Brevia

The 2010 Amazon Drought

Science  04 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6017, pp. 554
DOI: 10.1126/science.1200807

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Abstract

In 2010, dry-season rainfall was low across Amazonia, with apparent similarities to the major 2005 drought. We analyzed a decade of satellite-derived rainfall data to compare both events. Standardized anomalies of dry-season rainfall showed that 57% of Amazonia had low rainfall in 2010 as compared with 37% in 2005 (≤–1 standard deviation from long-term mean). By using relationships between drying and forest biomass responses measured for 2005, we predict the impact of the 2010 drought as 2.2 × 1015 grams of carbon [95% confidence intervals (CIs) are 1.2 and 3.4], largely longer-term committed emissions from drought-induced tree deaths, compared with 1.6 ×1015 grams of carbon (CIs 0.8 and 2.6) for the 2005 event.

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