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Archive for the ‘argentina’ Category

Recent Climate-Related Disasters

Posted by feww on November 30, 2009

Philippines:

November 28, 2009 – Tropical depression Urduja

Four people were killed and 13 others injured when tropical depression “Urduja” pummeled several provinces in Mindanao, Philippines according to disaster officials.

Three of the fatalities occurred as a result of landslides triggered by heavy rain and flooding.

“A total of 82,324 families or 404,623 persons were affected in 93 barangays, four cities and 23 municipalities in the provinces of Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao and Agusan del Norte and Dinagat Island in Caraga Region,” the NDCC reported.

“At the height of Tropical Depression ‘Urduja,’ 3,293 persons, 110 vehicles and 99 vessels were stranded in various ports in Southern Tagalog, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao.”

Northeast Monsoons

In the first week of November,  Northeast Monsoons and strong winds affected up to 120,000 people in 165 districts throughout Mindanao, northern and eastern Luzon and other regions in the Philippines.

Argentina, Uruguay:

Severe flooding caused by the “heaviest rains in 50 years” have killed at least 10 people and forced 15,000 people to evacuate in northern parts of Argentina and Uruguay. The fatalities were caused by drowning and mudslides.

The recent heavy rain in the regions follows months of drought in NE Argentina. Extensive deforestation in the country’s northern regions has impacted the regional climate resulting in  extreme of  droughts and deluge.

The land use change, transforming forests  to agricultural land for growing soybeans, has negatively affected the soil’s water-carrying capacity, environmentalists say.

The local weather service has warned that a severe storm front could bring additional heavy rainfall, wind gusts and  hail this week.

Related Links:

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Southern South America Gripped by Drought

Posted by feww on March 1, 2009

Drought in Southern South America

Earth Observatory acquired image January 17, 2009 – February 1, 2009

More than mere colors on the page, the blotches of brown and cream—with only faint dustings of green— in this image represent the impact of one of the worst droughts in southern South America in decades. Each tiny dot of brown is a two-kilometer square of land (250 meters per pixel in the large image) where plants were struggling to grow in the hot, dry weather. Since northern Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil contain rich, intensively cultivated land, the dots include fields of corn, cotton, soy, wheat, or pastureland for grazing cattle. The brown tones reveal that these plants were growing far less vigorously than average in late January 2009.

From mid-November 2008 through mid-February 2009, unusual weather patterns brought extreme temperatures and low rainfall to this normally productive agricultural region. The period is critical for many crops, including cotton, wheat, soy, and corn. As a result, crop yields in the three countries were expected to dip, with Argentina suffering the worst blow, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Even Argentina’s famous beef industry had been affected by the drought, reported BBC News, as pastureland disappeared, and cattle starved.

Considered individually, many of the brown dots in the image represent a personal disaster, a farmer facing the prospect of a poor harvest or a herd of malnourished or dying cattle. As a whole, the image conveys something of the severity and extent of the disaster. In simple terms, the vegetation index is a scale of the amount of light plants absorb during photosynthesis. By comparing current vegetation index values with values recorded at the same period in previous years, scientists can tell how well plants are growing. While the impact of drought on vegetation is occasionally visible in photo-like satellite imagery, the vegetation index comparison is a more precise way to evaluate the impact of drought.

This image, based on observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, compares the vegetation index for January 17–February 1, 2009, to the average vegetation index during the same period from 2000 through 2008. Brown shows where the current vegetation index is lower than average, meaning that less photosynthesis was occurring; cream shows where conditions were average; and the few spots of green show where the vegetation index was higher than average. Darker shades of brown stretch from the Pampas grasslands of Argentina to the croplands in southern Brazil. Severe drought clearly impacted the entire region.

References

  • Foreign Agricultural Service. (2009, February). World Agricultural Production. Published in Crop Explorer.

    • United States Department of Agriculture.
    • Accessed February 27, 2009.
  • Piette, C. (2009, February 23). Drought sucks life from Argentina’s farms. BBC News.

    • Accessed February 27, 2009.
  • NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided by Inbal Reshef, Global Agricultural Monitoring Project. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
  • Instrument: Terra – MODIS

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