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Archive for the ‘Droughts’ Category

Governments falling short in drought fight: UN

March 7, 2013 Comments off

france24.com

Animal footprints are visible in dry and cracked mud on the bank of the half-full Bewl water reservoir in Kent on April 5, 2012. Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warn.

Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warned Thursday.

“A flood or hurricane is over within hours or days. A drought can last weeks, months, a season, a year. But droughts can cause as many deaths over time as any other natural disaster,” said Robert Stefanski, head of World Meteorological Organisation?s (WMO) agriculture division.

Droughts in recent years have struck regions ranging from the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, China, India, Mexico and Brazil to the United States, Russia and southeastern Europe.

Droughts are estimated to affect tens of millions of people and cause tens of billions of dollars in economic losses every year.

They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, yet Read more…

Drought Hits U.S. Midwest Hard

September 6, 2012 Comments off

neiuindependent.com

  This summer, the United States experienced one of the worst droughts in history since the dustbowl. Farms went weeks on end without a drop of rain, particularly in the Midwest and, combined with high temperatures, resulted in a significant drop in harvest-ready plants. The drought affected numerous parts of the nation’s industrial sector as well as countries outside of the U.S. The United States has ample agriculture, if one part of the U.S. is experiencing drought and crop loss problems, then the whole food industry suffers as a result. While droughts are not uncommon, this summer the drought conditions were felt all over the United States, leaving almost all farms affected. As the image shows, the majority of the United States experienced at least an abnormal dryness level. The Midwest and Southwestern parts of the United States were particularly hard-hit, experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions.

The drought conditions were persistent and occurred during the maturing and harvesting periods of the country’s most important crops- corn. The USDA estimated the drought damaged crops enough to lower corn production to by 13 percent when compared to 2011 crop numbers. Corn and its by-products, is used for wheat in food, fertilizer, ethanol, beverages, animal feed and biodegradable plastics. Director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative at the University of Iowa and Agricultural Economist Kevin Kimle explained that “corn matures by about Labor Day, but what happens in dry conditions is it Read more…

China Drought 2012: Three-Year-Long Dry Spell Spreads To Southwest

April 9, 2012 Comments off
Categories: China, Droughts Tags: ,

Food Crisis as Drought and Cold Hit Mexico

January 31, 2012 Comments off

nytimes.com

Henry Romero/Reuters

MEXICO CITY — A drought that a government official called the most severe Mexico had ever faced has left two million people without access to water and, coupled with a cold snap, has devastated cropland in nearly half of the country.

Reports that the Tarahumara were killing themselves in despair over starvation, later proven false, spurred residents of Mexico City to collect food and clothing donations.

The government in the past week has authorized $2.63 billion in aid, including potable water, food and temporary jobs for the most affected areas, rural communities in 19 of Mexico’s 31 states. But officials warned that no serious relief was expected for at least another five months, when the rainy season typically begins in earnest.

While the authorities say they expect the situation to worsen, one of the five worst-affected states, Zacatecas, got a reprieve on Sunday. Heriberto Félix Guerra, head of the Ministry of Social Development,  saw the Read more…

City breaks record for most 100-degree days in a year

August 20, 2011 Comments off

mywesttexas

test4Record-Breaking Heat

Record-Breaking Heat

Midland is officially in the midst of the hottest summer on record.

With a high temperature of 100 degrees Friday, the record for 100-degree days in one year is now 53, breaking the old mark of 52 previously set in 1964. With triple-digit temperatures expected through the weekend, the hot conditions will continue into the first part of the school year.

Midland experienced 21 days of triple-digit temperatures in 2010.

“This has been an abnormal weather year,” Read more…

Texas drought will harm wildlife habitat for years

August 8, 2011 Comments off

physorg

Texas drought will harm wildlife habitat for years (AP)

Turkey vultures drop in for a drink from one of the very few remaining watering sources on a private ranch that spans over 7,000 acres Saturday Aug. 6, 2011, near San Angelo, Texas. Randy Bolf, a fence contractor and rancher that leases the property for his cattle herd said that all of the rain and run-off watering tanks on the ranch that straddles Tom Green and Coke county have dried up and area wildlife and his cattle rely on the artificial watering sources he maintains on the property. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP) — In a muddy pile of sand where a pond once flowed in the Texas Panhandle, dead fish, their flesh already decayed and feasted on by maggots, lie with their mouths open. Nearby, deer munch on the equivalent of vegetative junk food and wild turkeys nibble on red harvester ants – certainly not their first choice for lunch.

As the state struggles with the worst one-year in its history, entire ecosystems, from the smallest insects to the largest predators, are struggling for survival. The foundations of their habitats – rivers, springs, creeks, streams and lakes – have turned into dry sand, wet mud, trickling springs or, in the best case, large puddles.

“It has a compound effect on a multitude of species and organisms and habitat types because of the way that it’s chained and linked together,” said Jeff Bonner, a wildlife biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Since January, Texas has only gotten about 6 inches of rain, compared to Read more…

Categories: Droughts, Texas Tags: ,

Drought by area impacted is worst ever – though majority of US still drought free

August 2, 2011 Comments off

wattsupwiththat

From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln , a new record in the 12 year old drought monitor.

US sets drought monitor’s ‘exceptional drought’ record in July

Worst classification for drought in nearly 12 percent of contiguous US

US Drought Monitor, July 26, 2011

The percent of contiguous U.S. land area experiencing exceptional drought in July reached the highest levels in the history of the U.S. Drought Monitor, an official at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said.

Nearly 12 percent of the contiguous United States fell into the “exceptional” classification during the month, peaking at 11.96 percent on July 12. That level of exceptional drought had never before been seen in the monitor’s 12-year history, said Brian Fuchs, UNL assistant geoscientist and climatologist at the NDMC.

The monitor uses a ranking system that Read more…