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Climate Change, Dams, Deforestation a Vicious Cycle for Amazon Rivers, Lakes

Dams, mining, land-cover changes, and climate change are degrading the streams, rivers, lakes, and forests of the world's largest river basin at unprecedented rates, according to scientists.

Most studies to date have focused on threats in streams and rivers, such as dams, or on land directly adjacent to them, such as deforestation. A new study by Virginia Tech and Woods Hole Research Center scientists evaluates the combined impacts of all these threats, including climate change, across the entire Amazon River basin.

In addition to the warming influence of global climate change, Amazonian rivers, watersheds, and rain forests are suffering from changes to their own regional climate. In recent decades, deforestation has contributed to a warmer, drier, less predictable climate in the region.

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