The Amazon rainforest is facing a massive drought this year, and it’s causing a lot of trouble. In places like the Negro River and Lake Tefé in Brazil, the water levels have dropped drastically. The Negro River is the lowest it’s been in 120 years, and Lake Tefé’s temperature got so high that it led to the deaths of over 150 river dolphins.
Why It’s Happening
There are three big reasons behind this super bad drought. First up, deforestation is a huge deal. People cutting down trees have made the rainforest weaker and hotter, turning it into a place that’s much drier.
Deforestation slowed down a bit this year in Brazil’s Amazon, but it’s been really bad in recent years. Agribusiness, like ranchers and farmers, has been clearing trees to make more space for farming. About 20% of the Amazon is deforested, and another 40% is in bad shape – the trees aren’t healthy and are easily affected by things like fires and drought.
El Niño’s Part
Another thing making it worse is an El Niño climate pattern that started this year. El Niño happens every few years and messes with the winds and water in the Pacific Ocean. It’s making the northern parts of South America drier, where the rainforest is. But it’s causing heavy rains and floods in places like Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and southern Brazil.
Dry weather in the Amazon has led to some serious problems. When it’s dry, people clearing the forest tend to set fires, which is really bad. It’s making things even worse and causing uncontrolled fires. This dryness is making the air hard to breathe too, and it’s affecting everyone, especially those who can’t leave the area.
Strange Ocean Warmth
There’s another thing that’s causing trouble – the water in the northern Atlantic Ocean is warmer than usual. This weird warming is messing with a zone that helps create clouds and rain close to the Equator. Because of this, storms are moving away from northern Brazil.
Overall, a mix of deforestation, El Niño, and strange ocean warming is causing a severe drought in the Amazon. It’s making life really tough for the people and animals living there.