Friday, June 23, 2023

Increased risk of extreme rainfall due to warming

Journal: Nature

Climate warming is causing a decrease in snowfall and increase in rainfall at high altitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, and is predicted to increase the risk of extreme rainfall, suggests a study published in Nature

The intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation events is expected to increase as global warming continues to affect the planet. Of particular concern are extremes in rainfall, which often cause more damage than similar snowfall events due to their instantaneous runoff, increasing the risk of floods, which can cause infrastructure damage and landslides. Precisely how increases in global temperature will affect extreme rainfall events remains unclear. 

To assess how climate change might be driving a shift in precipitation patterns, Mohammed Ombadi and colleagues combined data from climate observations from between 1950 and 2019 with future projections, up to 2100, taken from Earth system models. Their results suggest that warming is causing an increase in rainfall extremes within regions of high elevation in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in regions usually dominated by snowfall. On average, the intensity of extreme rainfall events is estimated to increase by 15% per 1 °C of warming. These patterns are seen both in the historical observations and future projections. The estimated rate of increased rainfall in high altitudes is approximately double that of low altitudes, highlighting the increased vulnerability of mountainous regions to extreme precipitation.  

These results may guide infrastructure and mitigation strategies to avert the damage such rainfall events could cause, as well as making predictions of their occurrence more precise, the authors conclude. 

Manitobans deserve transparency, not unsubstantiated environmental claims from their pork sector.

Hog Watch Manitoba - June 23rd, 2023.

    Hog Watch Manitoba, a non-profit, advocacy group, says it believes a recent claim by Manitoba Pork about how much water it is using, needs more proof.     

    In a newspaper ad, the industry organization declares, “Hog farms today require 40% less water per kilogram of pork produced, compared to fifty years ago.”   

    Larry Powell of Hog Watch says this doesn’t tell the whole story. 

    "Even if consumption per unit has gone down, what does it matter when that figure is surely being eclipsed by rising animal numbers? There are well over three times as many pigs on Manitoba farms now as there were half-a-century ago. 

    "Not only that, the use of slurry, which has been spread on vast farm fields in this province for decades, is more than 80% water. It's been on the increase since the nineties. 

    "A University of Manitoba study concluded that pigs produced 346 thousand tonnes of dry manure in 2007 alone. Since the spreading of slurry was a common and growing practise, even back then, it must surely have added up to a staggering total.

An industry photo.

    "Besides, research by the industry itself shows finisher pigs can waste up to 25% of the water they use, even from 'well-managed' nipple-drinkers."

    Powell adds, there's good reason the public deserves full disclosure on this vital issue. 

    "Experts have long been warning, 'As climate change tightens its grip, multi-year droughts are taking a severe toll, especially on cattle and grain producers. With drought and heatwaves becoming a worsening problem on the semi-arid Canadian prairies, competition for a diminishing supply of water will become a major problem in the future. And excess use of water by this industry may be a threat to both local and regional water sources.'

    "So if Manitoba Pork wants to be seen as a good corporate citizen, the people of this province need more assurance than this, that our finite supply of freshwater can sustain it, indefinitely into the future."

    Hog Watch Manitoba is a non-profit organization, a coalition of environmentalists, farmers, friends of animals, social justice advocates, scientists and concerned citizens. We are promoting a hog industry in Manitoba that is ethically, environmentally, and economically sustainable. 

    Data for this statement comes from Statistics Canada, Environment Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the MB Clean Environment Commission.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Writer condemns the wisdom of allowing factory farms to proliferate in Manitoba

 Letter to the editor.

"The entire pork industry in Manitoba is facing a difficult time. That includes the hog farmers as well as the processors," GM Cam Dahl of MB Pork told the Brandon Sun, 17 June,2023.

 Without the benefit of taxpayers’ dollars (read: government support), the Manitoba hog industry (not farming) would have collapsed many years ago. 

Born and raised on a farm, I appreciate the proper raising and care of swine. Pigs produced in a factory-type situation however, live in conditions that are far removed from achieving humane animal stewardship status. 

Bad ideas and poor operating principles are very costly for the animals, our environment and society. 

It was some 24 years ago that the Filmon Progressive Conservative government unfurled the red carpet and opened Pandora’s box for the hog Industry to come into Manitoba. Now, since being elected in 2016, the Pallister and Stefanson regimes—through their Red Tape Reduction Act—have taken the cue to further expand the industry by discarding much of the legislation that had been put in place to protect our environment, Lake Winnipeg, and Manitoba water sources. 

Yes, it is very clear that Mr. Pallister and Premier Stefanson’s ministers have been busy reading the Filmon manual on how to manage the Manitoba government on the value-added concept of economics regarding the hog Industry. 

I often think there are those who will not be pleased with anything short of a regulatory footprint so light it allows hog barns to be built on floating platforms in the middle of Lake Winnipeg.  

This hog industry of Maple Leaf Foods and foreign-owned Hylife Foods is a meat exporting business. Manitobans consume about six per cent of their production. The rest is shipped away, leaving Manitobans to deal with all the waste and pollution that is leaves behind.

Unfortunately, polluted water, toxic air, health concerns and the plight of rural residents is not a consideration to Manitoba’s government. 

This political transgression of ruination is upon us, affecting the future of our children and generations that follow. 

John Fefchak
Virden , MB

Wednesday, June 14, 2023



The future-oriented straw bedding concept
PureLine products

Pig production on straw that meets the animals’ needs and is still profitable – is that possible? Yes! With the sustainable and animal-friendly Xaletto® straw bedding concept, both piglet rearing and pig finishing are profitable, either in closed houses or in ventilated barns with open-air run.

Xaletto® is the result of a collaboration between Big Dutchman, the feed producer Bröring and an experienced farmer. Prerequisites for the success of the Xaletto® concept include:

  • a well-adjusted ventilation concept
  • an ideal feeding concept
  • optimal water management
  • labour-saving straw management

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Arctic may be sea-ice-free in summer by the 2030s

 Nature Communications

                                       Photo by Patrick Kelley  

The Arctic could be sea-ice-free during the month of September as early as the 2030s even under a low emissions scenario — about one decade earlier than previously projected — suggests a study published in Nature Communications

Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution

EurekAlert Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been l...