The Stream, September 15: ‘Rivers’ of Water Vapor From Amazon Fail, Bring Drought to Brazil

Vast clouds of water vapor that typically flow from the Amazon rainforest to southern Brazil failed last year, possibly causing the severe drought that is afflicting cities like Sao Paulo, Climate News Network reported. Scientists believe that deforestation in the Amazon basin and climate change are to blame for stopping the flow of water vapor.

To better monitor climate factors like cloud formation and water patterns, Brazil is constructing a 325-meter tall observation tower in the Amazon, AFP reported, citing local media. The tower project is being completed by Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research and Germany’s Max Planck Institute.

Hundreds of families living near Lake Victoria in Tanzania are being relocated in order to make a wildlife corridor connecting Serengeti National Park to the lake’s water, Reuters reported. The project is meant to ensure animals in the park have sufficient access to water, which has been dwindling due to increasingly frequent and severe droughts.

Waterborne diseases like cholera are becoming a real concern in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan after record-breaking floods occurred last week, Reuters reported. Stagnant water contaminated with animal carcasses could spread the diseases, while hospitals in some areas have been inundated.

Germany could experience twice as many days of extreme rainfall by the end of the current century as it did in 1950, according to researchers, Bloomberg News reported. The findings have led to calls for a greater focus on improving Germany’s flood resiliency in the Rhine and Elbe river basins.

Fracking and Water Pollution
Drinking water contamination in Pennsylvania and Texas communities near hydraulic fracturing operations was caused by faulty well construction, according to research published Monday by scientists from Duke University, the Dallas Morning News reported. The researchers found, however, that the physical process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil deposits was not to blame for the contamination.

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