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Archive for August 11th, 2014

Drought Could Decimate Australian Cotton Crops

Posted by feww on August 11, 2014

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Eastern Australia experiencing its worst drought in 112 years

Worsening drought is forecast to devastate cotton crops in Australia, world’s third largest exporter.

Australia produced about 4 million bales of cotton this year,  but the output could be halved in 2014-2015, if the drought persists, according to Cotton Australia.

Drought Spreading across Eastern Australia

Large swathes of eastern Australia are experiencing their driest year since the Federation Drought more than a century ago, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The average rainfall over the entire region for the past 12 months is the lowest since 1901–02.


The drought has also brought forward the fire season by about two months. “On Friday and Saturday last week, crews were attending to 90-100 fires each day–excluding the hazard-reduction burns underway,”  said a report.

“The dry conditions have brought forward the fire season in some regions, particularly north-eastern NSW. The Rural Fire Service has had to attend 444 bush or grass fires since August 1, with 40 burning on Thursday, said Matt Sun, an RFS spokesman.”

“It’s an unusual number for this time of year,” said a fire official.

Rainfall deficiencies increase in Queensland and northeastern New South Wales

“July rainfall was below average for the mainland eastern States and an area of Western Australia stretching from the Pilbara coast into the southern interior. This has seen an increase in severity and extent of rainfall deficiencies in Queensland and New South Wales at a range of timescales,” said the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

“Rainfall deficiencies for the 8 months from December 2013 to July 2014 have increased in extent over southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales […]  Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are present along the coast of southeastern Tasmania and in a large area of northeastern New South Wales and greater southeastern Queensland […] ”

“Much of northeastern New South Wales and greater southeastern Queensland also shows serious to severe deficiencies for the 12 months from August 2013 to July 2014.”

“Rainfall deficiencies for the 22-month (October 2012 to July 2014) period have increased in Western Australia in the region near Shark Bay, in inland western Victoria and across large areas of Queensland and parts of adjacent States.

“Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) remain in an area spanning much of Queensland away from the eastern coast and also in smaller areas in adjacent parts of the Northern Territory and South Australia, and in an area inland of the Great Dividing Range extending from southern Queensland into northern New South Wales. The area of deficiencies on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay has again increased in size compared to the previous Drought Statement, as has the area of inland western Victoria experiencing deficiencies.”


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80 Million Chinese Affected by ‘Natural Disasters’ in July

Posted by feww on August 11, 2014

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Disasters in China cause direct economic losses of $16.34 billion in July

Natural disasters’ in July affected more than 80 million Chinese, about 6 percent of the population, forcing at least two million people to relocate and leaving 302 dead, with 64 still missing, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA).

In July, China was hit by typhoons, floods and drought. “Hails, earthquakes, mountain collapses, landslides, fires in forests and prairie, and storm tides also occurred during the month,” reported Xinhua.

“Over 107,000 buildings collapsed due to natural disasters, and 8.653 million hectares crops were affected, including 943,100 hectares completely destroyed, with direct economic losses of 100.6 billion yuan (16.34 billion U.S. dollars), the MCA said.”

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