Smoke billows as an area of the Amazon rainforest is burnt to clear land for agriculture near Novo Progresso, Para State, September 23, 2013. The Amazon rainforest is being eaten away at by ... more 
Smoke billows as an area of the Amazon rainforest is burnt to clear land for agriculture near Novo Progresso, Para State, September 23, 2013. The Amazon rainforest is being eaten away at by deforestation, much of which takes place as areas are burnt by large fires to clear land for agriculture. Initial data from Brazil's space agency suggests that destruction of the vast rainforest - the largest in the world - spiked by more than a third over the past year, wiping out an area more than twice the size of the city of Los Angeles. If the figures are borne out by follow-up data, they would confirm fears of scientists and environmental activists who warn that farming, mining and Amazon infrastructure projects, coupled with changes to Brazil's long-standing environmental policies, are reversing progress made against deforestation. Environmental issues will be under the spotlight as a United Nations Climate Change Conference opens in Warsaw, Poland, on November 11. Picture taken on September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Nacho Doce (BRAZIL - Tags: ENVIRONMENT POLITICS AGRICULTURE) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 14 OF 55 FOR PACKAGE 'AMAZON - FROM PARADISE TO INFERNO' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'AMAZON INFERNO' less 
1 / 21
Reuters | Photo By NACHO DOCE / REUTERS
Mon, Nov 11, 2013 5:10 AM EST