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Archive for March 12th, 2012

Intensifying Winter Drought in England Worst Since 1888

Posted by feww on March 12, 2012

Drought killing fish, destroying wildlife habitats and affecting cereal and potato crops

Fourteen UK counties in the South, the East and the Midlands are officially in drought. 

Disaster Calendar 2012 – March 12

[March 12, 2012]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,465 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • England.  The worst winter drought in England since records began in 1888 is killing fish in low rivers, destroying wildlife habitats and devastating cereal and potato crops, reports said.
    • Number of fish kills caused by the drought this year already exceed the previous years.
    • Some 14 English counties in the South, the East and the Midlands are officially in drought, as of posting.
    • Senior officials responsible for environment warned last month that large parts of the country are facing an inevitable drought this summer even if the coming months bring heavy rainfall.
    • The country’s Meteorological Agency has warned that ‘prolonged periods of heavy rainfall in the near future are unlikely.’
    • Currently, the following counties are officially in drought:
      • Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire and west Norfolk have officially been in drought since summer 2011.
      • Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Oxfordshire, eastern Wiltshire, Surrey, as well as  East and West Sussex were added to the official drought list last month.
      • Counties of Shropshire and Somerset have received much less than average rainfall in recent months.
      • Parts of Yorkshire are likely to be declared as drought areas.
    • High risk of drought exists in Nottinghamshire, south Derbyshire and Leicestershire due to the dry winter, said UK Environment Agency.
    • The UK temperatures are currently above 60ºF (15.5ºC) and are expected to rise to 67ºF, about 12ºF higher than the norm for the season, warmer than some Greek islands.
    • Hosepipe bans and other water restrictions have been/are being enforced across the drought-stricken areas affecting at least 20 million people.

Total rainfall across England and Wales for February 2012. Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Environment Agency, 100026380, 2012.

Groundwater Levels (latest available map) for indicator sites for the week ending 6 March (Source: Environment Agency). Geological map UK Groundwater Forum, BGS © NERC. Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Environment Agency, 100026380, 2012

Water resource risks to irrigated and rainfed potato cropping in England and Wales (Source: EA (2011) and PCL (2011). About 56% of all irrigated potato fields are currently located within areas classified as being at ‘high’ risk, and 32% are at ‘moderate’ risk (Cranfield University).

Soil moisture deficits for end of January 2012 (left panel) and end of February 2012 (right panel). Top row shows actual soil moisture deficits (mm) and bottom row shows the difference (mm) of the actual from the 1961-90 long term average soil moisture deficits. MORECS data for real land use (Source: Met Office © Crown Copyright, 2012). Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Environment Agency, 100026380, 2012.

Recent Global Drought Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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