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Article

The Pantanal under Siege—On the Origin, Dynamics and Forecast of the Megadrought Severely Affecting the Largest Wetland in the World

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Laboratory of Landscape Ecology and Climate, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research—IVIC, Caracas 1020-A, Venezuela
2
Simulation and Modelling Center (CeSiMo), University of Los Andes, Mérida 5101, Venezuela
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Departamento de Ecologia e Conservação, Instituto de Ciências Naturais, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras 37200-900, MG, Brazil
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Faculty of the Environment and Natural Sciences, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, 03046 Cottbus, Germany
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Departamento de Meteorologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-916, MG, Brazil
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Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Momcilo Markus
Water 2021, 13(21), 3034; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213034
Received: 21 August 2021 / Revised: 11 October 2021 / Accepted: 15 October 2021 / Published: 29 October 2021
The Pantanal is the largest wetland of the world and one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in South America. An unprecedented ongoing megadrought is severely affecting its ecological functioning, flood pulse dynamics, and fire regime. Regarding this problematic, the present study generates reliable information about the following key issues: 1—Evolution and dynamics, 2—Origin and determinants, and 3—Forecast based on identified determinants and current trends. Results show that the evolution of the megadrought has been differentiable in both, space and time. As for its origin and determinants, Climate Change was ratified as one of the most important threats to the Pantanal, and to vast areas of South America, since a strong correlation was identified between megadrought’s dynamics and the occurrence of intense marine heatwaves at Northern Hemisphere oceanic waters, and more specifically, at the Northeast Pacific. Results also show that the megadrought is expected to continue at both the Pantanal and the surrounding Highlands, at least until December 2023. Thus, an intensification of fires risk, extending now to areas historically flooded or perhumid should be expected, concomitantly to a very negative impact on non-fire-resistant vegetation cover, as well as ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, perhaps even worse than those from 2020, widely covered by the international media. View Full-Text
Keywords: megadrought; precipitation; extreme climate event; Pantanal; wetland; Brazil; sea surface temperature (SST); marine heatwave (MHW); CHIRPS V2.0; ERSSTv5 megadrought; precipitation; extreme climate event; Pantanal; wetland; Brazil; sea surface temperature (SST); marine heatwave (MHW); CHIRPS V2.0; ERSSTv5
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thielen, D.; Ramoni-Perazzi, P.; Puche, M.L.; Márquez, M.; Quintero, J.I.; Rojas, W.; Soto-Werschitz, A.; Thielen, K.; Nunes, A.; Libonati, R. The Pantanal under Siege—On the Origin, Dynamics and Forecast of the Megadrought Severely Affecting the Largest Wetland in the World. Water 2021, 13, 3034. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213034

AMA Style

Thielen D, Ramoni-Perazzi P, Puche ML, Márquez M, Quintero JI, Rojas W, Soto-Werschitz A, Thielen K, Nunes A, Libonati R. The Pantanal under Siege—On the Origin, Dynamics and Forecast of the Megadrought Severely Affecting the Largest Wetland in the World. Water. 2021; 13(21):3034. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213034

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thielen, Dirk, Paolo Ramoni-Perazzi, Mary L. Puche, Marco Márquez, José Isrrael Quintero, Wilmer Rojas, Alejandra Soto-Werschitz, Kai Thielen, Ana Nunes, and Renata Libonati. 2021. "The Pantanal under Siege—On the Origin, Dynamics and Forecast of the Megadrought Severely Affecting the Largest Wetland in the World" Water 13, no. 21: 3034. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213034

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