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Epic Drought / Record Heat & Food Crisis
Topic Started: Apr 20 2011, 09:29 AM (21,104 Views)
Earendel
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This year there will be drought, like last year there were floods. Arable lands turned into dust-bowls, while the desert blooms.

SOMALIA: “Worst drought in a lifetime”

NAIROBI, 20 April 2011 (IRIN) - Officials and aid workers in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region have raised the alarm over the plight of drought-stricken villagers urgently needing food and water.

Posted Image
Photo: WOCCA


"We are experiencing the worst drought we have seen in decades; since the beginning of March, we have buried 54 people who died from the effects of the drought, seven of them today [20 April],” said Ali Barow, leader of the small town of Guulane, 220km northeast of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

Read more: http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=92536

Severe Drought Plagues Texas
March 2011: Driest On Record For Texas

The raging wildfires across West Texas are just one of the effects of the severe drought plaguing Texas.
Since January 1st, Abilene has gotten just over two inches of rain, less than half what we normally see. According to NOAA, this March was the driest March on record for all of Texas.
The drought that we're experiencing right now looks similar to the 2006 drought in Texas, according to Taylor County Extension Agent Robert Pritz.

"You can always tell the severity of the drought, when you start comparing it to earlier droughts, and this one compares very well to some of the ones we've had earlier," said Pritz.
The dry conditions that started this October in the Big Country probably aren't going anywhere soon.
In fact the Climate Prediction Center's outlook expects drought conditions to persist or intensify through June.

Read more: http://www.ktxs.com/news/27604027/detail.html

Texas burning 'from border to border'
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 20, 2011 10:23 a.m. EDT

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A wildfire threatens a house near Possum Kingdom, Texas, Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Posted Image
Smoke rises from an uncontrolled wildfire burning near Possum Kingdom, Texas, Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Dallas (CNN) -- Texas firefighters Wednesday battled blazes that have scorched a million acres and have been burning for more than a week, according to the Texas Forest Service.
"We're actually seeing Texas burn from border to border. We've got it in west Texas, in east Texas, in north Texas, in south Texas -- it's all over the state," Texas Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor told CNN Radio. "We've got one in the Dallas area that's four fires that have actually merged together."
Saginor said firefighters from 34 states are now in Texas battling blazes that, over the past two weeks, have destroyed more than 170 homes.
"Some (fires) are over 100,000 acres and they've been burning for over a week, so that's our priority right now," Saginor said, "to put out the big ones."...

...Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/04/20/texas.fires/index.html?hpt=T1
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Analysis: No rain, no grass, no U.S. cattle herd rebuilding

Posted Image
Cattle are seen in the Embrapa pasture in Porto Velho, northern Brazil November 19, 2009.
Credit: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes


(Reuters) - Texas rancher Kurt Hanna's plans to expand his herd are going up in smoke - literally.

One of the worst droughts since the 1930s Dust Bowl years has dried pastures, fueled thousands of wildfires across the heart of cattle country and scuttled plans by Texas ranchers to capitalize on record cattle prices by growing their herds.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/19/us-usa-cattle-drought-idUSTRE73I5Z820110419

SATELLITE PHOTO: The Dust Bowl Is Back
Extreme drought in the Great Plains has led to wildfires and now dust storms, reminiscent of the dust bowl of the thirties.
This image from NASA shows dust originating in Kansas and blowing across Texas:

Posted Image


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/dust-bowl-kansas-2011-4#ixzz1K4tlZ5GV
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Swiss face one of worst droughts on record
Agence France-Presse April 20, 2011

Posted Image
A cow stands in a field on April 20, 2011 near the village of Avry-devant-Pont, western Switzerland.
Photograph by: Fabrice Coffrini, AFP/Getty Images


GENEVA - Swiss officials began moving trout from a river this week to save them from plunging water levels, amid one of the worst droughts to hit the country in 150 years.

"2011 is off to a good start to finish as one of the most significant droughts since 1864," the year when records began in Switzerland, said Olivier Duding, a climatologist from Swiss weather service Meteosuisse.

