Amazon Forest Fires: This is What 1,330 Square Miles Looks Like

A friend of mine is really upset about the forest fires in the Amazon basin. I read that during the past year, 1,330 square miles of the Amazon rain forest has gone up in smoke…and realized that I had no way of understanding that number. Is it really a really big number, or just another scary thing that is happening.

I thought that 1,330 square miles is really “only” 36.5 miles x 36.5 miles. Well, 36.5 isn’t even the distance from West Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale.

I decided to put it into a perspective I could understand, so I pulled up a map of New York City and superimposed a 36.5 x 36.5 mile route around the city.

That route took me from Little Neck (where I grew up), all the way around the southern edges of Queens and Brooklyn, across the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island, up Interstate 95, which runs parallel to the Hudson River in New Jersey, across the George Washington Bridge, through the Bronx, across the Throgs Neck Bridge and back to Little Neck again. (That’s actually 87.8 miles, a little more than the 72 miles I was going for.)

So, this little road trip turned out to be more or less equal to the amount of rain forest that has disappeared so far this year. It took in all of Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan from South Ferry all the way up to The Bronx, along with a sizeable chunk of the New Jersey shoreline and Staten Island.

Approximately ten million people live on this small chunk of real estate, which is worth in the trillions of dollars, by the way.

So, just in case you really want to know, THIS IS WHAT 1,330 SQUARE MILES ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE:|

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