The animation, derived from SMOS satellite data, shows soil moisture in the Horn of Africa from April to mid-July 2011. The orange and yellow colouring depicts little to no moisture, while green and blue depict higher levels of soil moisture. Credits: CESBIO/ESA
Drought in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti is pushing tens of thousands of people from their homes as millions face food insecurity in a crisis visible from space. ESA’s SMOS satellite shows that the region’s soil is too dry to grow crops.
Somalis, who already face war in their country, have been fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of refuge. In Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, for example, over 1000 people – mostly children – arrive daily, severely dehydrated and malnourished.
Chicago-As if the heartland hasn’t faced enough this summer, with wildfires, droughts, and punishing heat, cattle ranchers are now facing a hay shortage.
The triple-digit temperatures, expected to result in the worst drought north-central Texas has ever experienced, follows spring wildfires, which scorched millions of acres that traditionally nourish the nation’s largest steer population – five million head of cattle.
Most Texas pasture and range lands – 86 percent – are currently “poor” or “very poor,” according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The same rating applied to 69 percent of Oklahoma and 40 percent of Kansas.
The hardships this year “don’t compare to any in recent years,” says Jason Miller, a county agriculture agent for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service (TALES). “The ranchers are just holding on.”
July temperatures have topped 110 degrees in the heart of cattle country, from Texas to Kansas. Ranchers complain that Read more…
The year 2011 is shaping up to be one of the most treacherous years in recent history, at least as far as the nation’s weather patterns are concerned. While much of the Midwestern US continues to get drenched by record rainfall and torrential flooding, the Southern US is experiencing tremendous heat and drought conditions that, combined with flood conditions to the north, will have devastating effects on the nation’s food supply.
Extreme heat threatens US agriculture
For several weeks now, extreme heat conditions have afflicted much of the Southern and Midwestern US. According to the National Weather Service, Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings have been issued in 17 different states, with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (F) in many areas, and heat indexes topping 115 degrees F (http://www.examiner.com/weather-in-…).
The 17 states under heat advisories or warnings include Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. And cities that have reached record highs include Oklahoma City, Okla., at 105 degrees F, Tulsa, Okla., at 107 degrees F, Medicine Lodge, Kan., at 111 degrees F, and Columbus, Miss., at a Read more…
With the UN warning that both East and the Horn of Africa have been hit by the worst drought in 60 years, international aid agencies have warned of an alarming gap in the food pipeline to reach those most in need.
More than 10 million people are thought to be affected across the East African region. The UN says that large swathes of central Kenya and Somalia are now in the “emergency” category, one phase before what is officially classified as famine.
The crisis is most acute in Somalia, Ethiopia and; central and northern Kenya. Refugees are now arriving at the Somali camps in northern Kenya, at a rate of 1,200 every day.
Aid agencies told the UK-based Independent on Sunday, of the terrible plight of Read more…
The boat ramps at Lake Medina just seem to go on and on. What used to be only a few feet to the water are now hundreds of feet and getting further every day. While Medina is by far the lowest of the area lakes, it isn’t alone in its shrinking shoreline.
Medina Lake is down almost 30 feet, Canyon Lake is down 5 feet, Lake Buchanan is down 14 feet; even Lake Travis is down 34 feet.
The summer drought has depleted these reservoirs one by one, with areas of shoreline exposed for the sun for the first time in two years.
Across the state, the combined totals of Texas’s reservoirs are down to 71.8 percent, a decline of almost five percent since May 22, with lake levels dropping a combine 2,700,000 feet. Read more…
The cracked river-bed near the village of Ancenis, in western France, where severe water restrictions have been impressed. Picture: AFP Source: AFP
BERNARD Maquis’s cattle would normally be grazing in the lush green pastures of the Limousin region, in central France, at this time of year.
Instead, they are eating hay intended for the winter after months of drought have turned the fields yellow.
He is wondering whether it might be better to sell his cows at a reduced price rather than find himself without fodder by the end of the autumn. “I’m starting to sleep badly,” he said.
Mr Maquis is not alone. With northern Europe facing its worst drought since 1976, politicians in the West are expecting protests Read more…
UNDATED – The drought continues to push deeper into north Georgia while making it difficult for south Georgia farmers to plant two key crops.
A new report shows roughly 77 percent of the state’s cotton crop and 80 percent of the peanut crop have been planted.
The driest conditions in the state continue to be two pockets in southwest and southeast Georgia.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Drought Monitor says the drought has now pushed as far north as southern Habersham County, south Dawson and south Forsyth, extending westward to the Alabama line near Carrollton and LaGrange. Gainesville and all of Hall County are now considered in a drought. Conditions in all of these areas are considered “abnormally” dry.
A swath of counties just Read more…