Amazon River Discharge and Climate Variability: 1903 to 1985

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Science  06 Oct 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4926, pp. 101-103
DOI: 10.1126/science.246.4926.101


Reconstruction of an 83-year record (1903 to 1985) of the discharge of the Amazon River shows that there has been no statistically significant change in discharge over the period of record and that the predominant interannual variability occurs on the 2- to 3-year time scale. Oscillations of river discharge predate significant human influences in the Amazon basin and reflect both extrabasinal and local factors. Cross-spectrum analyses of Amazon flow anomalies with indicators of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon suggest that the oscillations in the hydrograph are coupled to the tropical Pacific climate cycle.

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