Climate change intensifies El Niño and La Niña

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 29 Aug 2011

The severe drought in the Horn of Africa, which has caused the death of at least 30 000 children and is affecting some 12 million people, especially in Somalia, is a direct consequence of weather phenomena associated with climate change and global warming, environmental scientists say.

The intensification of La Niña will see growing desertification in Africa. Photo UNCCD.

“The present drought in the Horn of Africa has been provoked by El Niño and La Niña phenomena in the Pacific Ocean, which unsettle the normal circulation of warm and cold water and air, and dislocate the humidity conditions across the southern hemisphere,” Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe, senior scientist at the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK, after its German name), told IPS.

Both phenomena are a part of the southern oscillation climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean every five to seven years. It is characterised by variations in the temperature of the surface of the tropical eastern Pacific – warming or cooling known as El Niño and La Niña respectively – and a changing air surface pressure in the western Pacific. Continue reading Climate change intensifies El Niño and La Niña

Climate change a threat to countless individuals

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 Aug 2011

The right to food, health and shelter is threatened due to global warming, International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said on Monday.

In drought prone areas it is women who have to fend for their families

“Climate change affects the economic and social rights of countless individuals. This includes their rights to food, health and shelter,” she said.

The minister was speaking at a consultative dialogue on Women and Climate Change in Limpopo. She said that as climate change will continue to affect humanity, it was key to safeguard the lives of the people that are adversely affected, which are women.

“As incoming president [of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], I will strive to ensure the centrality of women in all global fora to advance the multilateral efforts to address climate change, which impacts in a very pernicious manner on women, especially in developing countries,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.

Women, she said, are the propellers and carriers of development.

“In flood prone regions, it is women who have to deal with the impact. In drought prone areas, it is women who have to fend for their families ensuring that the children are fed, and that the sick and the indigent are taken care of. Continue reading Climate change a threat to countless individuals

China prepares for floods following drought

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 04 June 2011

China warned several central and southern provinces hit by a months-long dry spell on Saturday to prepare for heavy rain and even floods, which would help to ease a drought which has damaged crops […]

Record floods displace thousands

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 04 April 2011

Record floods have hit central and northern Namibia, killing more than 60 people in the last week and causing millions of dollars of damage to roads, bridges and crops, officials said on Monday.

Flooding raises food security concerns

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 February 2011

Thousands of hectares of agricultural land and crops have been damaged by floods and heavy rains in parts of southern Africa, and more damage may occur in the coming weeks  if above normal rains persist.

Localized crop losses are reported in Mozambique. Photo: IRIN

This is raising concern about the food security of the affected population in the poorer parts of the sub-region over the coming months.

With the rainy season still only half way through, and with the cyclone season due to peak in February, several agricultural areas along the rivers in southern African countries remain at high risk of flooding, including portions of Botswana, Lesotho Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Food insecurity already critical

“Food insecurity levels are already critical in the affected areas of some of these countries and floods will only further worsen the ability of poor farmers to cope and feed their families in the coming months,” said Cindy Holleman, FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations] Regional Emergency Coordinator for Southern Africa. FAO is working with regional and national early warning systems to monitor the evolution in major river basins and to assess the impact on food crops. Continue reading Flooding raises food security concerns