Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Deep in the (no)rainforest...

Brazil seems to have fallen off the radar for most farmers. Thanks to ethanol, we'll all be growing a few beans just for comic relief.

Meanwhile our neighbors down south have a drought problem of their own - the rainforest isn't getting any rain.
The consequences would be truly awesome. The wet Amazon, the planet's greatest celebration of life, would turn to dry savannah at best, desert at worst. This would cause much of the world - including Europe - to become hotter and drier, making this sweltering summer a mild foretaste of what is to come. In the longer term, it could make global warming spiral out of control, eventually making the world uninhabitable.

Since last year the Amazonian jungle has been starved for rain. While ecologists can be given to pretty melodramatic prose this could be an area to watch. Ongoing research into SA water balance may also help us understand what is going on.

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