A tractor works on a wheat plantation on land that used to be virgin Amazon rainforest near the city of Santarem, Para State, April 20, 2013. The Amazon rainforest is being eaten away at by ... more 
A tractor works on a wheat plantation on land that used to be virgin Amazon rainforest near the city of Santarem, Para State, April 20, 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 April 20, 2013. REUTERS/Nacho Doce (BRAZIL - Tags: AGRICULTURE POLITICS ENVIRONMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 06 OF 55 FOR PACKAGE 'AMAZON - FROM PARADISE TO INFERNO' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'AMAZON INFERNO' less 
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Reuters | Photo By NACHO DOCE / REUTERS
Mon, Nov 11, 2013 5:09 AM EST