This thread is for discussion of African aspects of global warming.
Four Gorillas Killed by Extreme Cold Weather in Rwanda, New Times Reports
Big chill hits South Africa’s World Cup
Unexpected harsh winter weather claims 34 victims in Egypt
Cairo, 13 December 2010
The unusually harsh winter weather battering the eastern Mediterranean area has killed at least 34 people in Egypt. The number of victims is likely to rise, as rescue squads are struggling to cope with debris from buildings that had collapsed under the impact of heavy rain and sandstorms.
In Alexandria a textile factory had broken down, burying 37 workers underneath the rubble, 13 of whom were pulled out dead and nine wounded, while 15 are still trapped. In building collapses elsewhere, another four people were killed, while twenty lost their lives in road accidents caused by poor visibility due to rain and sandstorms. Off the shores of the north western port of Marsa Matrouh an Italian cargo ship carrying 38 containers of toxic paint and resins was stranded with 18 crew members on board.
Editorial: Cold comfort to the needy
Just when South Africans think the worst of an especially biting cold winter has passed, Mother Nature makes a U-turn and returns-with devastating results.
As our paper reported on its front page yesterday and today, the cold front, accompanied by gale force winds, snowfalls and flooding in some provinces across the country, has wrought havoc around the country.
Some in the scientific world are quick to pronounce the freak weather as a sure-fire sign of global warning and it is now time for humanity to reap the whirlwind. Cold comfort to people out there who do not even understand what global warming is……..
The Sahara is actually shrinking, with vegetation arising on land where there was nothing but sand and rocks before. The southern border of the Sahara has been retreating since the early 1980s, making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa. There has been a spectacular regeneration of vegetation in northern Burkina Faso, which was devastated by drought and advancing deserts 20 years ago. It is now growing so much greener that families who fled to wetter coastal regions are starting to come back. There are now more trees, more grassland for livestock and a 70% increase in yields of local cereals such sorghum and millet in recent years. Vegetation has also increased significantly in the past 15 years in southern Mauritania, north-western Niger, central Chad, much of Sudan and parts of Eritrea. In Burkina Faso and Mali, production of millet rose by 55 percent and 35 percent, respectively, since 1980. Satellite photos, taken between 1982 and 2002, revealed the extensive re-greening throughout the Sahel. Aerial photographs and interviews with local people have confirmed the increase in vegetation.
Frost curbs Kenya’s January tea production
Kenya, the world’s biggest exporter of black tea, has lost a significant part of its tea production for this month due to severe frost in key growing areas, which could cut its foreign exchange earnings, a major industry group said on Thursday.
In this week alone, about 20 million kg of green leaf was damaged by frost, which occurs when temperatures plunge at night after hot days, said Alfred Njagi, general manager of operations at the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
Njagi said the frost damage is expected to extend into the future, following adverse effects of climate change.
“The conditions that precipitate frost bite have not been eroded, which are very high day temperatures and very low night temperatures. The drop in temperature from day to night is very rapid, so young shoots tend to freeze,” Njagi said.
Yes, I have first-hand experience of global warming (climate change) this season due to the strong La Nina. I have lost three quarters of my annual income from cherries due to consistent prevailing easterly weather patterns which bring cloud, drizzle and late frosts. Maybe I should apply for funding to write a paper on this. Except the title would have to be something like “Frost and rain damage to stonefruit orchards is expected to extend into the future, following adverse effects of climate change”.
In reality, my philisophical approach is “You can’t change the weather”.
At least you are not alone Mike. Did scarcity give you a better price for what you could harvest at least?
Interesting that you say “weather patterns which bring cloud” along with the other weather conditions. Orchardists on the the Australian Eastern Seaboard have been experiencing the same – reduced harvest and then customers don’t want fruit, just hot soup!
