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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 May 27;363(1498):1773-8. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2007.0015.

Hydro-climate and ecological behaviour of the drought of Amazonia in 2005.

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CPTEC/INPE, Rodovia Presidente Dutra, 12630-000 Cachoeira Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil.


In 2005, southwestern Amazonia experienced the effects of an intense drought that affected life and biodiversity. Several major tributaries as well as parts of the main river itself contained only a fraction of their normal volumes of water, and lakes were drying up. The consequences for local people, animals and the forest itself are impossible to estimate now, but they are likely to be serious. The analyses indicate that the drought was manifested as weak peak river season during autumn to winter as a consequence of a weak summertime season in southwestern Amazonia; the winter season was also accompanied by rainfall that sometimes reached 25% of the climatic value, being anomalously warm and dry and helping in the propagation of fires. Analyses of climatic and hydrological records in Amazonia suggest a broad consensus that the 2005 drought was linked not to El Niño as with most previous droughts in the Amazon, but to warming sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean.

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