Heat played key role in Amazon droughts



[1] In 2005 the Amazon region suffered a major drought in which a shortage of precipitation affected 2.5 million square kilometers of land, which resulted in significant tree loss. An even more widespread drought hit the region in 2010, affecting 3.2 million square meters of land. A new study by Toomey et al. shows that the loss of biomass during those events was due not only to a lack of moisture but also to heat stress. The researchers analyzed land surface temperature data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite to look for a relationship among heat anomaly, precipitation anomaly, and forest stress during the droughts.