The extreme drought in the western Amazon has led to historic minimum levels in points along the Negro, Solimões, Amazonas, and Madeira rivers, according to data compiled or produced by the Port of Manaus, the Brazilian Geological Service (SGB), and the Civil Defense of Amazonas.
In Manaus, the Negro River reached its lowest point on Monday (16), when the gauge at the Port of Manaus recorded 13.59 meters – the previous minimum was 13.63 meters, recorded on October 24, 2010.
The river continued to recede throughout the week and reached a level of 13.29 meters on Thursday (19). In 120 years of measurement, there have never been such low indicators as those recorded since Monday.
Historical records were also broken in other rivers within the Amazon basin. On Thursday (19), the SGB reported that monitoring stations recorded historic lows in Manacapuru (AM), along the lower Solimões River, and in Itacoatiara (AM), along the Amazon River.
The severe drought is the result of a combination of phenomena, such as El Niño, which is above-average warming in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator, and the warming of the North Tropical Atlantic.
The anomalies caused by El Niño in the Amazon, resulting in reduced rainfall, are expected to persist in the region. There have already been below-average rains during periods that are typically not very rainy. Now, this pattern is expected to continue during the rainy season in the Amazon.