An area in the Amazon twice the size of California is experiencing what scientists call a “megadrought.”, which began in 2005, reports Bailey Johnson at CBS News online. A new study indicates that it has caused widespread damage, and may possibly be a sign that the rainforest is showing the first signs of large-scale degradation due to climate change. In 2005, close to 300,000 square miles of forest experienced a severe drought that caused widespread, observable damage to the canopy. The drought conditions were so severe that the rainforest was unable to fully recover before the next drought struck in 2010. And those persistent effects were the biggest surprise for the scientists that produced the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The two extensive droughts could mean Amazonia will suffer long-lasting damage. It is also more evidence that the Amazon is receiving less and less rainfall per year. If this trend continues, one scientific author noted, this may alter the structure and function of Amazonian rainforest ecosystems, known to be an important climate and air conditioner on the planet.
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Severe droughts in Amazon linked to climate change, says study. An area in the Amazon twice the size of California is experiencing what scientists call a “megadrought.” The prolonged drought has caused widespread damage to the area and may possibly be a sign that the rainforest is showing the first signs of large-scale degradation due to climate change. CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57564795/severe-droughts-in-amazon-linked-to-climate-change-says-study/