Saturday, 7 July 2018

Abrupt climate change: Drought and crop failures


It is a simple truth that the vast majority want to ignore, that flora and fauna are unable to adapt to rapid changes in their environment such as abrupt climate change.

We are in the early stages of this. Wait for simultaneous crop failures.

No one wants the truth.




The European Union may harvest almost 6 million tonnes less wheat this year after crops in the north of the bloc suffered from a hot, dry spring and amid late signs of crop damage in top EU producer France, a Reuters poll
showed.

Potential losses in the EU have added to expectations that ample global supplies of the food staple will shrink in 2018/19 as several production regions face adverse weather.

The 28-country EU, collectively the world's largest wheat grower, should produce 136 million tonnes of soft wheat (common wheat) this year, an average of 10 estimates show.

That outlook is 4 percent below a 2017 crop of 141.8 million tonnes, around the volume forecasters were anticipating for 2018 two or three months ago.

"It has been extremely dry since early June and as such crops have suffered, in particular in northern Europe," Benjamin Bodart, director of consultancy CRM AgriCommodities, said.

Exceptionally warm, dry weather has left grain belts parched around the Baltic Sea, including parts of Germany, the EU's second biggest wheat grower.
Irish Water extends hosepipe ban to rest of country as heatwave continues



The vast majority of the country officially enters a state of “absolute drought” today with no rainfall recorded at 24 out of 25 weather stations during the last two weeks.

The extreme weather conditions have prompted Irish Water to expand a hosepipe ban from the Greater Dublin Area to the whole country from Friday morning.

From 8am on Friday the use of hoses in nearly all circumstances will be banned across the country. Irish Water warned the ban will likely continue until at least July 31st in order to allow water sources to replenish themselves.

The hot dry spell is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with Met Éireann saying it does not expect any rainfall within the next 10 days.

On average, demand across all water resources nationally has increased by 15 per cent, a level Irish Water said “cannot be sustained for any period of time”.

UK heatwave: More wildfires and food shortages loom as temperatures soar
In some areas grass has stopped growing and crops are ripening too early while milk yields and animals’ winter food supplies are at risk

Almost two weeks into a heatwave which has sent temperatures soaring into the thirties across all four UK nations, forecasters predict conditions could remain similar for another fortnight.....



It could be a bad summer for dairy farmers, with the National Farmers Union (NFU) warning that in many areas the grass has stopped growing, crops are ripening too early and milk yields and animals’ winter food supplies could be hit.

In addition, wildlife charities are calling on the public to take action to help the UK’s small mammals, birds and insects – all already facing major threats – by helping to provide water sources and maintaining damp habitats.

Earlier this week farmers warned of lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli shortages if there wasn’t enough water to keep irrigation levels up.

The British Leafy Salad Association said the heat was wreaking “havoc” on harvests.

Elsewhere, fish are being threatened by falling water levels as rivers and streams run perilously low.

In Herefordshire the Environment Agency passed electrical currents through part of the River Teme in order to stun more than 130 trout and salmon, allowing them to move them downstream to deeper waters.

And in Ireland, anglers have been asked to avoid using “keep nets” during the hot weather so they do not distress or accidentally kill fish they are planning to release.

In Wales the dry weather has already begun to have a direct impact on farmers.

Dylan Morgan, head of policy at NFU Cymru, told The Independent: “It’s probably the last 10 days or so it’s begun to hit Wales after the severe heat of last week. The ground is so dry now that the grass is not growing.

It means there’s less fodder available to cattle. Quite a few farmers are having to use their winter supplies to keep their animals going to make sure they’re continuing to produce milk.

The main concern for everyone is the welfare of their animals and making sure they’ve got supplies of fresh water. But we’ve got some streams and wells and boreholes drying up that we haven’t seen dry up since 1976,” he said.

We hope mother nature comes to our rescue and as summer goes on that we see a more normal period so we can try and make up for some of this.”

