Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

AMAZON DEFORESTATION

Delayed wet season

J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. http://doi.org/c5jk (2019).

Precipitation that maintains the Amazon rainforest occurs in a pronounced wet season related to monsoon dynamics and migration of the intertropical convergence zone. Wet season onset depends on the rainforest itself, which moistens the atmosphere through evapotranspiration and primes the troposphere for deep convective rains. Deforestation could therefore affect the timing of wet season onset and the likelihood of drought, and these aspects play a role in ecosystem health, wildfire risk and the global carbon cycle.

Credit: Morley Read/Alamy Stock Photo

Argemiro Teixeira Leite-Filho and colleagues from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, employed a land-use change database and data from 112 rain gauges to study the relationship between precipitation and deforestation during the past few decades in the southern Amazon. They found that a 50%–60% deforestation rate would correspond to a wet season delay of about one week. In addition, at the beginning or end of the wet season, regions experiencing greater deforestation were more likely to experience dry spells of eight days or longer. This study underscores the cascading impacts of Amazon deforestation on regional hydroclimate, with implications for agriculture and land use.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Baird Langenbrunner.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Langenbrunner, B. Delayed wet season. Nat. Clim. Chang. 9, 434 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0495-8

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing