The vestiges of an ancient forest tell the story of just how bad things are at the drought-stricken Panama Canal.

A few hundred feet from the massive tankers hauling goods across the globe, gaunt tree stumps rise above the waterline. They’re all that remains of a woodland flooded more than a century ago to create the canal. It’s not unusual to see them at the height of the dry season — but now, in the immediate aftermath of what’s usually the rainy period, they should be fully submerged.

They’re a visible reminder of how parched conditions have crippled a waterway that handles $270 billion a year in global trade. And there are no easy solutions.