Across Switzerland, rainfall measured from January to date is half that of previous years' average.

Eastern Switzerland's ski resort of Sils-Maria has recorded the beginning of 2011 as the driest since records began.



Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Swiss+face+worst+droughts+record/4647468/story.html#ixzz1K8ALeXGb


Oklahoma sees driest 4 months since Dust Bowl

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS


COYLE, OKLA.

A drought stretching from the Louisiana Gulf coast to Colorado is contributing to wildfires and killing crops.

Oklahoma was drier in the four months following Thanksgiving than it has been in any similar period since 1921.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9ME25N81.htm


Historic drought could increase the price of beef

You could start paying more to put dinner on the table.

Texas is the biggest cattle producer in the nation, but dry weather is forcing ranchers to bring in food for cattle and that raises cost.

Texas farmers and cattle ranchers are facing the worst drought in 44 years.

Read more: http://www.kcentv.com/story/14484162/historic-drought-could-increase-the-price-of-beef

Cuba faces its worst drought for 50 years

Cuba is facing its worst drought in half a century, with tens of thousands of families almost entirely reliant on water trucks for essential supplies.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13079773




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Texas gov declares ‘Days of Prayer for Rain’ to end drought

By Associated Press
Thursday, April 21, 2011 -


AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is asking Texans to pray for rain with extreme drought crippling the state and wildfires scorching more than 1 million acres.

Perry on Thursday proclaimed "Days of Prayer for Rain" beginning Friday and extending through the Easter weekend...

Read more: http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/southwest/view/20110421texas_gov_declares_days_of_prayer_for_rain__to_end_drought/srvc=home&position=recent


U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for April 21 to July 2011 (Text)

By Stephen Rose - Apr 21, 2011 7:14 AM MT

Following is the text of the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook as released by the National Weather Service in Camp Springs, Maryland:

Latest Seasonal Assessment - The La Nina present during the 2010-11 winter led to expansive drought development across the lower Mississippi Valley, southern Plains, and Southwest. During the past month, drought conditions have worsened rapidly across Oklahoma, Texas, and southern New Mexico. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), parts of Texas are designated in the exceptional drought (D4) category. Since the CPC monthly or seasonal outlooks favor enhanced odds for below median precipitation and above normal temperatures, persistence can be expected in eastern Colorado, the southern high Plains, the Southwest, and much of Texas/Louisiana...

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-21/u-s-seasonal-drought-outlook-for-april-21-to-july-2011-text-.html

First Drought, Now Heat Impacting Kansas Wheat Fields
USAgNet - 04/21/2011

A combination of record heat, dry soils, and high winds in March and April has sapped the wheat in many areas of Kansas this year, especially where the wheat emerged late and is very small in the western areas, said Jim Shroyer, K-State Research and Extension crop production specialist.

Read more: http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-national.php?Id=844&yr=2011

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SECOND firefighter sacrifices his life battling wildfires as Texans pray for rain... but with a million acres scorched already there’s no reprieve in sight.

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 6:29 AM on 21st April 2011


...Texans were today desperately praying for rain, as a second firefighter died from injuries sustained battling the terrible wildfires ravaging the state.
Cooler temperatures and calmer winds helped his weary colleagues at last get a handle on the latest wildfire, now spanning three northern Texas counties, but officials warned the let-up was only temporary.

The fires have now been raging for more than a week in Texas, so far burning through 1.4 million acres of land and racking up more than $8million in containment costs.

Posted Image
Utterly destroyed: A large home is reduced to ashes on Possum Kingdom Lake,Texas, after wildfires ravage the state

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Lit up: The Texas Forest Service undertook a series of 'controlled burns' at the weekend to get rid of fuel on the mountains around McDonald Observatory, seen right

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Firefighters continue to battle some 22 separate blazes throughout Texas. Homes have been gutted, animals killed and hundreds of residents have been forced to leave their homes

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Tough task: Volunteer firefighters battling a blaze in Graford, Texas. Fire crews from 34 states have now joined the effort to bring the fires under control

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1378816/Texas-wildfires-Million-acres-scorched-towns-red-alert.html#ixzz1KDvXpt9B



China to spend $1 billion to alleviate drought


China preparing for a "severe, long-lasting drought," according to one official.
The wheat crop in the country's breadbasket to the north and east is threatened,
with no rain in sight.


