Climate change and freshwater ecosystems
Less rainfall during the dry months could seriously affect many Amazon rivers and other freshwater systems, and the people that rely on these resources.
One possible disastrous impact of reduced rainfall is a change in nutrient input into streams and rivers, which can greatly affect aquatic organisms.
A more variable climate and more extreme events will also likely mean that Amazon fish populations will more often experience hot temperatures and potentially lethal environmental conditions.
What the experts say
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
suggests that flooding associated with sea-level rise will have substantial impacts on lowland areas such as the Amazon River delta. In fact, the rate of sea-level rise over the last 100 years has been 1.0-2.5 mm per year, and this rate could rise to 5 mm per year.
Sea-level rise, increased temperature, changes in rainfall and runoff will likely cause major changes in species habitats such as mangrove ecosystems.
These factors may also affect the region’s fisheries that depend on mangrove habitat as nurseries and refuge.