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Posted Sat Nov 13 2010: from New York Times:
Drought in the Amazon, Up Close and Personal
In the field we worried about why it was raining so little. Back in Iquitos, Peru, we discovered that our field work had coincided with the worst drought ever recorded in the Amazon basin. Reading the previous two-and-a-half weeks of e-mail, it was possible to track the drought's progress through the newsletters I receive every few days from a Brazilian research institute. First there was a note saying that the river level gauge at Manaus was at the twelfth lowest stage in recorded history. A few days later, a note said it was at the second lowest stage in history, and then, on Oct. 26, a note confirmed that the river had dropped to the lowest recorded level since measuring began 108 years ago.... The low readings at Manaus did not make front-page news back home, but maybe they deserved to: Two of the three worst Amazon droughts in history have now occurred within the last five years, the sort of coincidence that also turns up in conversations these days about icebergs and hurricanes and Siberian heat waves. But the drought was definitely news in Iquitos, where people were deeply upset by the lack of rain. It was unsettling, too, for our little band of biologists to be writing about the drought on laptops powered by Iquitos's gas-fired power plant, located in a part of Peru where roughly half of the landscape is currently inside oil and gas concessions.
[Read more stories about: drought, rain forest depletion, water issues]

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'Doc Michael says:
Iiii wanna know / if we never see the rain / will we smile / on a sunny day
I worry that the heavens themselves have cried themselves out over what we've done.

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