Mass die-off of dolphins in the Brazilian Amazon as water temperatures rise

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More than 100 dolphins were found dead over the past week in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest amid severe drought and hot water temperatures, according to reports.

The Mamirawa Institute for Sustainable Development, a research facility funded by Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, found the dead dolphins in Lake Teifi over the past seven days. CNN reported. Researchers believe the mass deaths are linked to the ongoing drought in the Amazon and recent weather, according to CNN.

He added: “It is still too early to determine the cause of this extreme event, but according to our experts, it is definitely related to the dry period and high temperatures in Lake Teifi, with some points exceeding 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit).” The institute told the news agency.

In addition to the death of dolphins, Watchman It was reported that thousands of dead fish also appeared in Lake Teifi.

The Amazon River is the largest waterway in the world and its basin is connected to the Amazon rainforest, famous for its rich biodiversity where millions of species live.

But human activity and extreme weather in the area have raised environmental concerns. Amazonas state declared an environmental emergency in September in response to the historic drought and launched a $20 million response plan.

“Last month in Tefi looked like a science fiction climate change scenario,” Daniel Tregidjoe, a British researcher who lives in the area, told The Guardian. “Regular sightings of pink river dolphins are one of the great advantages of living in the heart of the Amazon. … Knowing that one of the dolphins has died is sad, but seeing piles of bodies, knowing that this drought has killed more than 100 people, is a tragedy.” “

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Hundreds of thousands of people may be affected

Brazilian authorities said the drought could affect about 500,000 people by the end of the year. Many indigenous people are already struggling to access basic supplies, such as food and water.

The main means of transportation in the region is waterways but prolonged drought has caused river levels to historically fall. The drought has also affected fishing, a means of livelihood for many riverside communities.

The Amazonas State Civil Defense Agency said in a statement in September that authorities would distribute supplies of food, water and personal hygiene supplies to help communities. According to Amazonas State Governor Wilson Lima, different levels of government will support the affected municipalities.

The Civil Defense Authority said that as of last week, 15 municipalities were in a state of emergency and 40 others were on alert.

Climate change is exacerbating drought

According to the Civil Defense Authority, the drought is expected to be more severe and last longer due to the El Niño climate phenomenon.

El Niño is a natural weather pattern where seawater in the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean is warmer than normal at this time of year. This phenomenon can affect storms and weather patterns around the world, including preventing the formation of rain clouds.

Climate change and rising global temperatures are making droughts more frequent, longer-lasting and more severe. Warmer air leads to increased evaporation during dry periods, which reduces surface water and dries out soil and plants.

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Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; Associated Press

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