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Posts tagged Amazon delta

Drought in the Amazon Delta Region and Effects on Global Warming – June 2nd, 2013

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June 2nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Brazil – June 1st, 2013

An increased frequency of droughts in the Amazon, particularly the delta region (visible here), such as the ones that occurred in 2005 and 2010, threatens to turn the world’s largest tropical forest from a sponge that absorbs greenhouse gases into a source of them, causing accelerating global warming. This is because the trees normally absorbing carbon dioxide as they grow, helping to cool the planet, release these gases when they die and rot.

The 2010 drought caused a reduction of rainfall in an area of 3 million square kilometres of forest – far more than the 1.9 million square kilometres affected in 2005. Because of this, the Amazon forest will no longer absorb in 2010 and 2011 its usual volume of 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Moreover, the dead and dying trees will release 5 billion tons of gas over the next year, causing the cumulative impact to reach 8 billion tons.

Emissions caused by the two droughts were probably sufficient to cancel all of the carbon absorbed by the Amazon forest in the last ten years. If such events occur more frequently, the Amazon forest would reach a point where, from a valuable store of carbon reducing the speed of climate change, it would change into a large source of greenhouse gases, which could accelerate global warming (click here for more information).

Pará River, Brazil – November 24th, 2008

November 24th, 2008 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Pará River and city of Belém, Brazil - November 6th, 2008

Pará River and city of Belém, Brazil - November 6th, 2008

In this image we can see the mouth of the Pará River in Brazil, part of the greater Amazon River system. The river is separated from the larger part of the Amazon delta by Ilha de Marajó (Marajo Island).

This region has an equatorial climate, a type of tropical climate in which there is no dry season. All months have mean precipitation values of at least 60 mm.

In the image, we can see sediments flowing from the river, perhaps dredged up by such rainfall or by the slash and burn treatment of tropical rainforests further upstream.

East of the rivermouth is the city of Belém, on the banks of the Amazon estuary, in the northern part of Brazil. It is the capital of the state of Pará.

Belem lies about 60 miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. It is the entrance gate to the Amazon with a busy port, airport and coach station.

source Wikipedia