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Posted Sun Nov 7 2010: from GlobalPost:
Rivers run dry as drought hits Amazon
The world's largest rain forest was dangerously dry, and may well be drying out. October marked the end of one of the worst Amazon droughts on record -- a period of tinder-dry forests, dusty cropland and rivers falling to unprecedented lows. Streams are the highways of the deep jungle and they're also graveyards for dead trees, usually hidden safely under fathoms of navigable water. But not this year, and the drought's significance extends far beyond impeded boats. While the region has seen dry spells before, locals and experts say droughts have grown more frequent and severe. Scientists say there's mounting evidence the Amazon's shifting weather may be caused by global climate change.... "Every ecosystem has some point beyond which it can't go," said Oliver Phillips, a tropical ecology professor at the University of Leeds who has spent decades studying how forests react to changing weather. "The concern now is that parts of the Amazon may be approaching that threshold." Phillips led a team of dozens of researchers who studied the damage caused by a severe 2005 drought to trees and undergrowth at more than 100 sites across the Amazon. His findings, published in the journal Science, are troubling.
[Read more stories about: rain forest depletion, drought, climate impacts]

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'Doc Michael says:
I'm sure everything's fine. They call it a rainforest, after all!

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