Subtitle: Climate Change? You Bet!
Two newsflashes came in today....
Newsflash: Belgium Had the Warmest Winter Ever.
“With an average temperature of 6.6°C, this winter has been the warmest ever in Belgium.”
I thought to remember that ‘winters used to be much colder’, but I had not been home for a whole winter since a long long time. I had nothing to compare with. Apart from that one day with snow, it did not feel cold. Wet, yeah, but not cold. Until I saw heard the news: The warmest winter ever..
This evening, we were driving the kids back from school, and I found this tree in bloom, along the road. First week of March! Usually this does not happen for another 4-8 weeks. You don’t need to be an expert to know this is not normal anymore.
Newsflash: Southern Africa Heading for a Food Crisis. Again.
The other side of the “weather change medal”...
On a positive note:
Since 2004, harvests in southern Africa have generally improved due to better weather patterns and the broader availability of seeds and fertilisers. As a result, the number of people requiring food aid has steadily declined. However, due to chronic poverty and nine of the ten highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world, food security in southern Africa remained precarious. It does not take much ‘to push them over the edge’. And this is what is happening now.
First came the floods:
Erratic weather patterns in southern Africa recently devastated harvest prospects for millions of people, and could spell widespread food shortages. Parts of Angola, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia, were struck by devastating floods which destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of crops during the most critical growing stage.
Then came the droughts:
In a stark contrast, Lesotho, Namibia, southern Mozambique, and much of Swaziland and large swathes of Zimbabwe’s cropland, have all been affected by prolonged dry spells which have withered and killed crops or reduced their development. Lesotho, for example, is expecting up to a 60 percent decline in agricultural output over last year’s harvest.
For more info on the food crisis and 'hunger issues', see the WFP Newsroom.
Africa pictures: courtesy WFP