IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


18th October, 2023 Environment

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  • The Amazon River fell to its lowest level in over a century on Monday at the heart of the Brazilian rainforest as a record drought upended the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and damaged the jungle ecosystem.
  • Rapidly drying tributaries to the Amazon have stranded boats, cutting off food and water supplies to distant settlements, while high water temperatures are suspected of killing over 100 endangered river dolphins.

About Amazon River

  • It is the world's largest river in terms of both water volume and width.
  • After the Nile, it is the world's second-longest river.
  • Course:
    • Its excursion begins in the Andes Mountains, high in the Andes.
  • The river then flows east for thousands of kilometers through jungles and lowlands before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean on Brazil's northeastern coast.
  • Distance: 6,400 kilometers
  • Width: During the dry season, the Amazon River's width can range from 4 km to 5 km in some areas, while during the wet season, it can reach 50 km.
  • Drainage:
    • It has the greatest drainage area of any river system.
    • Its watershed borders Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia.
    • Brazil has almost two-thirds of the Amazon's mainstream and by far the majority of its basin.
  • Water Discharge:
    • At a rate of 300,000 m3 per second, the Amazon discharges large amounts of freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean.
    • It accounts for one-fifth of all freshwater entering the world's oceans.
  • Tributaries of this river
    • It contains about 1,100 tributaries, seventeen of which are more than 1,500 kilometers long.
    • Among the numerous notable tributaries are the Rio Negro, the Madeira River, and the Xingu River.
    • The Amazon Rainforest, which accounts for almost half of the world's remaining rainforest, is also the planet's single biggest storehouse of biological resources.
    • It is known as the "lungs of the Earth" because of its significance in regulating the planet's oxygen and carbon cycles.


Consider the following statements about the Amazon River:

  1. It is the world's largest river in terms of both volume and width.
  2. It discharges into the Pacific Ocean on the Peruvian shore.
  3. It accounts for one-fifth of all freshwater entering the world's oceans.

How many of the above statements are correct?

  1. A) Only one
  2. B) Only two
  3. C) All three
  4. D) None

Answer: B