Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Tag: Drought

La Niña Weather Pattern Likely to Prolong Western Drought, NOAA Says

Technology, World
For the second year in a row, the climate pattern known as La Niña has developed in the Pacific Ocean, which will likely prolong the severe drought in much of the Western United States this winter while bringing some relief to Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, government forecasters said Thursday.In La Niña, lower than normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific lead to changes in the jet stream, a high altitude river of winds that can affect weather elsewhere in the world.Over North America, La Niña usually, although not always, shifts the jet stream to the north, bringing more storms to that part of the continent and fewer to the south.That typical pattern was reflected in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlook for the coming winter, releas...
U.K. Agency Issues Climate Change Warning Before U.N. Summit

U.K. Agency Issues Climate Change Warning Before U.N. Summit

Technology, World
LONDON — The British Environment Agency on Wednesday urged world leaders to take decisive action to combat climate change, issuing a stark warning before a U.N. summit in Glasgow this month when some 20,000 delegates from nearly every country will discuss ways to tackle potentially disastrous global warming.“It is adapt or die,” Emma Howard Boyd, chairwoman of the government agency, said in a report to the British government.Deadly floods like those in Germany this summer will happen in Britain sooner or later, no matter how high the country’s flood defenses are built, she cautioned, urging adaptations to homes and workplaces to make them more resilient to the effects of the increasingly violent weather brought on by the climate emergency.“While mitigation might save the planet, it is adap...
Kyrsten Sinema Wants to Cut $100 Billion in Proposed Climate Funds, Sources Say

Kyrsten Sinema Wants to Cut $100 Billion in Proposed Climate Funds, Sources Say

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who began her political career with the Green Party and who has voiced alarm over the warming planet, wants to cut at least $100 billion from climate programs in major legislation pending on Capitol Hill, according to two people familiar with the matter.Sinema is one of two centrist Democrats in the Senate whose votes are crucial to passing two bills that together would comprise President Biden’s legislative agenda: a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a separate $3.5 trillion budget bill.Last month, Ms. Sinema told The Arizona Republic, “We know that a changing climate costs Arizonans. And right now, we have the opportunity to pass smart policies to address it — looking forward to that.” In her 2018 run for the Senate, Ms. Sinema was endors...

Climate Scientists Forecast High Temperatures Into the Fall

Technology, World
After a summer of blistering heat across much of the country, the hotter-than-normal conditions that have contributed to severe drought across the West are forecast to continue into the fall, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.Five states had their warmest June through August in 127 years of record-keeping. Not coincidentally, two of those states — California and Oregon — experienced some of the largest fires in their history, as the high temperatures contributed to extra-dry soils and vegetation that helped fires spread quickly.Scott Handel, a meteorologist with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said during a news conference that the forecast for October called for above-normal temperatures across much of the country, with only the Pacific No...
An Economic Lifeline in South America, the Paraná River, Is Shriveling

An Economic Lifeline in South America, the Paraná River, Is Shriveling

Technology, World
ROSARIO, Argentina — The fisherman woke up early on a recent morning, banged on the fuel containers on his small boat to make sure he had enough for the day, and set out on the Paraná River, fishing net in hand.The outing was a waste of time. The river, an economic lifeline in South America, has shrunk significantly amid a severe drought, and the effects are damaging lives and livelihoods along its banks and well beyond.“I didn’t catch a single fish,” said the 68-year-old fisherman, Juan Carlos Garate, pointing to patches of grass sprouting where there used to be water. “Everything is dry.”The Paraná’s reduced flow, at its lowest level since the 1940s, has upended delicate ecosystems in the vast area that straddles Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and left scores of communities scrambling fo...
El Paraná se marchita y con él, se seca un pilar económico de Sudamérica

El Paraná se marchita y con él, se seca un pilar económico de Sudamérica

Technology, World
ROSARIO, Argentina — El pescador se levantó temprano una mañana reciente, golpeó los contenedores de combustible de su pequeña embarcación para asegurarse de que tenía suficiente para el día, y salió al río Paraná, red en mano.La expedición fue una pérdida de tiempo. El río, una de las principales fuentes de ingresos de Sudamérica, se ha reducido considerablemente a causa de una grave sequía, y los efectos están dañando las vidas y los medios de subsistencia a lo largo de sus riberas y mucho más allá.“En todo el día no agarré un pescado”, dijo Juan Carlos Garate, el pescador de 68 años señalando los parches de hierba que brotan donde antes había agua. “Todo está seco”.La reducción del caudal del Paraná, que se halla en su nivel más bajo desde la década de 1940, ha trastornado los delicados...
When Heat Waves, Wildfires and Drought Grip Oregon and Washington

When Heat Waves, Wildfires and Drought Grip Oregon and Washington

Business
In early summer, a day laborer laying irrigation lines at a plant nursery just south of Portland, Ore., collapsed to the ground and died. His official cause of death was declared “heat related.”It was 104 degrees out — several days into a brutal heat wave whose like has become increasingly commonplace in many parts of the country. Mussels and clams baked in their shells along the Washington coast. Record temperatures and fierce winds fueled one of the largest wildfires in the United States.Drought, megafires and heat waves are descending on the Pacific Northwest as the effects of climate change alter the landscape. They have forced farm owners, fieldworkers and state regulators to navigate newly extreme conditions.But visits to several farms in the Rogue Valley in Oregon and in Southern Wa...
After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action

After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — As the country reels from the cascade of deaths and devastation wrought by this summer’s record floods, heat waves, droughts and wildfires, President Biden and progressive Democrats are using the moment to push for aggressive climate provisions in a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget bill.Speaking on Thursday in Queens, where nearly a dozen people died a day earlier during flash floods, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said that when the Senate returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue work on budget legislation, it would include provisions designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions linked to extreme weather.Congress is also considering a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes money to help communities gird against climate disasters. The S...
In Afghanistan, War and Climate Change Collide

In Afghanistan, War and Climate Change Collide

Technology, World
But climate change is a threat multiplier for the Taliban, too. Analysts say water management will be critical to its legitimacy with Afghan citizens, and it is likely to be one of the most important issues in the Taliban’s relations with its neighbors as well.Already on the Afghan battlefield, as in many battlefields throughout history, water has been an important currency. The Taliban, in their bid for Herat, a strategic city in the west, repeatedly attacked a dam that is critical for drinking water, agriculture and electricity for the people of the region. Likewise, in Kandahar Province in the south, one of the Taliban’s most critical victories was to seize control of a dam that holds water for drinking and irrigation.Climate change also stands to complicate the Taliban’s ability to ful...
‘The Worst Thing I Can Ever Remember’: How Drought Is Crushing Ranchers

‘The Worst Thing I Can Ever Remember’: How Drought Is Crushing Ranchers

Technology, World
TOWNER, N.D. — Darrell Rice stood in a field of corn he’d planted in early June, to be harvested in the fall and chopped up to feed the hundreds of cows and calves he raises in central North Dakota.“It should be six, seven, eight foot tall,” he said, looking down at the stunted plants at his feet, their normally floppy leaves rolled tight against their stalks to conserve water in the summer heat.Like ranchers across the state, Mr. Rice is suffering through an epic drought as bad or worse than anywhere else in this season of extreme weather in the Western half of the country.A lack of snow last winter and almost no spring rain have created the driest conditions in generations. Ranchers are being forced to sell off portions of herds they have built up for years, often at fire-sale prices, to...