The Amazon Reveals Its Secrets--Partly

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Science  22 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5500, pp. 2274-2275
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5500.2274

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The role of the tropics in global climate change during glacial cycles is hotly debated in paleoclimate cycles today. Records from South America have not provided a clear picture of tropical climate change. In his Perspective, Betancourt highlights the study by Maslin and Burns, who have deduced the outflow of the Amazon over the past 14,000 years. This may serve as a proxy that integrates hydrology over the entire South American tropics, although the record must be interpreted cautiously because factors other than rainfall may contribute to the variability in outflow.