After historic 2023 drought, Amazon communities brace for more in Brazil

After historic 2023 drought, Amazon communities brace for more in Brazil

Images of dozens of freshwater dolphin carcasses and cracked soil where once laid navigable rivers shocked the world in 2023, as the worst drought in history hit the Brazilian Amazon. Now, there is a chance that 2024’s pictures will be even worse, a report presented by the Civil Defense of the state of Amazonas suggests. Despite rains that restored navigability and reconnected communities that had been left isolated by last year’s historical drought, rivers across the region are at lower levels now than they were during 2023’s already meager flood season. In early May, the Negro River reached 25.57 meters (83.89 feet), roughly 1.75 m (5.74 ft) and 3.75 m (12.3 ft) lower than the past three years. In June, the Madeira River saw levels recede 3 m (9.84 ft) in two weeks, reaching 4.15 m (13.6 ft) on the 19th, the lowest level in 2024. So far, Amazonian states haven’t seen enough rain to indicate promising changes in this forecast. In Rio Branco, Acre’s state capital, for instance, it had rained 1.20 millimeters (0.04 inches) by the end of June — a concerningly small portion of the 60 mm (2.36 in) expected for the period. Also in June, 82 cities across the country were under extreme drought and 735 in a state of severe drought, an escalation of 2023’s numbers for the same month (one city facing extreme drought and 44 facing a severe one). National and international media have reported that this year’s drought will surpass 2023’s and…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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