What is causing the current record drought in the Amazon?

Devastating drought in the AmazonThe rainfall that brought the river to record levels continued until winter in the northern hemisphere, the heart of the rainy season in the southern part of the basin. Low water levels in the Amazon and its tributaries stopped hydroelectric production Brazil’s fourth largest dam drying drinking waterthey have isolated hundreds of communities depend on rivers for transportation and Mass deaths among river dolphins and fish.

In addition to these serious effects, drought also coincided with fire season Relating to human activities in the region, such as the use of fire to burn weeds and stubble, clearing tropical forests, and obtaining new land for agriculture or animal husbandry.

Under such dry conditions, these arson happens often uncontrollable and by burning vast areas of forest, degradation of rainforests And increasing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

A group of scientists decided to investigate what factors caused this situation.Record drought is leaving the most vulnerable rural and riparian communities deprived of food supplies, crop markets and healthcare; what causes power outages due to interruptions in hydroelectric energy; and what a power Water rationing in some urban areas.

A boat crosses the rest of the waters at Lago do Aleixo in Manaus (Brazil) in the Amazon. EFE / Raphael Alves


Those who suffered disproportionately from the effects of drought were the most vulnerable populations across the region, smallholder farmers and indigenous, rural and riverine communities. high poverty rates and heavy dependence on agricultural food production, availability of fresh water, and imports of goods via rivers.

Strong tendency to dry out

Exposure to drought impacts has been compounded by historical land, water and energy management practices such as deforestation, vegetation destruction, fires, biomass burning, corporate agriculture, animal husbandry and other socio-climatic issues. According to the research, this situation worsens drought conditions by reducing the water and moisture retention capacity of the soil.

Data sets based on meteorological records reveal the following: drought extraordinary It is described as a once-in-100-year event – ​​even in the current climate meteorological drought (SPI) and about 1 every 50 years agricultural drought (SPEI).

In meteorological drought strong tendency to dry outThe trend towards agricultural drought is even stronger; This means agricultural droughts would be extremely rare in a colder climate.

First, scientists evaluated the extent to which this was happening. Boy is the driving force of this trend. They concluded that El Niño reduced rainfall in the region at about the same rate as climate change; Again, The strong drought trend was almost entirely due to rising global temperatures.from here The severity of the current drought is largely due to climate change.

Drought in the Amazon. EFE / Raphael Alves


To assess whether and to what extent anthropogenic climate change is a driving factor in this drought, we combined data products based on observations and climate models and analyzed the 6-month meteorological drought (SPI6) as well as the agricultural drought (SPEI6). ). “We confirmed that Meteorological drought probability increased by 10 percentduring Probability of agricultural drought increased nearly 30 times” they state.

increased water stress

Based on agricultural drought, using the United States drought monitoring classification system is currently classified as ‘.extraordinary drought‘, it would just be a’severe drought‘Without the effects of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

These events will become more frequent in the future unless the world quickly stops burning fossil fuels and deforestation.. In a world 2°C warmer than pre-industrial times, the probability of such an event would increase due to an additional factor of 4 for agricultural drought (every 10-15 years) and an additional factor of 3 for meteorological drought (every year). ~30 years),” the report states.

Although all countries in the affected region drought management plansRecent droughts demonstrate the need”reform policies and better integrating forecasts and early warnings, drought contingency plans, sustainable water management practices, and proactive support for infrastructure investments to address more intense future droughts,” the authors state.

Drought in the Amazon coincided with fire season, leaving some uncontrollable. Pixabay


These results come despite the “low confidence” in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) estimates of drought in the region. Increasing water stress caused by human-induced climate change as well as other systemic factors “remains a major threat to the population and requires urgent efforts to achieve more effective water management strategies.”It is an interdisciplinary humanitarian response and regional cooperation that engages farmers and other stakeholders in planning,” the document concludes.

Reference Report: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/bitstream/10044/1/108761/7/Scientific%20Report%20-%20Amazon%20Drought.pdf

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Contact address of the environmental department:[email protected]

Source: Informacion

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