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Archive for February 9th, 2011

China Drought: Mega Disaster Unfolding

Posted by feww on February 9, 2011

Lifestyle Wars: People Losing to Planet

Human-induced Extreme Weather Causing Food Scarcity, Sending Prices Rocketing

A dying cornfield in Jinan, capital of east China’s Shandong Province, Jan. 18, 2011. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng). Image may be subject to copyright.

Severe drought threatens wheat crop in China, world’s largest wheat producer: FAO

“Minimal rainfall or snow this winter has crippled China’s major agricultural regions, leaving many of them parched. Crop production has fallen sharply, as the worst drought in six decades, shows no sign of letting up.” Source.

A severe drought has persisted in China’s northern territories for several months. In Hebei province, the farmers haven’t seen any rain for 5 months.

In Henan province the drought control authorities have warned of  prolonged drought.

“East China’s Shandong Province, one of the country’s major grain producers, is bracing for its worst drought in 200 years.” Source.

Shandong has received only 12mm of rain since September 2010.

Water Shortages

A villager said, “The water is no longer suitable for drinking. We wash clothes with it. “

Locals have to fetch water ten kilometers away.

It’s far from enough. Source

How Bad?

Up to 13 million acres of China’s 35 million acres of wheat fields have been affected by the drought. Some 2.6 million people and 2.8 million head of livestock face severe shortages of drinking water, FAO reported.

Rocketing Food Prices

In January, wholesale food prices climbed to their highest monthly figure on record, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Why are food prices rocketing?

Droughts and Deluge

  • Canada’s planting season was disrupted by floods.
  • Australia’s wheat and sugar cane crops were destroyed by mega flooding.
  • Russia imposed a ban on exports of wheat after severe drought and wildfires destroyed harvests.

China’s Big Appetite

“China’s grain situation is critical to the rest of the world — if they are forced to go out on the market to procure adequate supplies for their population, it could send huge shock waves through the world’s grain markets,” said Robert S. Zeigler, the director general of the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, in the Philippines.

Wheat Futures US cents/bushel

1 month

12 months

Corn Futures US cents/bushel

1 month

12 months

Source: Digital look via BBC. Images may be subject to copyright. Click images to enlarge.

Posted in Australia floods, Canada flooding, drought an deluge, russia drought | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Snow, Ice, Flood and Fire

Posted by feww on February 9, 2011

Snow and Ice in the U-S, Floods and Fire in Australia – Satellite images

Storm Headline News:

  • Yet another snowstorm is moving across the central plains affecting   Oklahoma and North Texas.  Denver, Colorado Springs, Santa Fe, Wichita, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Little Rock should expect sizable snowfall from this latest storm system.
  • The snowstorm is expected  to shift eastward into the lower-Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys by late Wednesday, according to data from NWS.
  • Up to 11 inches of snow expected in parts of central Kansas, district schools call off classes.
  • Snow packed roads across Kansas prompts DOT to issue a winter travel advisory.
  • The entire state of Arkansas is to receive snow on Tuesday night and Wednesday, with at least 6 inches expected in western and central Arkansas.
  • Oklahoma City and Tulsa could get more than a foot of snow by Wednesday night.

Dallas Whiteout

An image of snow-covered Dallas and surrounding region captured by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite on February 6, 2010. “On February 4, a winter storm settled four to six inches (10–15 centimeters) of snow over northern Texas, including Dallas. The city gets 2.6 inches (6.6 cm) of snow per year on average, according to the National Weather Service.” The latest snowstorm is forecast to drop 8 to 13cm (3-5 inches) of snow on northern Texas by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Source: NASA-EO. Click images to enlarge.

Flooding in Southeastern Australia

Above images use a mix of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between land and water.
MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite took the these images on February 8, 2011 (top), and January 29, 2010 (bottom). The bottom image shows drier conditions across the region. “Water ranges in color from light blue to navy. Clouds range in color from pale blue-green to off-white. Vegetation is green. Bare ground is pink-beige.” Source: NASA-EO. Click images to enlarge.

Fire in the Outskirts of Perth, Australia

Wildfires in the suburbs of Perth consumed about 2,000 hectares of land, destroyed more than 70 buildings and damaged at least 32 others. This image was captured by
MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite at 2:20 p.m. local time. The image shows three fires, one each in Roleystone and Red Hill (Gidgegannup),  and a third fire closer to the city.  Source: NASA-EO. Click images to enlarge.

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Posted in Australia Flooding satellite images, midwest snowstorm, Perth fire satellite image, SE Australia Floods MODIS images, Victoria floods satellite images | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »