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Wed, 28 Jul 2021
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Drought


Attention

Mass death of hundreds of flamingos at drying Turkish lake

DEAD
Hundreds of baby and adult flamingos were found dead on a dried part of Lake Tuz (Salt Lake) in the central Turkish province of Konya over the past week, prompting renewed emphasis on the impact of drought on the ecosystem.

The lake - the second largest in Turkey and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world - is among the favorite habitat of migratory animals and has long been a hatching ground for flamingos. Though it is shallow and gets little precipitation throughout the year, its salty nature is conducive to the nesting of migratory birds. However, the drought stemming from climate change has led to a recession of lake's waters, making finding food a challenge for flamingos.

Carcasses of birds now dot the lake's parts in the Cihanbeyli district of Konya. The birds had arrived to the lake in March for their incubation season. Mehmet Emin Öztürk, a nature photographer who is a frequent visitor to the area in the summer, says Lake Tuz had been "a paradise for flamingos, but now (it has) turned into a nightmare."


Attention

The US experienced 8 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the first six months of 2021

Billion dollar US weather events 2021
  • The eight individual billion-dollar events of 2021 include: two flood events focused in California (January 24-29) and Louisiana (May 14-19); the historic mid-February winter storm and cold wave with impacts focused in Texas; two severe storm events in late-March (24-25 and 27-28) across many southeastern and eastern states, respectively; two severe storm events focused across Texas and Oklahoma in mid-to-late April (12-15 and 27-28); and the expanding Western drought and heatwave that has amplified throughout 2021.
  • In addition to significant economic impacts, the eight events identified during the first half of 2021 resulted in at least 331 fatalities.
  • The most costly U.S. event so far in 2021 was the February 10-19 Winter Storm and Cold Wave with total, direct losses of approximately $20 billion. This is now the most costly U.S. winter storm event on record surpassing (nearly doubling the inflation-adjusted cost of) Superstorm 1993.
  • The January-June 2021 inflation-adjusted costs are at a near-record pace for the first six months, at nearly $30 billion — trailing only 2011.
  • Since these billion-dollar disaster records began in 1980, the U.S. has sustained 298 separate weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (based on the CPI adjustment to 2021) per event. The total cost of these 298 events exceeds $1.975 trillion.

Comment: Last year the world was hammered by record 50 billion-dollar weather disasters.


Attention

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Excuses for grain losses & food price increases across the planet

Brazil drought
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Russia increases yet again its export tax on all grains as the EU wants to decrease production to meet green goals turning the bloc into a net cereal importer, but that leaves many countries on the planet to buy grain. Brazil in a super drought as rivers dry out and grain barges become grounded until the next rainy season.


Comment: See also:


Attention

Hoover Dam reservoir hits alarming record low

Hoover dam
© YouTube/Reuters (screen capture)
The reservoir created by Hoover Dam, an engineering marvel that symbolized 20th Century American ingenuity, has sunk to its lowest level ever, underscoring the gravity of the extreme drought across the U.S. West.


Sun

Drought ravages California's reservoirs ahead of hot summer

Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville's dry banks
© AP Photo/Noah Berger
A car crosses Enterprise Bridge over Lake Oroville's dry banks Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Oroville, Calif. At the time of this photo, the reservoir was at 39% of capacity and 46% of its historical average.
Each year Lake Oroville helps water a quarter of the nation's crops, sustain endangered salmon beneath its massive earthen dam and anchor the tourism economy of a Northern California county that must rebuild seemingly every year after unrelenting wildfires.

But now the mighty lake — a linchpin in a system of aqueducts and reservoirs in the arid U.S. West that makes California possible — is shrinking with surprising speed amid a severe drought, with state officials predicting it will reach a record low later this summer.

While droughts are common in California, this year's is much hotter and drier than others, evaporating water more quickly from the reservoirs and the sparse Sierra Nevada snowpack that feeds them. The state's more than 1,500 reservoirs are 50% lower than they should be this time of year, according to Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California-Davis.