BEIJING — China will spend $1 billion to alleviate its worst drought in six decades — a long dry spell in the world's largest wheat-growing region that threatens further jumps in the commodity's global price...

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/2011-02-09-china-wheat_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip


Southwest China faces "worst droughts in a century"
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Europe prays rain in worst drought for a century

By AFP
Published Friday, April 22, 2011

The Dutch have banned barbecues, camp fires and outdoor smoking this Easter, while the Swiss are forecasting potentially the worst drought in Europe for more than a century.

Either way, prayers in Europe this Easter holiday weekend are as likely to call for rain as anything else -- with serious fears over the wheat harvest, its impact on already sky-high global food prices and, of course, devastating brush fires...

...This year threatens to bring "one of the most significant droughts since 1864," the year when records began in Switzerland

Read more: http://www.emirates247.com/news/world/europe-prays-rain-in-worst-drought-for-a-century-2011-04-22-1.383964


Kansas farmers say drought is hurting wheat crops
MIKE CORN, The Hays Daily News
Published 04:00 a.m., Friday, April 22, 2011


MONUMENT, Kan. (AP) — Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom from mud-covered windows could keep a farmer and his now mostly brown John Deere tractor from discing under 180 acres of wheat that could only be seen upon close examination.

And never mind the blowing snow one recent day, the disc pulled behind the tractor was throwing up dry dirt clods as a cloud of dust followed behind — quickly pushed to the south by winds gusting as much as 45 mph.

He didn't want to give his last name. Steve, "Just Steve," he said, as he kicked at the ground...

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Kansas-farmers-say-drought-is-hurting-wheat-crops-1347061.php

Drought-Plagued Midland, Texas, Is Running Out of Water
by Kate Galbraith 4 hours ago

Posted Image
photo by: ROBERT W. HART
Trees that were once mostly submerged are now high and dry in the southwestern portion of O.H. Ivie Reservoir southeast of Ballinger Texas.
The reservoir is less than 30 percent full, as of April 20 2011.


MIDLAND - The oil business is booming, but there is something more precious in Midland right now: water.

Since the beginning of October, barely one-tenth of an inch of rain has fallen on the oil and gas capital of West Texas. Two of the three reservoirs that Midland and other Permian Basin communities rely on for most of their water are getting close to empty. The third is below 30 percent of capacity.

If the rain does not start soon, "it's going to get bad," said Stuart Purvis, the utilities manager for Midland.

All of Texas is extremely dry, and the parched vegetation is fueling huge wildfires across the state - prompting Gov. Rick Perry to urge prayers for rain this weekend. But the situation in the Permian Basin is particularly serious.

Without significant rain, all three reservoirs may be dry by January 2013...

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-environmental-news/water-supply/drought-plagued-midland-texas-is-running-out-of/
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'Extreme Drought' Sets Texas Ablaze and May Sprawl Over the South Until Midsummer

By LAUREN MORELLO of ClimateWire
Published: April 26, 2011


Wildfires have burned about 1.5 million acres in Texas since January, egged on by a drought that federal forecasters say is the worst to hit the state in 45 years. Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say their weather models predict the severe drought that has parched the southern United States will continue to midsummer -- and beyond.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/04/26/26climatewire-extreme-drought-sets-texas-ablaze-and-may-sp-28352.html

Southern Switzerland hit by forest fire

Nine helicopters and 300 men are battling a forest fire near the town of Viege in the south of drought-stricken Switzerland, media reports said Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.expatica.com/ch/news/swiss-news/southern-switzerland-hit-by-forest-fire_144973.html


Drought conditions expected to continue
Posted: 04.26.2011 at 5:42 AM

COLORADO -- Weather experts are predicting the extreme drought conditions that have gripped parts of nine states, including Colorado, will last for several more months.

