Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Drought (23)

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 ]

Megablazes tell us about the fiery future of climate change

Rolling Stone / Tim Dickinson / 15 September 2015

Pervasive drought and record temperatures have turned forests from Fresno to Fairbanks into tinderboxes. And it’s only getting worse

R S photoThis is the present, and the future, of climate change. Our overheated world is amplifying drought and making megafire commonplace. This is happening even in the soggy Pacific Northwest, which has been hard-hit by what’s been dubbed a “wet drought.” Despite near-normal precipitation, warm winter temperatures brought rain instead of snow to the region’s mountains. What little snow did hit the ground then melted early, leaving the Northwest dry — and ready to burn in the heat of summer.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
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