Meanwhile, arable crops are also short of water, resulting in them ripening earlier. “The harvest hasn’t quite started yet, but with the water stress on those crops, if this continues there is concern we’ll see lower yields,” Mr Morgan added.


Consumers face increasing potato prices as the weather causes havoc with this year’s crop.

A combination of the snow and blizzard conditions in February and March, the ongoing heatwave, and a dearth of rain will seriously affect crop yields, according to farmers.

Eddie Doyle, of the potato committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), told the Irish Independent that potatoes had to be planted late this year.

Early growers have suffered because of the cold weather. And once it gets 24C to 25C, they stop growing,” he said.

While the location of a farm influences when a potato crop will be sown, many farmers tend to do it around early March – when the country was covered in snow this year.

Yield will be quite light this year. I’d be fairly sure they’ll go up in price,” he said.


Farmers have warned of an impending crisis amid drought conditions in parts of Scotland.

They said land had been "scorched" during the heatwave, leaving some struggling to feed livestock.

After several weeks without significant rainfall, the lack of grass has also left some unable to make enough silage to see them through the winter.

That has led to reports of farmers selling cattle so that they have fewer mouths to feed.

Not all farmers are suffering during the heatwave however - with many soft fruit farms celebrating a bumper harvest


Many have begun harvesting their crops two weeks early to prevent them being killed by the high temperatures which have consistently been in the mid to high twenties for several weeks.

They say that this could lead to a lower yield which would in turn lead to higher prices.

Münster/Borken - The heat combined with the extreme dryness of the nature. The farmers fear the crop, especially in the münsterland region, it does not look good.

Die Lage auf vielen Feldern ist dramatisch“


Drastic crop failures, extreme forest fire risk and high consumption of water for Watering gardens and plants, – the ongoing drought of the past few months, the münsterland. "In many fields the situation is dramatic. In some regions, grow a green leaf,“ says Heinrich Brockhoff, Grain expert of the chamber of agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia, based in Münster. After a wet autumn, the cultures from shoots in the warm months of April, may and June, very quickly. "And now is parked at extremely high temperatures, the wheat and the Corn of the faucet. It's really bad,“ said Brockhoff.

" In many fields the situation is dramatic. In some regions, there is no green leaf grows more. “

Experts expect crop losses of up to 30 percent, especially in the North-East of Germany, the situation was dramatic. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, there are individual regions, in which the surfaces in a size of 100,000 hectares of nothing more grows. Also in the Western part of the münsterland, dried up at the moment, particularly on sandy soils a large part of the plant.


Drastic crop failures, extreme forest fire risk and high consumption of water for Watering gardens and plants, – the ongoing drought of the past few months, the münsterland. "In many fields the situation is dramatic. In some regions, grow a green leaf,“ says Heinrich Brockhoff, Grain expert of the chamber of agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia, based in Münster. After a wet autumn, the cultures from shoots in the warm months of April, may and June, very quickly. "And now is parked at extremely high temperatures, the wheat and the Corn of the faucet. It's really bad,“ said Brockhoff.

Experts expect crop losses of up to 30 percent, especially in the North-East of Germany, the situation was dramatic. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, there are individual regions, in which the surfaces in a size of 100,000 hectares of nothing more grows. Also in the Western part of the münsterland, dried up at the moment, particularly on sandy soils a large part of the plant.

Fear of loss of yield

The expected failures, particularly in the case of wheat and Maize in the districts in the Region, which is strongly represented animal fattening farms meet. Many farmers feed the harvested Maize and sell it to appropriate buyers. To a high financial outlay for the necessary cooling, and irrigation of the stables and Courtyards.

In addition to the fear of loss of yield, the second highest forest fire danger in the forests of the country currently. "Especially the dry grasses, and needles lying on the ground, can ignite at any time, and represent a tangible risk," says Friedrich Louen, a spokesman for the Farm forest and wood with seat in Münster. The forestry experts, there is currently reinforced behavior recommendations to make the risk even higher. "As simple as it sounds: But compliance with the smoke - and-barbecue ban in the forest," said Louen.



