Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Drought (24)

How climate change is already costing you money

TVO / Patrick Metzger / 01 November 2017

It’s been understood for decades that greenhouse gases, produced largely by humanity’s infatuation with fossil fuels, are heating up the planet. However, in spite of 2017’s startling tally of hurricanes, wildfires, and other weather disasters, there remains a widespread misperception — exacerbated by poor media coverage of the climate change connection — that we’re facing a relatively minor problem that won’t hit hard for years, if ever.

This idea is wrong for all kinds of reasons, some of them profoundly alarming. However, even for those so far insulated from the worst of climate-related catastrophe, climate change is already hitting us where it counts — our wallet.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Drought busting #3

The Edible Garden / Edythe Falconer / August 2017

As in all aspects of gardening, we augment the resilience of our plants – come what may – by building and maintaining the best possible soil – well-structured and well fed with regular dosages of organic matter.

It has been said, for example, that up to 75% of plant moisture needs can be met if soil has good structure with the capacity to retain both moisture and nutrients.

What is well known but worth repeating is that the application of organic mulches has a huge impact on plant ability to withstand temperature extremes. Mulching keeps down weeds, killing the competition – and eventually mulch breaks down to become the building material for more of the soil aggregates needed by resilient soils. Also worth mentioning is that mulch helps prevent evaporation and assists in water absorption when you do water or it rains. Organic amendments are also essential for healthy populations of soil microorganisms. These tiny creatures break down organic matter to make nutrients more available to plants.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

U.S. Southwest: Megadrought lasting decades is 99% certain

EcoWatch / Dan Zukowski / 06 October 2016

colorado-riverA study released in Science Advances Wednesday finds strong evidence for severe, long-term droughts afflicting the American Southwest, driven by climate change. A megadrought lasting decades is 99 percent certain to hit the region this century, said scientists from Cornell University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“Historically, megadroughts were extremely rare phenomena occurring only once or twice per millennium,” the report states. “According to our analysis of modeled responses to increased GHGs, these events could become commonplace if climate change goes unabated.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

12 extreme weather events of the summer of 2016

Insurance Journal / Seth Borenstein / 23 September 2016

bad_weatherThe summer of 2016 has lurched from one extreme weather disaster to another at great cost in lives and damages. Here are just some of the worst and weirdest, according to insurance statistics and meteorologists:

  1. Flooding in China’s Yangtze Basin from May through August killed at least 475 people and caused $28 billion in losses.
  2. A drought in India that started earlier in the year and stretched through June caused about $5 billion in damage.
  3. Flooding in West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic in June killed 23 people and damaged more than 5,500 buildings.
  4. Typhoon Nepartak hit the Phillipines, Taiwan and China in July, killing 111 people and causing at least $1.5 billion in damage.
  5. Flooding in northeast China in July killed 289 people and caused about $5 billion in damage.
  6. Temperatures reached 129 degrees (54 degrees Celsius) in Kuwait and Iraq in July.
  7. [ more… ]

Wildlife, plants feeling the heat

Belleville Intelligencer / Luke Hendry / 12 August 2016

John SmolMore heat and less rainfall this summer are stressing plants, animals and people and could lead to less wildlife as the drought continues, authorities say.

Conditions since May have been unusually hot and dry in southern Ontario, the Montreal area, southern New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia. A heat warning remained in effect here Friday.

Humans are feeling it, but plants and animals are also showing signs of stress.

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told The Intelligencer this week it’s clear Earth is getting warmer and that more abnormally-hot summers, though not necessarily consecutive ones, are on the way.

“It really has ramifications all through the ecosystem,” said Dr. John Smol, the Canada Research Chair in environmental change and a Queen’s University biology professor.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Drought-tolerant crops, resilient perennials and more

Mother Earth News / Gary Paul Nabhan / June/July 2014

Dry-Climate-GardeningIf we’ve learned anything as food growers in recent decades, it’s that climate change has placed not just one but many kinds of stress on our gardens and farms. “Global warming” does not adequately describe the “new normal,” given that many food sheds and farms have suffered from a variety of catastrophic floods, freezes, droughts, wildfires, heat waves, grasshopper infestations and crop diseases over the past few years.

The big, paradoxical question confronting many farmers and gardeners is: How do we adapt to and plan for uncertainty? While such a question may initially seem unanswerable, farmers from all parts of the world have responded over many centuries through better crop selection and strategies to mitigate the worst effects of sun and wind.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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