Archive for ‘Extreme Weather’

Drought and cold hit summer grain harvest

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

China’s summer grain output is down year-on-year for the first time after six straight years of growth, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.

Summer grain output stood at 123.1 million tons this year, down 0.3 percent, or 390,000 tons, from a year ago, NBS said in a statement on its website.

The drop was due mainly to drought in China’s southwestern regions earlier in the year, which brought output in Guizhou and Yunnan provinces down by 1.69 million tons, according to the statement.

Agriculture Minister Han Changfu warned last month that severe drought in the southwest and the extremely cold weather in the north earlier this year had damaged the country’s summer grain harvest.

In April, the government unveiled funding plans worth more than 2.4 billion yuan to support the summer grain harvests, which account for about one quarter of China’s annual food yield, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Summer grain output rose six years in a row to top 123 million tons last year, 2.6 million tons more than the previous year.

Despite a slight expansion of the planting area, which rose 0.1 percent to 27.42 million hectares, the yield per hectare this year dropped 0.4 percent year on year to 4,48 tons per hectare, NBS said.


Date: 13 July 2010

Mexico City sends 89 tons of aid to hurricane-ravaged North

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Mexico City sent 89 tons of aid to hurricane-ravage northern states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas on Monday, local broadcasters reported.

The aid supply, packed in two containers and three small trucks, includes personal hygiene equipment, bottled water, tinned food, rice, beans, medicine, nappies, sanitary pads, milk powders, tin openers, disposable plates and cutlery, according to the mayor’s office.

The shipment was given a formal send-off at the city center by Mayor Marcelo Ebrard and head of the city’s Civil Protection Department, Elias Miguel Moreno Brizuela.

Ebrard told reporters at the scene that later this week the capital city will send a second shipment of 80-tons of food, clothing and medicine to the above states.

He added that the city is collecting emergency aid contributed by residents at one fire station at the main city square and 14 other fire stations elsewhere.

Hurricane Alex struck Tamaulipas on June 30 as a category two storm, and dumped most of its rain on Nuevo Leon, killing 17 people.

In total, the storm killed 27 people in Mexico and 10 others in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador which were on the storm’s path to Mexico.

Source: Mexico City sends 89 tons of aid to hurricane-ravaged North –

Date: 13 July 2010

Moscow birds suffer in heat wave

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Moscow birds suffer in heat wave

Moscow birds suffer in heat wave

Moscow’s bird populations are suffering from the severe heat wave, which settled in the city in mid-June, a representative of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (RBCU) said on Tuesday.

“Birds…find it very difficult to live in such heat. Members of the crow family are the worst affected as their black feathers heat up very fast from the sun,”

Meteorologist say temperatures will reach 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) this week.

The conservationist said it was difficult to help the suffering bird populations.

“We don’t have many options available for helping the birds… The only thing we can do is put bird baths on our balconies and render first aid to heat-affected birds,”

According to an animal census held in Moscow from February 13 – March 5, 2010, more than 200 bird species live in Moscow. Of these, 66 are listed in the Moscow Red Data Book of endangered species.

Source: Moscow birds suffer in heat wave –

Date: 13 July 2010

Rare summer high temperature seen in Finland

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A rarely high summer temperature of 33.9 degrees Celsius was recorded at Puumala in eastern Finland on Monday. The temperature was the highest measured in 76 years in Finland.

Many places in southern Finland on Monday have been scorched by temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. Temperatures over 25 degrees have been recorded as far north as Oulu.

Finland’s all-time highest temperature in summer dates back to 1914, when a peak temperature of 35.9 degrees was recorded in Turku.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute forecasts the current heat wave will continue at least this week and probably beyond. Temperatures early this week in southern and central areas could top 35 degrees Celsius.

Weather forecasters have also warned the current hot temperatures combined with high humidity could cause problems for people at risk of serious illness. Next year, the Finnish Meteorological Institute is planning to introduce a new extreme weather warning system to notify the public of either extremely hot or cold conditions.

Source: Rare summer high temperature seen in Finland –

Date: 13 July 2010

Europe suffers in sweltering heat

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A heatwave is sweeping large parts of Europe and causing discomfort. Temperatures have been hovering around 40 degrees Celsius in many capital cities.

In the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, a temperature of 44 degrees Celsius broke all records.

The city’s fountains have become the place to cool down for local residents.

Streets in the city are quiet after authorities warned residents not to go outside.

The hot weather is expected to continue in Georgia for the next few days.