Fruit needs sunlight for a good crop (as you are obviously aware) so although it’s warm and humid there’s a lot less sunlight and that will impact next years harvest too if the cloud persists (scary thought in BoP what with Psa already). I moved to Mt Maunganui in the early 90s from Waikato and my memory of that time is etched with cloudless skies and some mean sunburn at times when I was caught out without sun protection (fair-skinned). Recently and especially this summer the cloud has been my friend in terms of sun protection but I have previously earned a living in the kiwifruit industry for a time so am now looking elsewhere because even without Psa, last years (late) harvest was not that flash due to La Nina because when it did come ready it all came in a rush and couldn’t all be packed immediately (backlog – soft fruit – rejects)
There wasn’t a frost problem in 2011 (hail in 2010) but when there is, every helicopter in NZ gets booked for service costing buckets. Kiwifruit needs some cold to break the bud (probably cherries too?) but not frosts either. To attribute frosts to ‘climate change’ is correct in terms of an ENSO climate shift say but incorrect in terms of AGW that prescribes warmer nights.
That cloud will also inhibit ocean warming so I fail to see how an El Nino will kick in next year (or of any strength if it does) as Gareth R hopes but I’m not an expert on ENSO so I’ll be as interested as anyone to see what happens.
Your anecdote Mike is symptomatic of all major orchard areas around the world right now from what I’ve read: NZ; Australia; South America; Florida; California (land of “fruits and nuts”) so why and how can orchardists be concerned about long-term ‘climate change’ (let alone contribute financially to mitigation) when they are battling slashed harvests and income as you are in the here and now due to what seems to be a climate shift (to the cooler and cloudier) as a result of natural variability?
As you say, you can’t change the weather but you do need every resource to be applied to next years crop for continued operation 2012/13 and beyond – not to ‘climate change’ speculation 2100. Spare a thought for the group of Psa affected kiwifruit growers that are facing the prospect of having exhausted all funding options come March.
Climate change, right! You’ll find it hard to obtain funding if you don’t link your findings to climate change.
But you’re in a most unenviable position, Mike. Sorry to hear it.
Kuwait experiences extreme cold
KUWAIT: Since late Friday, the country has experienced an uncommonly cold weather as temperature dropped below freezing in many areas, Kuwait Meteorology Center said yesterday. According to the Meteorology website, the Cold weather was due to an active north western winds affected by the Siberian High on the region.
The lowest temperatures recorded in the country were -3 degrees Celsius in West Salmi, -2 degrees in north Abdaly, and 3 degrees at Kuwait International Airport. Temperature reached below freezing in desert areas, the center noted. It is excepted that maximum temperature, on Saturday, would not exceed 10 degrees during daylight. — KUNA
Extreme cold this week
KUWAIT: An extremely cold period commonly known in Kuwait as “Izairig”, will start today and will continue until the end of the month, according to astronomer Adel Al-Saadoun. The last eight days of January are the coldest, when comparing to the remainder of the month, he said. The term, Izairig, which means blue in the local Kuwaiti dialect, was applied due to the color of people’s skin during the short extreme seasonal period.
Snow forecast for Sahara Desert
Parts of north Africa face six inches of powder, says Meteogroup forecaster Stephen Davenport. “The deep cold is spreading surprisingly far south.”
Rare snowfall stuns much of South Africa
By JON GAMBRELL
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — People slowly came outside despite the cold wind Tuesday across South Africa, pointed their mobile phone cameras to the sky and opened their mouths to taste a rare snowfall that fell on much of the country.
The snow began Tuesday morning, part of an extreme cold snap now biting into a nation still in its winter months. By mid-afternoon, officials recorded snowfall across most of South Africa. However, forecasters acknowledged snow remains so unusual that they typically aren’t prepared to provide details about snowfall in the nation.
South African Weather Service records show it has snowed in Johannesburg on only 22 other days in the last 103 years. The last snow fell there in June 2007.
In Pretoria, the country’s capital, flurries filled the sky during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was the first snowfall there since 1968, the weather service said.
Not sure if this is the best thread, but the post by Anthony Watts linking to the TED video talk on reversing desertification and climate change in Africa and elsewhere is well worth watching.
Scary bananas: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies: Ivo Vegter at TEDxCapeTown
Ivo Vegter is a columnist and author of Extreme Environment, in which he warns about environmental exaggeration and how it harms emerging economies. Taking excessive risks may be dangerous, but so is excessive risk avoidance. Using several startling or amusing examples, he’ll make a strong case for why facts and reason must trump emotion and exaggeration.
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