This text is updated from a Portuguese-language version published by Amazônia Real. The drama of the record flood in the Brazilian Amazon Basin reached on 30 June 2021 offers valuable lessons that need to be learned — even as this July the Paraná River Basin south and east of the Amazon (where a third of Brazil’s people live) sees record drought. First, the flood height in Manaus that broke the record since measurements began in 1903 is consistent with predictions for climate change associated with global warming. In addition to the need to avoid the large emissions that deforestation causes, thus helping to mitigate global warming, the Amazon rainforest needs to be kept standing to maintain a variety of other essential environmental services, including water recycling. The year 2021 is a La Niña year, which always leads to more rain in the Amazon. The “southern oscillation” between El Niño and La Niña has been more frequent since 1976, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) attributes this to global warming and projects that this trend is likely to continue. The variability and severity of El Niño and La Niña events are expected to increase. These phenomena, and others as well, modify the air currents around the planet, which causes extremes of drought and rain in different places. On top of the impact of La Niña, an additional factor increased the 2021 flood: the combination of warmer water in the Atlantic Ocean and cold water in the Pacific (Figure…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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