Boiling Amazon: Withering Drought Raising Health And Humanitarian Concerns
Rivers are the only means of access in several parts of the Amazon. But as their levels recede, some communities have been cut off, raising concerns of a humanitarian disaster.
Elsewhere, navigation is only feasible by small boats which make transport more expensive. A number of people have been complaining about goods becoming more expensive.
Factory production has also been hit by the lack of supplies, with the worsening situation compelling Amazonas state authorities to call an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis.
Manaus Enveloped In A Murky Brown Haze
A withering drought has turned Manaus – the capital and largest city of Amazonas – into a climate dystopia with rivers at the lowest levels in 121 years.
Manaus has been enveloped in a murky brown haze reminiscent of China during its most polluted phase. The forest capital recorded the second worst air quality in the world last week.
An unusually dry season, exacerbated by El Nino and human-driven global heating, has threatened the survival prospects for the entire Amazon basin.
Amazonas Recording 2,770 Fires During Current Dry Season
So many fires are burning in the surrounding tinder-dry forest that air quality monitors last week registered a concerning 387 micrograms of pollution a cubic metre.
The figure is much higher than the 122 recorded in Brazil’s economic capital of Sao Paulo. The only city in the world that registered worse numbers was an industrial centre of Thailand.
The state of Amazonas has recorded 2,770 fires during the current dry season, with concerns being raised over local firefighting services being ill-prepared and ill-equipped.
More Days Of No Rain And Extreme Heat
Researchers warn the vast rainforest is moving closer to a point of irreversible decline as dry seasons lengthen, along with more days of no rain and extreme heat.
While brief periods of upriver precipitation in recent days have raised hopes the dry season may be approaching an end, meteorologists say it is too soon to predict.
The impact on endangered species is also likely to be devastating, amid the mass deaths of river dolphins, and countless other species at the risk of mortalities.