Other cities in Russia and Poland continue to be gripped by a heatwave. In some areas, temperatures soared to 35 degrees Celsius.

The most popular seaside resorts in Poland saw an influx of tourists.

Local government has warned the very young and old of the danger. It’s advised people to drink plenty of water, and stay out of the sun.

Source: Europe suffers in sweltering heat -

Date: 13 July 2010

Heat wave warnings for all Croatia

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

With temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius, Croats are being warned to take care.

The hottest areas will be Knin and Slavonia where even higher temperatures are expected.

The Adriatic will be slightly more bearable, the Croatian daily Jutarnji List writes.

UV radiation is also expected to be high, so residents are warned to layer on the sun cream. Experts recommend staying out of the sun between hours of 10am and 5pm, and remind people to drink a lot of liquids.

Source: Heat wave warnings for all Croatia -

Date: 13 July 2010

Vietnam capital hit by floods

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Heavy rains after weeks of drought turned the streets of Vietnamese capital Hanoi Tuesday into rivers up to half a metre deep.

A heavy downpour that lasted for more than two hours forced motorbike commuters to push their machines through the dirty water and trees were down.

Police said on state radio that scores of locations in the city of several million people were flooded or snarled by traffic jams.

A meteorologist said the city centre was hardest hit, with about 120 millimetres of rain falling in the rush-hour period.

Hanoi had been suffering for weeks from a drought which meteorologists said was the worst in decades.

It worsened power shortages and led to blackouts in the country, which gets more than one-third of its electricity from hydropower.

Source: Vietnam capital hit by floods – straitstimes

Date: 13 July 2010

Dozen villages inundated in Haryana floods

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Large swathes of agriculture land were inundated and nearly a dozen villages submerged in flood waters in Haryana’s Sirsa and Fatehabad districts due to breaches in the Ghaggar river, officials said Tuesday.

The water level in the Ghaggar river in Sirsa district was flowing above the danger mark, posing a threat to many villages.

According to officials, 33 people have died due to floods in Haryana and Punjab.

In Punjab, the water level in most of the affected districts has receded and no fresh breach in the Ghaggar was reported.

The weather office has predicted moderate to heavy rain in most parts of Punjab and some places in Haryana till Wednesday.

Source: Dozen villages inundated in Haryana floods – Thaindian

Date: 13 July 2010

First half of 2010 sets heat records

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Just as climate skeptics cited this winter’s snowstorm as evidence that global warming was overhyped, some environmental activists might be tempted to point to this summer’s heat waves to bolster their case.

But instead, they’re pointing to a more scientific measurement: The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies now reports that the first six months of 2010 are the warmest on record, both in terms of atmospheric data and in combined atmospheric/ocean readings.

In some cases the atmospheric readings for some of the first six months of the year are between 1.8 and 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above what they were in previous years.

And on top of that, last week Arctic sea ice extent hit the lowest level ever for June.

A senior fellow, Rafe Pomerance, at Clean Air Cool Planet said:

“The 2010 temperature data is evidence that the planet is continuing to warm,”

“The absolute numbers indicate that the earth’s climate is moving into uncharted territory, as reflected by the massive retreat of Arctic sea ice.”

Source: First half of 2010 sets heat records – views.washingtonpost

Date: 12 July 2010

Staggering tree loss from 2005 Amazon storm

Monday, July 12th, 2010

A single, huge, violent storm that swept across the whole Amazon forest in 2005 killed half a billion trees, a new study shows.

While storms have long been recognized as a cause of Amazon tree loss, this study is the first to produce an actual body count. And, the losses are much greater than previously suspected.  This suggests that storms may play a larger role in the dynamics of Amazon forests than previously recognized.

The new study says that a single squall line had an important role in the tree demise. This type of storm might become more frequent in the future in the Amazon due to climate change.

Tropical thunderstorms have long been suspected to wreak havoc in the Amazon,

The storm’s associated strong vertical winds, with speeds of up to 145 km/hour (90 mi/hour), uprooted or snapped in half trees that were in their path. In many cases, the stricken trees took down some of their neighbors when they fell.

In the most affected plots, near the centers of large blowdowns, up to 80 percent of the trees had been killed by the storm.

The researchers estimate that between 441 and 663 million trees were destroyed across the whole basin. This represents a loss equivalent to 23 percent of the estimated mean annual carbon accumulation of the Amazon forest.

Source: Staggering tree loss from 2005 Amazon storm - physorg

Date: 12 July 2010

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