Amazon deforestation may be linked to drought threatening millions in southeastern Brazil

December 4, 2014 4:15 AM

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Amazon deforestation may be linked to drought threatening millions in southeastern Brazil

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, a deforested area is seen near Novo Progresso, in Brazil's northern state of Para. The "sky rivers" that flow from Brazil's immense Amazon jungle have long kept the nation's southeast a verdant green, a gift of nature that man has used to turn the area's lush, rolling hills into a breadbasket of farms, coffee plantations and thick pasture for cattle. While its too soon for scientists to say with certainty, there is a chorus of growing concern that Amazon deforestation has diminished those atmospheric flows, and that the jungle is nearing a permanent tipping point whereby it won't be able to sustain such rains in the future. Brazil's southeast is seeing a historic drought that has Sao Paulo, a city of over 20 million, on the brink of running out of water. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, file) (The Associated Press)

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2009, file photo a forest in the Amazon is seen being illegally burnt, near Novo Progresso, in the northern Brazilian state of Para. The cutting of trees, scientists say, is hindering the immense jungle’s ability to absorb carbon from the air _ and to pull enough water throu...

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