Climate Change, Impacts and Vulnerabilities in Brazil: Preparing the Brazilian Northeast for the Future; Natal, Brazil, 27 May to 01 June 2012 The variability of the semiarid climate of the Brazilian northeast has enormous environmental and social implications. Because most of the population in this area depends on subsistence agriculture, periods of severe drought in the past have caused extreme poverty and subsequent migration to urban centers. From the ecological point of view, frequent and prolonged droughts can lead to the desertification of large areas. Understanding the causes of rainfall variability, in particular periods of severe drought, is crucial for accurate forecasting, mitigation, and adaptation in this important region of Brazil.
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