You are currently viewing Drought That Snarled Panama Canal Was Linked to El Niño, Study Finds

The low water levels that choked cargo traffic were more closely tied to the natural climate cycle than to human-caused warming, a team of scientists has concluded.

The recent drought in the Panama Canal was driven not by global warming but by below-normal rainfall linked to the natural climate cycle El Niño, an international team of scientists has concluded.

Low reservoir levels have slowed cargo traffic in the canal for most of the past year. Without enough water to raise and lower ships, officials last summer had to slash the number of vessels they allowed through, creating expensive headaches for shipping companies worldwide. Only in recent months have crossings started to pick up again.

The area’s water worries could still deepen in the coming decades, the researchers said in their analysis of the drought. As Panama’s population grows and seaborne trade expands, water demand is expected to be a much larger share of

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Energy & Environment.

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