Ecosystems and ecosystem services are essential for Brazil, though under serious threat from climate variability and change. Prolonged drought and flooding in regions of the Amazon, combined with other drivers such as deforestation, will alter existing ecosystems. Higher temperatures generally create more favorable conditions for vector-borne and other infectious diseases. Likewise, increased flooding is often associated with increased prevalence of waterborne diseases, such as cholera. Sea level rise and storm surge will have substantial impacts on lowland areas of the Amazon delta. (USAID Climate Risk Profile, 2018)
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- From 1900 to 2016, the country experienced 142 flood events in total, encompassing both flash and riverine flood. Based on the statistics, Brazil is more prone to suffer from riverine flood, which resulted in an accumulated economic loss of over $6.1 billion during the time period. In general, flash flood tends to bring more damage to infrastructure and human lives.
- During the same time period, there existed 18 droughts in the country, causing 20 total deaths and more than $11.2 billion total damages. In addition, almost 80 million people were affected by the events. It is evident that droughts or water scarcity are largely responsible for economic loss.
- In general, the country is rarely affected by tropical cyclone and extra-tropical storms. However, it has encountered convective storms on a regular basis. By 2016, one extra-tropical storm, one tropical cyclone, and 10 convective storms have occurred, resulting in 77 deaths and around $0.5 billion damages.
- From 1900 to 2016, landslides have induced 1730 deaths and affected more than 4.2 million people in total.
- Floods in Brazil usually occur during La Niña years and years with warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical South Atlantic. A similar kind of relation with these large scale teleconnections exists for the northeast (Caatinga) region of Brazil as well.
- The northeast region has a long history of destructive droughts recorded from the 18th century onwards. It is highly susceptible to droughts due to its strong seasonal hydrological deficit, low adaptive capacity and persistent poverty. Droughts in the Amazon will increase as ENSO events become stronger and more frequent in the future.
- Another climate hazard that is commonly experienced in the temperate region of southern Brazil is frost, which commonly occurs during winter and can be a potential threat to agriculture and industrial plantations. However, frost is a required parameter for the survival of the Araucaria forest. Thus, under a future warmer climate, these regions are at risk of degradation.
More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.
- Urban areas are most susceptible to flooding; however, flooding pauses great risk and damage to agriculture, grasslands and forest plantations in the south.
- The droughts that pull down the river levels during the dry period may cause more severe impacts since the forest’s water resources will be under considerable stress.
- Dry season droughts are also more dangerous because of the potential for fueling wildfires, which are common in ecosystems and forests that are in close proximity to slash-and-burn type agriculture.