Amazon Faces Worst Drought Ever: Villages Cut Off, Wildlife Perishing

In 2023, the Amazon rainforest is grappling with its most severe drought on record. Entire villages are stranded, wildfires are rampant, and wildlife is dying. The alarming events raise concerns among scientists, signaling a potential tipping point for the world’s largest forest.

In the village of Bom Jesus de Igapo Grande, with 40 families deep in the forest, the impact is dire. The drought leaves them without water for basic needs, and crops like bananas and acai are spoiled due to transportation challenges.

Oliveira Tikuna, navigating the dried-out creeks to reach his village, expresses disbelief, saying, “I’m 49 years old, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The extended dry season, attributed to the El Niño weather pattern and exacerbated by climate change, threatens the Amazon’s delicate balance. The rainforest’s ability to function as a carbon sink is at risk, impacting not only biodiversity but also contributing to global climate change.

Scientists, including climatologist Carlos Nobre, warn of a potential tipping point. If deforestation reaches 25%, combined with a 2-2.5°C rise in global temperatures, the Amazon could irreversibly transform into a savannah.

The recent drought intensifies these concerns, with plant ecologist Dr. Flávia Costa noting signs of plant death. The repercussions extend beyond land, as elevated water temperatures lead to the tragic deaths of hundreds of dolphins in the region.

As the world grapples with the reality of a changing Amazon, Oliveira Tikuna urges a collective response: “We know that we are very much to blame for this, we haven’t been paying attention, we haven’t been defending our mother Earth. She is screaming for help. It’s time to defend her.”

(Source: BBC News)

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