Smoke from the wildfires in the Amazon forest, combined with the cold weather, turned Sao Paulo dark in the height of daytime on Monday.
Local media and climate experts said that the smoke that reached Brazil’s largest city had caused darkness in the metropolis in the early afternoon.
The World Meteorological Organization said on Twitter that according to satellite images produced by Copernicus E.U. (The European Union Earth Observation Programme) the smoke from the fires in the Amazon was reaching the Atlantic coast and Sao Paulo.
Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, a federal agency monitoring deforestation and wildfires, said the country has seen a record number of wildfires this year, counting 74,155 as of Tuesday, an 84 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Bolsonaro took office on 1 January.
Some NGOs, environmentalists and academics have been blaming the Brazilian administration’s pro-development policies for a sharp increase in Amazon deforestation shown in the latest data from the space research institute.
The government is also facing international pressure to protect the vast rainforest from illegal logging or mining activities.
The Amazon is often referred to as the lungs of our planet because it is a major absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.