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Technoscience

Climate extremes in Brazil

Dry pasture in Minas Gerais: intense rainfall and drought are expected to continue in the coming years

VALTER CAMPANATO V/ ABRDry pasture in Minas Gerais: intense rainfall and drought are expected to continue in the coming yearsVALTER CAMPANATO V/ ABR

Brazil’s climate should remain stable over the next few years, with higher median temperatures throughout the county, more frequent and intense rainfall in the South and Southeast, and more frequent and intense droughts in the North and Northeast. “All of the [climate simulation] models point to a trend towards a continuation of climatic extremes,” reported Tércio Ambrizzi of the University of São Paulo in an April presentation of preliminary results of the first national report on climatic change. The report is expected to be issued in September by the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (PBMC), an organization similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “We didn’t want the country to arrive empty-handed in 2014, when the IPCC releases its next report,” says Ambrizzi, one of the report coordinators. “Now we’ll be able to lay out by biome or area what the IPCC reported for all of South America,” says another of the report’s coordinators, Eduardo Assad of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Organization (Embrapa). According to Assad, continued higher temperatures and more intense rainfall are expected to reduce agriculture yields and the number of areas used to grow crops. “We have to increase agricultural yields.” Predictions indicate that the Amazon Region and the Atlantic forest will shrink, reducing the volume of river water and, consequently, the amount of water available to urban populations.

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