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A wildfire in the Brazilian Amazon in September 2019

REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

Devastating wildfires that swept the central Amazon in 2015 caused a loss of around 27 per cent of vegetation in the region over the next three years.

The fires were caused by severe drought following the 2015 El Niño, a climate pattern that sees the warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean and that causes extreme weather across the world. The El Niño recorded during 2015 and 2016 is the strongest on record.

Wildfires during this period burned an estimated …