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Hurricanes Cause Peru Amazon Waters to Fall - Report

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    Hurricanes Cause Peru Amazon Waters to Fall - Report PERU: October 10, 2005 LIMA - Water levels along Peru s stretch of the Amazon river have fallen to 35-year
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2005
      Hurricanes Cause Peru Amazon Waters to Fall - Report

      PERU: October 10, 2005

      LIMA - Water levels along Peru's stretch of the Amazon river have fallen
      to 35-year lows following a series of recent hurricanes along US and
      Mexican coasts and years of deforestation in the Amazon jungle, Peru's
      National Meteorological Service, SENAMHI, said.

      According to studies at Peru's main Amazon jungle town, Iquitos, water
      volumes in October have fallen to 423,700 cubic feet (12,000 cubic
      meters) a second from a normal average of 882,866 cubic feet (25,000
      cubic meters) a second, SENAMHI told daily newspaper Peru.21 on Friday.
      Due to a public holiday in Peru on Friday, SENAMHI was not available for

      "Water levels in the Amazon river (in Peru) have reached a 35-year low in
      the past few days ... it's causing problems with river transport," said
      Juan Arboleda, a scientist at SENAMHI.

      Iquitos is a major port on the Amazon and river travel is the main form
      of regional transport.

      "Because of the hurricanes in the northern hemisphere, it hasn't rained
      in the jungle since August. The high rate of deforestation is also having
      an effect," said climate specialist Ena Jaimes at SENAMHI.

      Many scientists believe hurricanes thousands of miles away affect weather
      in the Amazon because rising air in the north Atlantic, which fuels the
      storms, causes the air above the Amazon to descend, preventing cloud
      formation and rainfall.

      But some meteorologists discount a link between hurricanes in the Gulf of
      Mexico and drought in the Amazon.

      According to the Brazilian government's National Institute of
      Meteorology, dry weather in the Amazon is linked to warmer Pacific Ocean
      surface temperatures, which changes rainfall patterns.

      Since August, several intense hurricanes have hit the Gulf of Mexico,
      including Hurricane Katrina, which killed about 1,200 people in the
      low-lying US city of New Orleans and surrounding states. Flooding caused
      by torrential rains from Hurricane Stan has killed more than 240 people
      in southern Mexico and Central America.

      Peru's Amazon jungle area has lost 25 million acres (10 million hectares)
      to deforestation due to farming and drug trafficking in recent years,
      according to private studies.

      Deforestation contributes to droughts because cutting down trees reduces
      moisture in the air, increasing sunlight penetration onto land. It also
      prevents land and rivers from holding rain when it comes, causing
      excessive runoff and preventing the water table from increasing reserves.

      Some 4,075 miles (6518 km) long, the Amazon, which has its source in
      southern Peru, threads across northern Brazil and discharges in the
      Atlantic Ocean.

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