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December 25 2012

Amazon rainforest failing to recover after droughts


The impact of a major drought in the Amazon rainforest in 2005 persisted far longer than previously believed, raising questions about the world's largest tropical forest to cope with the expected impacts of climate change, reports a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research is based on analysis of rainfall observations and satellite data that measures characteristics of the forest, including water content in leaves and the overall structure of the canopy. The scientists, led by Sassan Saatchi of Caltech, looked at the response of the rainforest to the 2005 drought, which was the worst Amazon drought on record at the time.

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