South America has been experiencing several unprecedented weather-related events in the recent past, such as

  • Intense rainfall in Venezuela (1999, 2005)
  • Flooding in the Argentine Pampas (2000–02)
  • Amazon drought (2005) in Brazil
  • Hailstorms in Bolivia (2002) and Greater Buenos Aires area (2006)
  • The devastating hurricane Katrina in 2004

Studies have shown that there has been an increased rainfall in south-eastern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, the Argentine Pampas, and some parts of Bolivia. This has had impacts on land use and crop yields, and has also increased the frequency of floods in the region. On the contrary, a decreased trend in precipitation has been observed in southern Chile, south-western Argentina, southern Peru, and western Central America.