Farmers on Australia's east coast are being driven to the brink by devastating drought, with some regions experiencing the driest start to the year ever recorded.

In its monthly drought report released yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology said June rainfall was below average for the Kimberley, south-western Western Australia, most of the Northern Territory and much of South Australia and Queensland.

But it's farmers in NSW – especially the far west and north-western areas – that are feeling the effects of drought the most.

"While the dry spell is affecting all inland districts across the state, some of the most notable rainfall deficiencies during the last six months have occurred in the far west," Weatherzone's Ben Domensino said.

"Broken Hill collected just 18.2mm of rain during the last six months, which makes this their driest first half of a year in records dating back to the late 1800s.




It’s been few and far between and the lack of it has broken all-time records, especially in western NSW. That’s rain we’re talking about of course.

NSW in general has had its driest start to a year in 30 years, but in some areas of NSW, it’s the driest it’s ever been. That’s despite some solid rain in the last week in parts of central NSW and in the far north of the Northern Tablelands.

Broken Hill collected just 18.2mm of rain during the last six months, which makes this their driest first half of a year in records dating back to the late 1800s, according to Weatherzone.




Further east, Cobar hasn't fared much better. The Cobar Meteorological Office's 24.4mm during the first half of 2018 was the town's lowest January to June total since 1902 and the second lowest on record,” Weatherzone’s Ben Domensino said.

Parts of western NSW just had their driest first half of a year on record, with the prospect of El Nino still looming in the months ahead. Most of western NSW received less than half of its average rainfall during the first half of 2018 and every month since January has been drier than usual for the state as a whole.

While the dry spell is affecting all inland districts across the state, some of the most notable rainfall deficiencies during the last six months have occurred in the far west.”

Broken Hill resident Mark Hutton, from the Darling River Action Group, said he went to Menindee Lakes last weekend and there was a dead emu every 20 metres by the banks of the lake. “They can get water, but there’s just no feed,” he said. “We are in drought seven years out of 10 but this has been very bad. We have had virtually no rain all year. It’s taking its toll on the wildlife. There’s hundreds of dead emus, dead pelicans and other birds all around the Lake system. It’s terrible to see.”...

...The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) was not going to offer any relief as well as it was in a neutral phase.

A positive phase of the IOD can cause below average rainfall and above average temperatures in NSW during winter and spring, while the opposite is true for the negative IOD phase.

Currently, all six of the climate models surveyed by the bureau indicate that neutral IOD conditions should persist during the rest of winter and spring. A neutral IOD causes little change to Australia's climate.

Meanwhile, the Department of Primary Industries’ droughthub map gives a sorry sight on how bad things are despite the recent rainfall events, with the majority of the state either in drought or on drought watch. There is only 0.1 per cent of NSW that is declared “non-drought” on the DPI’s droughthub map.

Perhaps not all droughts are caused by man-made climate change, particularly in the war-torn Middle East?

Iraq after Isis: After decades of war – including the last battle against Isis – Iraq is in danger of losing the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. In the first part of a new series, Patrick Cockburn reports that as Turkey, Syria and Iran dam its rivers, parts of the country are turning into desert

I once rescued a friend from drowning when he was swept away by the force of the current as we were swimming in the Diyala river,” says Qasim Sabti, a painter and gallery owner in Baghdad.

That was 50 years ago,” he recalls. “I went back there recently and the water in the Diyala is so shallow today that a man could walk across it with his dog.”

The rivers of Iraq, above all the Tigris and Euphrates, are drying up. The country is becoming more arid, and desertification is eating into the limited amount of agricultural land.

Dams built upriver in Turkey, Syria and Iran since the 1970s have reduced the flow of water that reaches Iraq by as much as half and the situation is about to get worse.

