Oct 12, 2023

Amazon drought: Stranded boats and dead fish

The Brazilian government attributes the drought to climate change and the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has caused the volume of rainfall in the northern Amazon to fall below the historical average and river levels to drop to near record levels. The low water levels pose a threat to the estimated 30 million people that call the Amazon basin home. A barge carrying vehicles, gas and supplies ran aground in the low water levels last month and has been stranded on the banks of the Rio Negro river since then. Experts suspect that the heat wave and drought may be the cause of the high numbers of fish and river dolphins, known as boto, which have been washing up dead. Boat pilot Paulo Monteiro da Cruz has had to row through waters littered with dead fish at Piranha lake, which has been affected by the drought of the Solimões River. Researchers from the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development have been carrying out tests of the water and the dead animals found in Lake Tefe to try to pinpoint what the exact cause of their deaths is.

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