Drought in the Amazon

Nature (subscription) comments on the severe drought in the Amazon rainforest. In Santarem, where the Amazon and Tapajos rivers meet water, levels are 15 metres lower then normal.

Theoretically, drought could effect the forest by stunting growth so that the protective carbon absorption of the forest would be limited. This would add to the effects of deforestation, which hasn't slowed down despite years of attention to the problem. As well, fire damage from managed burning leaves the forest vulnerable to further drought. The result would be that the Amazon contributes to climate change rather then buffers it.

Note: Some people have commented that this is either a temporary effect, or drought due to local deforestation, rather than a permanent effect due to global climate change.

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