While many studies have focused on the dangerous effects of climate change on streams, rivers, lakes, and forests of the world, a study by Virginia Tech and Woods Hole Research Center scientists uniquely evaluated the combined impacts of all these effects, including climate change, across the entire Amazon River basin. “Changes in climate inevitably cause changes in rivers and lakes as well as all life and ecological processes associated with them — including people’s livelihoods,” said Assistant Professor Leandro Castello. “If these trends continue, they will mark the next phase in Amazonian development.”

Castello and Marcia Macedo, assistant scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, synthesized nearly 200 studies in an article published in Global Change Biology. The study focused on the current state of the Amazon and how the policies surrounding its maintenance are either protecting or failing to protect it. A promising step forward was the use of satellites to monitor the health of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems, which could be applied to similar geographic locations across the world.

Read the full press release.