Low rainfall results in low agricultural production
With the unfavorable weather, the estimate of corn production in the 2021 off-season, in the Center-South region of Brazil, is expected to be more than 20 million tons below last year’s result, and soybean planting is again delayed due to the lack of soil moisture for seeding. The cause of the damage that agriculture has been accumulating lies in the change in the rainfall regime caused by deforestation. The conclusion is the report of the non-governmental organization Planet Tracker, recognized for evaluating financial risks related to the environment.
This change in the rainfall regime linked to deforestation was the object of a study by the Institute of Atmosphere and Climate Sciences of the National Research Council of Turin (CNR-Isac), in Italy, which, after evaluating climate data from the last 10 years throughout Amazon region, concluded that the loss of vegetation generates a reduction of up to 70% of annual rainfall.
In addition to the drought, the low vegetation cover contributes to the intensification of heat waves. In the first half of September, which marks the beginning of soybean sowing, the temperature was 5ºC above the average climatology for the period, in the Center-West region and Matopiba (Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia), one of the concentration areas of the grain production. The event is a sign that the hydrological cycle, which includes the transfer of water from the soil to the atmosphere by evaporation, has problems that directly impact the rainfall regime.
At the conclusion of its report, Planet Tracker says that deforestation is an act of self-mutilation of the Brazilian economy, and that the conversion of native areas into productive areas shortens the rainy season and reduces rainfall. It also points out that, in addition to changing rainfall and temperature patterns, it tends to make them less predictable and more extreme. Finally, it recommends that Brazil focus on restoring its natural capital, otherwise investors will be exposed to (more) risks.