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Causes and impacts of the 2005 Amazon drought

Ning Zeng, Jin-Ho Yoon, Jose A Marengo, Ajit Subramaniam, Carlos A Nobre, Annarita Mariotti, and J. David Neelin Environ. Res. Lett., 3, 014002 (9pp) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/1/014002
Paper (PDF 1.2MB)
Supplimental data (PDF 328KB)
© Copyright 2008 by the Institute of Physics Publishing. Abstract.
A rare drought in the Amazon culminated in 2005, leading to near record-low streamflows, small Amazon river plume, and greatly enhanced fire frequency. This episode was caused by the combination of 200203 El Niņo and a dry spell in 2005 attributable to a warm subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. Analysis for 19792005 reveals that the Atlantic influence is comparable to the better-known Pacific linkage. While the Pacific influence is typically locked to the wet season, the 2005 Atlantic impact concentrated in the Amazon dry season when its hydroecosystem is most vulnerable. Such mechanisms may have wide-ranging implications for the future of the Amazon rainforest.

Citation. > Zeng, N. J.-H. Yoon, J. A. Marengo, A. Subramaniam, C. A. Nobre, A. Mariotti, and J. D. Neelin, 2008 Causes and impacts of the 2005 Amazon drought. Environ. Res. Lett., 3, 0114002 (9pp) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/1/014002

Acknowledgments. We thank the following organizations for data and model: Brazilian NationalWater Agency (ANA), NCAR/SCD, LLNL, and individuals for discussion or analysis: D Nepstad, C Birkett, P Arkin, J Janowiak, D Vila, R Persaud, M Munnich, J E Meyerson, and support from NOAA, NSF and NASA.