Drought in Amazon Rainforest

Drought in Amazon Rainforest

News: The Amazon Rainforest, often referred to as the ' “lungs of the earth,' is currently facing an unprecedented and severe drought.

Which factors have contributed to Droughts in Amazon?
• Climate Change: The drought in the Amazon forest is likely caused by climate change.
• Deforestation: Deforestation, driven by agricultural expansion and logging activity, reduces the Amazon rainforest’s ability to regulate the climate and retain moisture.
• El Niño Phenomenon: The El Niño phenomenon manifests itself in the abnormal warming of the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean, affecting the rainfall regime in various parts of the world. In the case of the Amazon region, the drought is exacerbated by a decrease in humidity and a lack of rainfall, damaging the vegetation, fauna, and local communities that depend on natural resources.
• Human Activities: Human activities such as mining and agriculture have also contributed to the drought.
• The construction and operation of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon, particularly on the Madeira River a major tributary of the Amazon contribute to drought scenarios. The creation of reservoirs for power generation alters natural river flows and affects aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The decomposition of organic matter in these reservoirs releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

Impact of Droughts caused in Amazon Rainforest:
• Disruption of Indigenous Communities: The drought has disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of Indigenous people. There is no water, food, or medicine in villages of Indigenous communities living in the area.
• Impact on Wildlife: High numbers of fish and river dolphins, known as boto, have been washing up dead. Their rotting carcasses have contaminated the water supply in some areas, forcing residents to use it for cooking, bathing, and drinking.
• Impact on Transportation: Numerous rivers vital for travel have dried up. This has left tens of thousands of people stranded in remote jungle villages, with limited access to food and other supplies.
• Increased Vulnerability to Wildfires: The extreme dry conditions have made the rainforest more vulnerable to wildfires. So far this month, the Amazonas state has witnessed 2,700 blazes — the highest ever noted for the month of October since records began 25 years ago.
• Impact on Hydropower: The lack of water has also stalled the operations of a major hydropower dam in the region.

About Amazon Rainforest:
• The Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering an area of approximately 5,500,000 square kilometers.
• It spans nine countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana (France), Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The majority of the forest is in Brazil (60%), followed by Peru (13%), and Colombia (10%).
• The Amazon rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest that lies within the Amazon biome. It is the world’s richest and most varied biological reservoir, containing several million species. It has the highest density of plant and animal species anywhere on Earth.
• The rainforest plays a crucial role in stabilizing the Earth’s climate by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. 

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