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Government officials have already announced a potential water rationing program as well as expected blackouts to conserve electricity in case rains do not pick up. If they don’t, Brazil is almost certainly facing its driest back-to-back rainy seasons in at least 35 years.

The Amazon Rainforest is a living warehouse for carbon dioxide. As climate changes, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb. NOAA scientist John Miller talks about how climate conditions in 2010 and 2011 created a natural experiment on how drought affects the Amazon's carbon balance.