Why is part of the Amazon burning? WASHINGTON, United States — The thousands of fires burning in the Amazon don't look like the major forest fires of Europe or North America -- instead, they are fueled mainly by branches, vegetation and other byproducts of deforestation in cleared areas, experts say. The dramatic scale of this year's fires is the result of a significant acceleration of deforestation for the lumber industry, for agriculture or for other human activities. "In the tropics, fire is used extensively in a land-use environment," said Jeffrey Chambers, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a specialist in rainforests. "It's how you get rid of your agricultural waste products... And part of the reason why that works is because those fires don't generally move into the forest," he explained. "A tropical rainforest is generally not flammable" because it's so humid. California has the opposite problem: burning waste is … [Read more...] about Why is part of the Amazon burning?
Why is strait of gibraltar important
WARSAW: Poland is considering supporting a US-led mission to protect the Strait of Hormuz, but has not made a formal decision yet."From our point of view actions to stabilise this region would be justified," a spokeswoman at Poland's foreign ministry told Reuters in a statement."We have to wait to work out whether, and if so, in what form Poland could join such an initiative," she added.It's unclear when Poland, which has sought to strengthen ties with the US since the Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in 2015, will make a decision on the matter.Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz first made the comments to German news agency dpa on Friday.German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has reiterated that Germany will not take part in a US-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz and would instead prefer to form a European mission.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday (Aug 14) she believed the idea of a European naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz would be … [Read more...] about Poland may join US-led mission in Strait of Hormuz
BERLIN: The United States stepped up diplomatic pressure on Germany on Tuesday (Jul 30) to join efforts to secure the strategic Strait of Hormuz as tensions mount between Washington and Iran.The request came after Britain last week ordered its navy to escort UK-flagged ships in the world's busiest oil shipping lane in response to Iranian soldiers seizing a tanker in the flashpoint entrance to the Gulf."We've formally asked Germany to join France and the UK to help secure the Strait of Hormuz and combat Iranian aggression," said US embassy spokeswoman Tamara Sternberg-Greller in a statement."Members of the German government have been clear that freedom of navigation should be protected ... Our question is, protected by whom?"The US request is highly controversial in Germany, where many politicians fear any naval mission, especially one led by the US, could heighten the risk of conflict with Iran.It comes at a time when US President Donald Trump regularly criticises Germany for what he … [Read more...] about US urges Germany to help secure Strait of Hormuz
TEHRAN: Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday (Jul 19) they had seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules" as tensions mount in the highly sensitive waterway.Britain however said Iran had seized two ships in the Gulf, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warning of "serious consequences" if the issue was not resolved quickly.The British owner of one of the tankers, the Liberian-flagged Mesdar, said the ship had been temporarily boarded by armed personnel, but was free to leave and that all crew were "safe and well."The latest incidents came as President Donald Trump insisted Friday that the US military had downed an Iranian drone that was threatening an American naval vessel in the Strait of Hormuz - through which nearly a third of the world's oil is transported - despite denials from Tehran.Tensions in the Gulf have soared in recent weeks, with Trump calling off air strikes against Iran at the last minute in June after Tehran … [Read more...] about Iran Guards seize British-flagged tanker in Strait of Hormuz
REUTERS: Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday (Jun 13) come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Below are details about the Strait:WHAT IS THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ?- The strait lies between Oman and Iran- It links the Gulf north of it with the Gulf of Oman to the south and the Arabian Sea beyond- It is 21 miles (33km) wide at its narrowest point, with the shipping lane just two miles (three km) wide in either direction- The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to find other routes to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelinesWHY DOES IT MATTER?- Almost a fifth of the world's oil passes through the Strait - some 17.2 million barrels per day (bpd) versus consumption of about 100 million bpd in 2017, data from analytics firm Vortexa showed- OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq export most of their crude via the Strait- Qatar, the world's biggest … [Read more...] about Strait of Hormuz: The world’s most important oil artery