Read more: http://www.coloradoconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=610179

Texas Crop Report
© 2011 The Associated Press
April 26, 2011, 2:41PM


Read the report: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7537905.html
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Severe droughts put eight million Africans at risk

JODY CLARKE in Nairobi

OVER EIGHT million people are facing severe food and water shortages across the Horn of Africa, according to aid agencies, with parts of the region suffering from the worst drought in 30 years.

A lack of seasonal rains has led to failed harvests, acute water shortages and the deaths of thousands of animals in the region, said the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (CBHA), forcing people to flee their homes in their tens of thousands in search of water and pasture for their livestock...

Read more: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0428/1224295619506.html

South China drought affects crops, people

Posted Image
A boat gets stranded in Shijiao County of Qingyuan City, south China's Guangdong Province.
A drought hit Qingyuan and the water level of Beijiang River fell recently due to the lack of rainfall.
[Photo: Xinhua/Li Zuomiao]


Posted Image
Photo taken on April 26, 2011 shows dry riverbed of Beijiang River in Qingyuan City, south China's
Guangdong Province. About 23,333 hectares of farmlands were affected by the drought. Local government
has devoted 13.32 million yuan (2.04 million U.S. dollars) to fight the drought with equipment to minimize
the negative effect. [Photo: Xinhua/Li Zuomiao]


Read More: http://english.cri.cn/6909/2011/04/27/2821s634375.htm

Drought to blame for flea infestation
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Read: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/consumer&id=8098000

Wildfire threat, drought to persist
by Shannon Cottongame
LAKELANDER STAFF


...At press time, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), an index used to determine fire potential based on soil moisture, was in the 400-500 range locally, which means four to five inches of rain would be needed to bring the top eight inches of soil back to saturation.

The two-week KBDI forecast predicts a local increase to the 500-600 range, indicating a significant wildfire threat. In the next 14 days, parts of the state will even max the scale out in the 700-800 range, which indicates total loss of moisture and extreme wildfire danger....

Read more: http://lakelander.com/wildfire-threat-drought-to-persist-p3762-1.htm

Drought, scant aid funds worsen East Africa hunger

Posted Image
REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

...Its staff have detected signs of a worsening situation, including rampant inflation of food prices on local markets, dying cattle and a rise in the number of people attending feeding centres.

But the crisis is most intense in war-torn Somalia, where 32 percent of the population, or 2.4 million people, require humanitarian aid...

Read more: http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE73Q6II20110427?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0






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'Massive crop losses' feared from US drought--Monitor

Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:49am EDT
* Drought persists, intensifies in U.S. South
* High winds, heat, drive "massive crop losses"


By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY,, April 28 (Reuters) - A devastating drought intensified
across Texas over the last week, with high winds and heat causing "massive
crop losses," with little relief seen any time soon, weather experts said
Thursday.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/28/usa-drought-idUSN2825916520110428


Texas Wildfires Continue to Rage Amid Historic Drought Conditions

Posted Image
Fires on the horizon near the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas.
The fires have consumed more than 1.5 million acres in the state.
Agrilifetoday/Jamie Dyer



...Brown added that this drought was "a long time in coming." Last month was the driest March Texas has had in the 117 years of available records,...

Read more: http://www.onearth.org/article/texas-wildfires-continue-to-rage-amid-historic-drought-conditions


UN calls for assistance to Ethiopia’s two million drought victims

United Nations, April 29 (IANS) UN officials have called for assistance to be stepped up to an estimated two million Ethiopians affected by the drought, Xinhua reports.
Water is being transported by trucks to residents in drought-hit areas of the southern and southeastern lowlands of the east African country...

Read more: http://www.inewsone.com/2011/04/29/un-calls-for-assistance-to-ethiopias-two-million-drought-victims/46793

Drought conditions ‘threatening British crops’

Posted Image

Drought conditions in some parts of the UK are posing a threat to crop yields, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).
Some of the driest weather for 50 years could lead to lower than anticipated yields of rape, wheat and other crops, unless there is an improvement over the coming weeks...