On 1 July, Turkey will start filling the Ilisu dam on the Tigris and this will cause another decline in the inflows to our country of about 50 per cent,” Hassan Janabi, minister of water resources, told The Independent.

He says that Iraq used to get 30 billion cubic metres of water a year from the Euphrates, but now “we are happy if we get 16 billion cubic metres”.



Earlier this week, the Head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization blamed Iran’s drought on “cloud and snow theft,” allegedly engineered by Israel.

In a series of comments at the Third National Conference on Non-Proactive Defense in Agriculture on civil defense tactics in agriculture, held in Tehran on Monday, Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali condemned Israel for its severe drought, insisting that the country has fallen victim to the ‘Jewish State stealing its rain.’


Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali addressing media earlier this weak about rain theft via Israel. (Source: Iranian Students’ News Agency)

He said Iranian academic institutions had confirmed that foreign entities played a significant role in manipulating weather patterns over the country. A scientific study conducted in the country “confirms” the validity behind Jalali’s accusation — mostly directed at Israel, said Iranian Students’ News Agency.

Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change,” Jalali emphasized. “Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain,” a translated report from the Tasnim News Agency quoted Jalali as saying.

Jalali went in depth to describe the scientific evidence supporting his claims. He said a recent study carried out over the past four years regarding the climate of high altitudes from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea indicated that all elevations above 2,200 meters (7,217 feet) in these regions, except in Iran, have a dense layer of snow.

Tasnim News Agency said climate change has caused many arid and semi-arid areas around the world, including Iran, to suffer from severe drought, which has forced Iran’s Ministry of Energy and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) into cloud-seeding operations.

Ahad Vazife, the head of the Islamic Republic’s meteorological service, acknowledged that Jalali’s statements regarding Israel stealing Iran’s rain was scientifically impossible.

[General Jalali] probably has documents of which I am not aware, but on the basis of meteorological knowledge, it is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds,” Vazife was quoted by ISNA, according to The Times of Israel.

Twitter users erupted with laughter in both countries this week, after Jalali’s statements on Monday. Here are some of the tweets:

One IDF reservist said, “Special Israeli Mossad agent stealing #Iran’s clouds in action.”




View image on Twitter

Special Israeli Mossad agent stealing 's clouds in action.

An Israeli Diplomat in the US tweeted, “The uber-genius head of ☫#Iran’s civil defense organization Brigadier General Gholam Ridha Jalali presented a research which proves Israel is stealing the rain and snow clouds destined to Iran, to cause a drought now that’s true @NobelPrize material!”




View image on Twitter

The uber-genius head of ☫'s civil defense organization Brigadier General Gholam Ridha Jalali presented a research which proves Israel is stealing the rain and snow clouds destined to Iran, to cause a drought 😐 now that's true @NobelPrize material!
🔗https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/07/02/Revolutionary-Guards-commander-accuses-Israel-of-stealing-Iran-s-rain-clouds.html 
Ex-Deputy Head of Iran’s Dept. of Environment tweeted, “Developing a conspiracy theory is the best strategy to justify failure! Head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization is skeptical of #ClimateChange and claims that Israel & ‘one of the neighbors’ have caused a #drought in Iran by stealing clouds & snow! #CloudStealing.”



View image on Twitter

Developing a theory is the best strategy to justify failure!
Head of 's Civil Defense Organization is skeptical of and claims that Israel & 'one of the neighbors' have caused a in Iran by stealing clouds & snow!

As a reminder, weather warfare or the use of weather modifications for purposes of causing damage or destruction was prohibited by world governments on May 1977 in Geneva and entered into force on October 1978 via the Environmental Modification Convention (ENMOD).

While the technology for weather manipulation has been around for decades, it is anyone’s guess to the validity of Iran’s claims that Israel is stealing its water through weather modification techniques. However, it is important to know that the technology does exist and both countries want to nuke each other.

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