Cow Skull

Brazil facing worst drought in nearly 100 years as officials issue emergency warning

Brazil drought
© AFP/Getty
Brazil suffered a severe drought in 2017 (seen here in the northeastern state of Ceara) that damaged coffee and soy crops and led to energy and water rationing


Brazil's government agencies warned of droughts this week as the country faces its worst dry spell in 91 years, increasing fears of energy rationing, hitting hydroelectric power generation and agriculture while raising the risk of Amazon fires.


Late on Thursday, the Electricity Sector Monitoring Committee (CMSE), which is linked to Brazil's Mines and Energy Ministry, recommended that the water regulator ANA recognize a state of "water scarcity," after a prolonged drought hit Central and Southern parts of Brazil along the Paraná river basin.

Separately, a weather monitoring agency linked to the Agriculture Ministry issued its first "emergency drought alert" for June to September, saying rains are likely to remain scarce in five Brazilian states during that period.

The lack of rain across much of Brazil has negative implications for grain cultivation, livestock and electricity generation, as Brazil relies heavily on hydro dams for its power. The dry weather could lead to severe fires in the Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands, scientists said.

Water

Taiwan rations water, drills extra wells amid record drought

Taiwan Drought

Taiwan Drought
Some households in Taiwan are going without running water two days a week after a months-long drought dried up the island's reservoirs and a popular tourist lake.

Authorities are drilling extra wells and using military planes to dump cloud-seeding chemicals in hopes of triggering rain. The government has allocated money to extract drinkable water from the sea.

Farmers who need to flood paddies to raise rice, lotus root and other thirsty crops have been hit hard.

"The lotus flowers and seeds I planted don't produce well," said Chen Chiu-lang, a farmer in the southern city of Tainan standing in a dry paddy field.

Rainfall in the seven months through February was less than half the historic average after no typhoons hit Taiwan in 2020 for the first time in 56 years, according to the government.


Water

California declares drought emergency across vast swath of state

Houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville last month in Oroville, California.
California has expanded a drought emergency declaration to a large swath of the nation's most populated state amid "acute water supply shortages" in northern and central parts of California.

The declaration, expanded by Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, now includes 41 of 58 counties, covering 30% of California's nearly 40 million people. The US drought monitor shows most of the state and the American west is in extensive drought just a few years after California emerged from a punishing multiyear dry spell.

Officials fear an extraordinary dry spring presages a wildfire season like last year, when flames burned a record 6,562 sq mi(16,996 sq km).

The declaration comes as Newsom prepares to propose more spending on short- and long-term responses to dry conditions. The Democrat last month had declared an emergency in just two counties north of San Francisco - Mendocino and Sonoma.

The expanded declaration includes the counties in the Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake watersheds across much of the northern and central parts of the state.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides about a third of the state's water, was at just 59% of average on 1 April, when it is normally at its peak.

Comment: The droughts in California often tend to be followed by devastating flooding: California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?


Attention

Massive sinkholes open across Turkish farmland

Turkey sinkhole
© YouTube/VOA News (screen capture)
Massive sinkholes opened across the breadbasket of the Turkish plains, worrying farmers as the sinkholes creep closer to residential homes. The holes open when underground caverns created by drought can no longer contain the weight of the soil above. About 600 sinkholes have been counted along the Konya plain, nearly double the 350 counted last year. (AFP)


Attention

Europe's drought-induced crop losses tripled in 50 years, threatening future global food supply chain

Drought illustration
© Pexels
New research has found that EU crop losses driven by heat waves and drought, as well as other extreme weather events, have tripled in 50 years, a startling figure which could upend food-chain supply dynamics around the globe.

The study examined agricultural production in 28 European countries (including the UK) from 1961 to 2018 and compared it with the prevalence of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, heat waves and cold snaps alike, all four of which increased in frequency over the study period.

The researchers found crop losses of 2.2% of total crop yield between 1964 and 1990, which surged to some 7.3% in the period between 1991 and 2015.

To make matters worse, droughts were found to be intensifying and occurring more frequently, a phenomenon which previous studies have identified as a result of shifts in the jet stream.

Comment: Since 2015 Europe suffering worst droughts in two thousand years

Crop and cattle losses are on the rise everywhere, whether it is due to extensive drought, massive hail, epic flooding, huge dust storms, unexpected frosts, and even epidemics. See also: