In the middle of all the news related to the pandemic, the threats of a coup d’état, the institutional crisis between the judiciary and President Jair Bolsonaro, and the increase in inflation that erodes purchasing power, Brazilians were informed at night of August 31, by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, that the country is in the middle of one of the worst water and energy crisis. In 90 years, there was never so little in the south-central region of the country.
“This is a natural phenomenon that also occurs with the same intensity in other countries. Today I inform everyone that our hydroelectric situation has worsened”, said the minister in radio and television.
Despite the minister’s justifications, climate specialists had warned a few years earlier: the advance of burning in the Amazon could lead the country to a water and electrical collapse.
But how is the relationship between the advance of the fires in the northern region and the drought in the southern and southern regions? According to the environmentalists interviewed by Brazil de Facto Paraná, the factors are much more related than what is imagined and have been provoked, including a lawsuit against the Brazilian state for climate litigation.
Los rivers in the air
Flying rivers are atmospheric water courses, formed by air masses charged with water vapors, often accompanied by clouds and propagated by winds.
Professor Eloy Casagrande, doctor in engineering of mineral resources and environment at the University of Nottingham (England) and environmental auditor from EARA, explains that the quantity of moisture released in the Amazon river waters the floods of the south and south east.
“The amount of water that moves from the Amazon region to the south, south east and center west, and which on occasions can increase with the water that often evaporates from the crowns of the trees, can be greater than the stream of the river Amazonas, about 200,000m³ per second”, index.
:: Military “verified” by Twitter sums 5 million followers and spreads false news ::
Casagrande also explains that all the water pumped by the large trees can transpire more than a thousand liters in a single crown. “If you consider 600 thousand million trees in the Amazon, imagine the amount of water that forms in 24 hours in the clouds and takes place in the south of Brazil”, says the professor.
The fires precede the sequence
According to an article published in 2017 by Corporación Brasileña de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (EMBRAPA), the forests are responsible for recycling the rain in the Amazon.
Meteorologist Pedro Silva Dias, from the University of São Paulo (USP), mentioned in a study published by the American biologist Philip Fearnside, highlights that, in São Paulo, 70% of the rains depend on Amazonian water vapor, and that its reduction, caused, among other factors, by large-scale deforestation, would have serious consequences for the supply of water.
In this last month of August, according to the Fire Program of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Amazonia registered 28,060 fires, the third highest rate of the month since 2010, surpassed only by the historical fires of 2020 and 2019. In parallel, the country registered the worst sequence of the last 91 years for the September period, according to the Electric Sector Monitoring Committee (CMSE).
The causal relationship, according to the teacher Eloy Casagrande, is direct and will cost a high price to the economy. “This is a shot in the ground for the agroindustry itself, one of the main responsible for the increase in fires. The sector is contributing to its own crisis. We live in a state of climate despair. In addition to the theme of the Amazon, this will have a high cost for agriculture”, he analyses.
In addition to the consequences for agriculture, the federal government has warned that it will raise electricity tariffs, increasing tariff bands by 50%, to contain energy consumption and ensure the situation of hydroelectric plants.
Climatic stability is a right
For the lawyer Délton Winter de Carvalho, representative of the Institute of Amazonian Studies, who presented a climate litigation action against the Brazilian State, climate stability must be a fundamental right.
The demand, which requires the Brazilian government to comply with the environmental goals, is currently being processed in a federal court. For Carvalho, the action seeks to alert the State to the environmental crisis. “The Brazilian state needs to guarantee climate stability policies to preserve the social and fundamental rights of the citizen.”
Source: BoF Paraná
Edition: Frédi Vasconcelos and Lia Bianchini