Satellites Show Amazon Forest Likely Drier, More Fire-Prone This Year

"Huge swaths of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are drier than usual after a rainy season with rainfall index well below historical levels, raising concerns about a further spike in wildfires and deforestation as the dry season approaches.

Data from NASA and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) points to stressed climate conditions: the soil is drier, temperatures are higher, and groundwater is depleted. Peak rainy season, which runs from December to February, was among the top 10 worst on record this year, with just 75% of the season’s usual rainfall.

Last year, wildfire and deforestation in the Amazon hit the highest levels in a decade. But the flames were contained by the rainforest’s natural humidity after several months of intense rainfall.

This year, the rainforest may not be so lucky."

Shanna Hanbury reports for Mongabay April 23, 2020.

Source: Mongabay, 04/24/2020