires has also increased.
According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, the number of fires has risen over 100,000, an increase of 45 percent from the same time last year.
AMAZON FIRES: BY NUMBERS
AMAZON FIRES: WHY IS THE RAINFOREST BURNING?
The furious fires, visible from space, have been burning through the extremely biodiversity region for more than a month.
At least 2.5 million acres have already been burned.
"It's a disaster of huge proportions," Dr. Deby Cassill, associate professor at USF's Department of Biological Sciences, to Fox 13.
Environmental groups have said the leaves are also adversely affecting the climate.
"In addition to increasing emissions, deforestation directly contributes to a change in rainfall patterns in the affected region, which extends the dry season's length, which further affects forests, biodiversity, agriculture and human health," Greenpeace said in A statement.
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