Sun rise in Caxiuana Forest, Brazil.

Geography academic awarded NERC grant to examine drought in Amazonia

Geography academic Dr Luiz Aragao has been awarded a NERC Urgency grant of £65,000 to investigate the impacts of forest fires on carbon stocks during the 2010 drought in Amazonia.

Dr Aragao who is a remote-sensing expert has been reviewing Brazilian data from ground stations and satellites and comparing it to the drought in 2005. He was recently interviewed by Nature for an article examining the 2010 Amazonian drought.

In the article Dr Aragao says that the drought appears to be broader in scope but slightly less intense than 2005. The current drought has affected a large area covering the northwest, central and southwest Amazon, including parts of Columbia, Peru and northern Bolivia. Fewer clouds and less rain also translate into higher temperatures, and Aragao says that the maximum temperatures in September are 1 °C higher than 2005, and 2–3 °C higher than average. Water levels in the primary tributary Rio Negro — or Black River — are at historic lows.

You can read the article in full on the Nature website.

Date: 9 November 2010

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