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City-Size Tract of Amazon Forest Cleared in April

from National Geographic News

In just a month, an area nearly the size of New York City was cleared in the Amazon rain forest - an "alarming" and "worse-than-imagined" development, the Brazilian government said in a statement. At least 433 square miles were deforested in Brazil in April 2008.

That's eight times more than the 55 square miles destroyed the month before, according to data released last week by the Brazilian National Space Research Institute (INPE), which monitors the Amazon.

The results suggest that the deforestation rate has accelerated, INPE said. ... The numbers are based on satellite data from Deter, a system that uses low-resolution images to capture frequent snapshots of the region.

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