Read more: http://www.guttridge.co.uk/news/2011/04/28/drought-conditions-threatening-british-crops/

Drought declaration sought for 21 Kansas counties

The Associated Press

TOPEKA | Gov. Sam Brownback is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a drought disaster for 21 counties in western Kansas.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/04/27/2830893/drought-declaration-sought-for.html#ixzz1Ksdl5SRv


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Severe drought in Texas worst in map's history
By BETSY BLANEY Associated Press © 2011 The Associated Press
May 5, 2011, 3:06PM


LUBBOCK, Texas — The amount of land in exceptional drought in Texas is the most in the 11 years forecasters have tracked the data, a weather official said Thursday.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows more than a fourth of the state, 25.96 percent, is now in the most severe drought category. Exceptional drought means extraordinary and widespread crop and pasture losses, and shortages of water in reservoirs.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7552100.html



Extreme drought overwhelms central China province

Posted Image
Photo taken on May 4, 2011 shows cracked soil caused by draught in Dawu County in central China's Hubei Province.
A serious drought has hit Hubei Province since November of 2010, bringing one-third of its counties and cities under serious
water shortage. (Xinhua/Hao Tongqian)


by Xinhua writers Hu Tao, Shen Chong, Wu Zhi

WUHAN, May 5 (Xinhua) -- An unlimited view of oceans of golden cole flowers is a typical scene in early May in central China's Hubei Province. This year, however, the flowers are strangely absent.

"You can count the scattered cole sprouts. The pond is dried up and the mud is cracking," says Huang Shenghua, a man in Xingguang Village of Xiaochang County.

Renowned as China's "land of a thousand lakes", Hubei Province is now struggling with a prolonged drought...

Read more: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-05/05/c_13860547.htm


Drought worries spread beyond Britain's borders
David Richardson
Thursday 05 May 2011 10:50


Apologies for returning to the subject I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but drought is the story of the year. And it's not just here in eastern England, although we've probably got worse problems than most.

It spreads across the country, only easing close to the Scottish borders. But it doesn't stop at England. Most of Europe is suffering, the only notable exceptions being Spain and Italy, which is a bit of a paradox, and there seems little prospect in the forecast of the substantial UK precipitation we so desperately need...

...More serious from a world perspective is a widespread drought across most of the wheat growing areas of North America. Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas have all had hot dry conditions and the USDA recently estimated between 42% and 69% of winter wheat crops in those states were poor or very poor.

Read more: http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2011/05/05/126634/Drought-worries-spread-beyond-Britain39s-borders.htm


Despite rain, drought continues in most of Georgia

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Despite a thrashing from one thunderstorm after another, most of Georgia remains in a drought that is expected to endure at least through summer...

...The dearth of rainfall in the state's prime agricultural areas will probably exact a financial penalty on growers. The soil in the coastal plain is so dry that it could hurt export crops, such as peanuts, cotton, corn and soybeans, Stooksbury said.

"This year," he said, "the main concern is for agriculture."

Read more: http://www.ajc.com/news/despite-rain-drought-continues-935345.html


Drought conditions still not eased :CWB
2011/05/05 19:34:39

Posted Image

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) A cold front that has affected Taiwan since Tuesday has brought only small amounts of rain to central, northern and mountainous areas in Taiwan and has failed to ease the drought, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said...

Read more: http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aSOC&ID=201105050028


Drought conditions intensify in much of Oklahoma
Associated Press, 05.05.11, 03:29 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Drought conditions are worsening in much of Oklahoma according to a report Thursday from the U.S. Drought Monitor, with much of the western half of the state in extreme or severe drought.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/05/05/business-us-oklahoma-drought_8452126.html


Stooksbury: Drought conditions expected to continue
By Staff

ATHENS - The drought conditions now gripping the southern two-thirds of Georgia are expected to last through the summer, with a chance conditions could worsen through at least the middle of August, according to state climatologist David Stooksbury...

Read more: http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=238452





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