Friday, August 13, 2010


It’s Friday the thirteenth so let’s get right to the bad news…

“Average temperatures during the month of July were eight degrees Celsius above normal in Moscow, he said, noting that "such a huge increase in temperature over an entire month is just unheard of." On Monday, Moscow reached 37 C when the normal temperature for August is 21 C. It was the 28th day in a row that temperatures exceeded 30 C. Soil moisture has fallen to levels seen only once in 500 years, says Brown. Wheat and other grain yields are expected to decline by 40 percent or more in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine - regions that provide 25 percent of the world's wheat exports. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced a few days ago that Russia would ban all grain exports. Food prices will rise but how much is not known at this point, says Brown. "What we do know, however, is that the prices of wheat, corn, and soybeans are actually somewhat higher in early August 2010 than they were in early August 2007, when the record-breaking 2007-08 run-up in grain prices began." Emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 from burning fossil fuels trap more of the sun's energy. Climate experts expected the number and intensity of heat waves and droughts to increase as a result. In 2009, heat and fire killed hundreds in Australia during the worst drought in more than century, which devastated the country's agriculture sector. In 2003, a European heat wave killed 53,000 people but as it occurred late in the summer crop, yields were not badly affected. If a heat wave like Russia's were centred around the grain- producing regions near Chicago or Beijing, the impacts could be many times worse because each of these regions produce five times the amount of grain as Russia does, says Brown. Such an event could result in the loss of 100 to 200 million tonnes of grain with unimaginable affects on the world's food supply. "Russia's heat wave is a wake-up call to the world regarding the vulnerability of the global food supply." Click here for the whole story.

Click here for Martha (yes, it’s ironic)
Click here for The Who (equally ironic)

The secret word is Famine

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