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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.

One Response to “China Drought: Mega Disaster Unfolding”

  1. Jean-Paul Turcaud said

    [Dear Sir – thank you for interest in Fire-Earth. You’ve no doubt noted that the content is not designed for corporate consumption. This blog does not promote or discuss theories/ideas that conveniently shift the focus of blame for the human predicaments from the actual perpetrators, the homo sapiens, to cosmic forces that are beyond reach or control, so that the plunder could continue unabated.
    Please see also:
    http://edro.wordpress.com/energy-dinosaurs/
    http://edro.wordpress.com/human-impact/
    http://edro.wordpress.com/collapsing-cities/
    Best regards, for FEWW Moderators]

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