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Sun, 18 Nov 2018
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Drought

Sun

Australia's worst drought in 116 years is decimating animals and livestock

aus drought

The drought is getting so bad even native wildlife are starving and dying from dehydration - these animals are roadside near Broken Hill in the outback
A severe drought gripping much of rural Australia has become so intense that even native animals - fully adapted to the harsh environment - are starving to death.

It has been the worst drought in 116 years for parts of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, leaving paddocks bare and drying up dams.

And it isn't just the sheep and cows struggling to survive in the record dry - the Australian fauna which is supposed to thrive in Australia's dry climate is being hit hard.

'This is the worst drought I have seen in 40 years. Droughts come and go but this one is severe,' the farmer said.

Tamworth has had 93.4mm of rain so far this year, which is a quarter of the average.

Comment: Meanwhile Australia's winter is bringing some some of the coldest temperatures in more than a decade. We're seeing the same patterns all around the world; seasons are increasingly erratic, droughts are increasing in severity and flooding is of epic proportions. Also check out SOTTs: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - May 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs


Sun

UK heatwave causes farmers earliest harvest for 40 years - Yield is significantly reduced

They began harvesting their 750 acres of arable land on June 28, two weeks earlier than normal

They began harvesting their 750 acres of arable land on June 28, two weeks earlier than normal
The 86F heatwave which has swept Britain in the last week has caused an almost unheard of June harvest at a British farm.

Bisterne Estate in Ringwood, Hampshire, produces seed barley, milling wheat and biscuit rye, and began harvesting their 750 acres of arable land on June 28, two weeks earlier than normal.

Farm manager Martin Button says this is the earliest harvest there since 1976.

However, they are expecting a significantly reduced yield as the barley grain is much smaller than in a typical year, which was been attributed to the dry summer.

Comment: In recent years farmers all over the world have been fighting a losing battle against an increasingly erratic climate. With extreme cold, epic flooding, scorching heatwaves and deadly hailstorms, farmers are losing crop to disease and damage, and consumers are seeing prices skyrocket:


Cow Skull

UN: Millions in Afghanistan face hunger due to drought

An Afghan Muslim man sleep in front of a shop
© AFP
An Afghan Muslim man sleep in front of a shop during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Jalalabad on May 28, 2018.
Millions of Afghans face hunger after a drought decimated crops in the war-ravaged country, U.N. officials said on Tuesday, calling for an extra $115 million to help families buy food.

Two thirds of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have been hit by a lack of rain or snowfall since late last year, said a bulletin from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Some rivers and water points have totally dried up, and the last wheat harvest has been "completely lost", according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

"Six months down the road, millions of people could be in a situation of untenable hunger without knowing where their next meal will come from," said Toby Lanzer, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan.

Already, the drought has forced 21,000 people to leave their homes and settle on the outskirts of the western city of Herat, said OCHA.

The U.N. hopes to distribute cash to enable families to buy food and try to prevent further migration.

"People prefer cash, which allows them to buy what they need most," he said. "We prefer not to truck food across the country, also because doing so is expensive and can disrupt markets."

The U.N. is revising its humanitarian appeal for 2018 because of the drought, and says it needs an extra $115 million to help 1.4 million of the hardest-hit people.

Only one quarter of the $430 million the U.N. requested for 2018 was funded as of May 23.

Heart - Black

"A dry winter and dismal spring": Dozens of wild horses fall victim to Southwest US drought

dead horse drought

(AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca). This Thursday, May 3, 2018 photo shows dozens of horse carcasses lying in a dry watering hole now surrounded by a barbed wire fence near Cameron, Ariz.
Off a northern Arizona highway surrounded by pastel-colored desert is one of the starkest examples of drought's grip on the American Southwest: Dozens of dead horses surrounded by cracked earth, swirling dust and a ribbon of water that couldn't quench their thirst.

Flesh exposed and in various stages of decomposition, the carcasses form a circle around a dry watering hole sunken in the landscape.

It's clear this isn't the first time the animals have struggled. Skeletal remain are scattered on the fringes and in an adjacent ravine.

It's a symptom of a burgeoning wild horse population and the scarcity of water on the western edge of the Navajo Nation following a dry winter and dismal spring runoff. Conditions aren't forecast to improve anytime soon, and tribal officials suspect other animals have died with not enough to eat or drink.

Comment: We can expect the tragic stories to continue considering repeated crop failures and this years delayed planting. From flooding in the Middle East to hailstones the size of softballs and snow drifts in Springtime, all over the planet we're seeing increasingly erratic and unusual weather patterns: Also check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?


Attention

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: US Planting Report: Delays, cold damage, drought and disease

crop damage
With the totals from the USDA as 3% of Spring Wheat planted vs 25% in the 30 year average, and corn at 5% vs 16% for the average and descriptions as "despicable" and a "snail's pace" for planting along with cold damage and drought across the central U.S. states they have described it as the "most stress" a wheat crop can handle. I've included a full timeline for crop losses moving forward to 2025 and this weeks incredible lack of planting. If this video doesn't not wake you up, nothing will.


Sources

Sun

Extreme drought across US Southwest - Oklahoma sees worst of it

drought Oklahoma
Drought is tightening its grip across the Southwest as extreme conditions spread from Oklahoma to Utah, according to a new federal data released Thursday.

On the southern high plains, Oklahoma remains ground zero for the worst drought conditions in the United States. About 20 percent of the state is facing exceptional drought conditions - the worst possible classification.

Most of Colorado also is under severe drought and almost all of the Texas Panhandle is seeing extreme drought or worse conditions.

The federal drought map shows dry conditions have intensified across northern New Mexico and expanded in Arizona.

Attention

Argentina's worst drought in years undermining economy

Argentina’s Worst Drought Undermining Economy

Argentina’s Worst Drought Undermining Economy

Jorge Josifovich is silent and downcast as he walks under the pounding sun in one of Argentina's most fertile agricultural regions, staring at soy crops parched by the country's worst drought in years.

The drought, which began in November, has caused big losses, reduced expectations of economic growth and raised concerns among farmers, government officials and experts in the world's third-largest exporter of soybean and corn, AP reported.

"It's dramatic," said Josifovich, a farmer and agricultural engineer who provides advice to growers. He picked up soy seeds from a plant that stands at about half its normal height. "Not only is there the physical loss of grain yield, but there's also the loss of quality, which lowers the product's final price."

That's a blow to Argentina, where farming is the economy's main engine, and high or low prices for soy and other commodities can either help sustain or bust government investment plans.

President Mauricio Macri was counting on a near-record soy crop this year to boost economic growth to 3.5% in 2018. Instead, what is expected to be the poorest harvest in at least a decade has already cut growth forecasts by up to a percentage point.

While Macri struggles to reduce the country's high fiscal deficit and tame inflation, Argentines continue to lose purchasing power and many are growing increasingly frustrated with rises in fuel and transportation costs.

The value of grain exports this year could be cut by up to $3.4 billion as a result of the drought, according to recent estimates by the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange. But the impact could be even more bruising if related industries are taken into account.

Comment: We're seeing crop failures all over the world as the seasons become more erratic with brutal winters dragging on into Spring, record frosts and more hailstorms, floods and droughts. The world is seeing a rapid upsurge in extreme weather according to a recent report, so as more crops fail the likelihood of food price rises invariably increases. See also:


Arrow Up

Sahara Desert has grown by 10% in the last 100 years

Sahara Desert
© Google Maps
Climate change is partly to blame for a startling increase in the size of the Sahara Desert over the past one hundred years. According to a new study, the world's largest desert has expanded by 10 percent since 1920.

Researchers from the University of Maryland studied rainfall data to measure boundary changes of the desert and found that higher summer temperatures coupled with dry winters are increasing the overall aridity of the land. The expansion of the desert also spells trouble for humans and ecosystems in the Sahel, the transition zone between the desert and the lush green lands of the Savannah to the south.

"The trends in Africa of hot summers getting hotter and rainy seasons drying out are linked with factors that include increasing greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere," said Ming Cai, program director at the National Science Foundation, the group that funded the study. "These trends have a devastating effect on the lives of African people."

Snowflake

Seven feet of snow follows Northern California's drought

Seven feet of Snow follows Northern California's drought
© Heavenly Mountain Resort via AP
In this photo provided by the Heavenly Mountain Resort, fresh snow covers most of a table and chairs Friday, March 2, 2018, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. A blizzard warning was in effect for parts of the Sierra Nevada, where snow was piling up and travel was difficult due to repeated highway closures and the need for chains in many places. The snow will help the Sierra snowpack, which is vital to the state's water supply and has only been about a quarter of its normal depth for this time of winter. It's also a boon for skiers and snowboarders.
A massive snowstorm Friday in Northern California could bring the state's lengthy drought to end while leaving two feet of snow in the mountains near Los Angeles.

The Sierra Nevada Mountains has seen two feet of snow and winds gusting over 100 miles per hour. Forecasters are expecting seven feet of snow in some areas of the mountain range. Meanwhile, more than 22,000 Montecito residents evacuated their homes as rain continued to pound the area - California's weather comes as a nor'easter clobbers parts of the East Coast.

"The worst of the storm has passed, and we are cautiously optimistic that due to a significant amount of pre-storm preparation we have come through this with minimal impact," Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, said in a statement.

Comment: The droughts in California tend to be followed by devastating flooding:


Attention

Some of the world's largest lakes are drying up

LAKE POOPÓ The dry, salt-crusted Bolivian lake bed unfurls into the distance. Boats are stranded; the fish and waterfowl are gone. Fishermen who depended on the lake are moving else - where. It’s a diaspora born of drought.
© MAURICIO LIMA
LAKE POOPÓ The dry, salt-crusted Bolivian lake bed unfurls into the distance. Boats are stranded; the fish and waterfowl are gone. Fishermen who depended on the lake are moving else - where. It’s a diaspora born of drought.
Warming climates, drought, and overuse are draining crucial water sources, threatening habitats and cultures.

Tire tracks stretched across the flat lake bed to the horizon. We followed them in a Suzuki 4x4, looking for clues about what's happened to Poopó, once Bolivia's second largest lake, which has vanished into the thin air of the Andean highlands.

We were driving on the lake bottom, yet we were more than 12,000 feet above sea level. The spring air was lip-chapping dry. Many of the fishing villages that have relied on Lake Poopó for thousands of years have emptied too, and we drove past clusters of abandoned adobe homes. Dust devils danced around them, spinning in warm winds. In the distance we spotted several small aluminum boats that seemed to be floating on water. As we drove closer, the mirage receded, and we found the boats sitting abandoned in the silt. I stepped out of the vehicle. My shoes cracked the salty crust that had formed jagged lumps, like ice cream in a freezer that has melted and recrystallized.

Comment: Our climate is changing and it's symptomatic of Earth entering an ice age, bringing with it drought and deluge, but we're also seeing the earth beneath our very feet shifting: