Showing posts with label Climate Change?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change?. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Government of Manitoba calls for evacuation of people and livestock downstream of Rivers dam, in the southwest.

Manitoba Media Bulletin
         July 1, 2020
BEFORE: The Rivers dam as it was almost a year ago, 
before torrential rains devastated wide areas of 
the province in recent days, putting it at risk. 
PinP photo.
AFTER: Photo credit - Global News.
Based on engineering assessments, and out of an abundance of caution, Manitoba Infrastructure is recommending an evacuation of people and livestock from approximately 30 to 40 properties along the Little Saskatchewan River downstream of the Rivers Dam in the rural municipalities of Riverdale and Whitehead.

The Manitoba government does not have confidence in the Rivers Dam. The dam is facing unprecedented flows on the Little Saskatchewan River following heavy rains over the past few days, and provincial and consulting engineers have indicated there is potential for a structural failure.

The municipalities of Riverdale, Whitehead and Cornwallis and the City of Brandon have been notified. Municipal officials are working with the province to ensure residents downstream of the dam are aware of the situation and have destinations in mind if asked to evacuate as a precaution.

Manitoba Infrastructure is also recommending that all use of Lake Wahtopanah be suspended immediately.

The recommended evacuation comes as a weather system has brought significant precipitation in the past 72 hours in southwest and western Manitoba. Some areas have received record-high precipitation of more than 200 millimetres during this period. The precipitation has caused water levels to rise in rivers and creeks in these areas.

Overland flooding is being reported in areas across the Assiniboine River watershed. A number of rivers, including the Little Saskatchewan River, are above flood stage and low-lying land near the river is affected.

Flooding of low-lying areas is expected for most portions of the Assiniboine River and its tributaries. However, water is expected to remain below flood protection levels at most locations along the Assiniboine and Souris rivers.

A flood warning has been issued for the Whitemud River as the run-off from upstream watersheds is passing through the Arden and Gladstone areas. Water could rise above bank-full levels within a short period in the Whitemud River watershed.

A flood warning remains in place for the Little Saskatchewan River and Whitemud River watersheds.

As well, a high water advisory remains in place for the Spruce Woods Provincial Park area.

Operation of the Portage Diversion could begin within the next 48 hours to limit flows in the lower Assiniboine River to 10,000 cubic feet per second. The level of Lake Manitoba is currently 811.5 feet, which is in the middle of the desired water level range. The operation of the Portage Diversion is not anticipated to have a significant impact on the level of Lake Manitoba. This operation is in accordance with Portage Diversion operating guidelines.

Manitoba Infrastructure crews are working in the flood-affected areas.  Staff are monitoring water level conditions and inspecting infrastructure on an ongoing basis.

Property owners are advised to take precautions as water levels could rise significantly in a short time in these areas.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Torrential rains triggered the disastrous volcanic eruptions in Hawaii two years ago; Study.

Nature Research
Will a changing climate make such events more frequent? 
The answer? See footnote!
Lava flow from Kilauea south of Hawai'i Volcanoes Nat'l. Park.
Photo by Ekrem Canli.
A paper appearing in in Nature today, suggests, the 2018 eruption of the Kīlauea Volcano in Hawai’i may have been activated by extreme rainfall. The findings indicate that rainfall should be taken into account when assessing volcanic hazards.

Rainfall is known to trigger seismic events and can alter volcanic activity. However, observations of such effects are limited to the shallow subsurface of the volcano, and it is unknown whether rainfall can activate deep magma movement. The eruption of the Kīlauea Volcano in Hawai’i was complex and multi-stage, but its trigger has been unknown. From May to August 2018, rifts opened around Kīlauea and the summit exhibited explosive eruptions and caldera collapse. 
Jamie Farquharson and Falk Amelung examined the impact of rainfall on the 2018 eruption. Prior to the eruption, Hawai’i had several months of abnormally high precipitation. The authors show that rainfall had infiltrated the volcano’s subsurface, increasing the pore pressure to the highest level in nearly 50 years immediately before and during the eruption. They suggest that this weakened the volcano’s structure and allowed magma to intrude, resulting in the eruption. The authors conducted statistical analyses of historical eruptions of Kīlauea and found that from 1790 onwards, nearly 60% of eruptions occurred in the rainy season, despite it being shorter than the dry season. This suggests a correlation between rainfall and Kīlauea’s eruptions throughout history. 
The authors indicate that improving our understanding of the relationship between rainfall and volcanic eruptions might help us to forecast future rainfall-induced volcanic activity.

Planet in Peril reached out to one of the lead authors, Jamie Farquharson to expand on the findings.

PinP - Q: Does this mean that, because manmade climate change is already bringing more severe weather, including torrential rains, we can expect more volcanic eruptions than in past because of it?

Farquharson - A:Based on our study, it is impossible to answer your question definitively. Our study was solely focused on Kīlauea Volcano and the 2018 eruption in particular---a single, well-studied example---so caution should be taken not to over-generalise these results. A great deal of further research is required to determine whether this is a phenomenon that can be detected in other volcanic environments. 

"Nevertheless, if there are volcanoes that are particularly prone to external forces such as rainfall, then a potential result of our changing climate could be an uptick in their activity in the future. 

"While it's certainly a fascinating prospect, a greater understanding of the potential coupling between rainfall and volcanism is necessary before we can make such broad claims with any confidence.”

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Fires scorching Bolivia’s Chiquitano forest

Science magazine
Wildfires in the Amazon rainforests of Bolivia.
Photo by List Top 10.
The Chiquitano Dry Forest - endemic to Bolivia, highly biodiverse, and considered the world’s best-preserved tropical dry forest - has lost a staggering 1.4 million hectares to fires since July. Story here.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

How Airplane Contrails Are Helping Make the Planet Warmer


Contrails over Manitoba. A PinP photo.

New research shows that condensation trails from aircraft exhaust are playing a significant role in global warming. Experts are concerned that efforts to change aviation engine design to reduce CO2 emissions could actually create more contrails and raise daily temperatures even more. Story here.

Friday, 21 September 2018

World's Largest River Floods Five Times More Often Than It Used to


Extreme floods have become more frequent in the Amazon Basin in just the last two to three decades, according to a new study. More here.

Amazon River, Western Para Province, Brazil June 1996. This image shows the flooded condition of a small section of the Amazon River,including the jungle towns of Obidos and Oriximina. The sun’s reflection off of the muddy looking river water, called sun glint or sunglitter, helps to identify land-water boundaries in this section of the Amazon River which is roughly midway between Manaus and the Amazon River Delta. By comparing this image to a detailed map of the area it is obvious that the river is flooding in the low lying areas that are adjacent to the floodplain of the main channel of the river. Large areas south of the main channel of the Amazon River are covered by standing water. Patches of cleared land can be identified within the densely vegetated terrain along the northeast side of the Amazon River. The main channel of the Rio Trombetas can be traced southeastward from the right edge of the picture until the river merges with the Amazon just west of the small jungle town of Obidos. Satellite image by NASA.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

No record yields for potatoes on the Canadian Prairies this year!

Western Producer
A potato harvester at work in southern Manitoba. A PinP photo.
The hot, dry weather Western Canada experienced this summer, is blamed. Story here.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Livestock Producers Temporarily Allowed to Cut Hay & Graze Animals on Crown Land

News release - Gov't. of Manitoba
Cattle graze on parched pasture. A PinP photo.
Livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use due to dry conditions across parts of the province, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. More here.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

'No grass': Europe's livestock sector stricken by drought

A parched crop in the Netherlands. Photo by Rasbak

"Our cows hav been living off hay cut in June, there isn't any grass," says a French farmer who, like his counterparts across much of northern Europe, is wondering how he will feed his animals this winter.  More here.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Manitoba beekeepers fight to come back after extreme honeybee die-offs

Long, cold winter could be to blame for some 
beekeepers losing more than half of their bees. More here.

A Manitoba beekeeper tends to his hives.
A PinP photo.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Early rains expose risks for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, but worst ‘yet to come,’ warns UN agency

UN News

Rohingya refugees in a camp in Bangladesh. Photo by Zlatica Hoke (VOA)
The arrival of pre-monsoon rains in southern Bangladesh has revealed an alarming level of risks for Rohingya refugees, United Nations humanitarian agencies said on Friday, warning that they do not  have the funds needed to protect hundreds of thousands of desperate people once the rainy season begins in earnest. More here.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Ancient storms could have hurled huge boulders, scientists say – raising new fears of rising seas

The Washington Post

Atop a jagged, 50-foot-high cliff on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera sit two enormous boulders known as “The Cow and the Bull.” Each is several…Details here.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wildfire forces evacuation of southwestern Saskatchewan communities

Evacuation orders have been issued for towns of Leader, Burstall and Liebenthal. Story here.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Crash in sea-turtle births stumps ecologists


Leading suspect — climate change — doesn’t fully explain what is happening to leatherback turtles in the US Virgin Islands. Story here.

Little leatherbacks leave their nest in Aruba.
Photo by Elise Peterson

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

More all-time heat records broken as California broils

Los Angeles Times
Wildfire in California, July, 2017. Photo by BLM.

California’s history-making heat wave set new all-time records for the second day in a row. Story here.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Military to help evacuate 3 Manitoba First Nations at risk from wildfire


Fire prompted evacuation of Wasagamack First Nation, partial evacuations of Garden Hill, St. Theresa Point. Story here.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Did Climate Change Intensify Hurricane Harvey?

The Atlantic

“The human contribution can be up to 30 percent or so of the total rainfall coming out of the storm.” Story here.

Monday, 21 August 2017

UN health agency rushes to prevent malaria, cholera outbreaks in flood-hit Sierra Leone

UN News Agency
The United Nations health agency is working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria and cholera in the wake of last week's mudslides and flooding in the country's capital, Freetown. Story here.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Environment Canada confirms tornado hit Ontario's cottage country, 3,000 still without power


Too soon to know how strong twister was, but several structures damaged. Story here.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Record high temperatures grip much of the globe, more hot weather to come – UN agency (Story & video)

UN News Centre
Extremely high May and June temperatures have broken records in parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States, the United Nations weather agency reported today, warning of more heatwaves to come. Story here.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

62 dead in central Portugal forest fires


Heat from fires so intense, crews having trouble approaching flames. Details here.

Beyond Covid 19. Are we risking yet another pandemic if we continue to embrace "assembly-line" livestock production into the future?

by Larry Powell No one would argue that Covid 19 demands our undivided attention. Surely,  defeating this "beast" has to be &...