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Droughts Hit Nation, World

Droughts Hit Nation, World

If you live somewhere that you can complain about rain every day, consider yourself fortunate. Nearly all of Texas, Florida and large swaths of the southwest and eastern seaboard are experiencing record droughts.

Accompanying droughts are record wildfires. Already this year, there have been an average of 290 acres of crops burned per wildfire, with the most catastrophic events in western Texas. From February to April, over 6,000 wildfires broke out, damaging 1.7 million of acres of crops.

It’s not only in our backyard, but around the world too.

UNITED STATES

Florida

Southern Florida is being hit by “extreme” drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. With no end in sight, the South Florida Water Management District is forcing farmers to cut water use by 45 percent on top of the 15 percent cutback already in place.

But the drought is not only affecting farmers; it could affect all water supplies too. More than 60 percent of the Everglades water conservation area is dry. With Lake Okeechobee’s water levels at record lows, the Everglades would have been a back-up source. But with water so scarce, Florida officials are scrambling to figure out how to keep crops growing.

Texas

Texas is by far the hardest hit. To date, officials are reporting 9,000 wildfires, more than 400 homes destroyed or damaged, and 2.2 million acres burnt up. The last seven months have been the driest since 1895, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

This could have devastating effects on the rest of the nation as Texas serves as the hub for most wheat growth. With rocketing gas prices and food prices, we could see serious price hikes in the coming months for basic foods.

WORLD

China

In China, over half a million people are short of drinking water. Almost 1,400 reservoirs in Central China are unusable due to dead water. The lack of rising water levels also affects the world’s largest hydroelectric project in China, the Three Gorges Dam.

The drought has lasted for five months now and there isn’t any indication that it will let up.

France

France is experiencing the worst drought in the past 50 years. As with Texas, France is a major supplier of wheat, barley and sugar beets to the European Union.

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73 comments

+ add your own
4:05PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

thank you for info..

4:04PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

thank you for info..

1:25PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Parts of the U.K. are having a drought too.

12:13PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

disturbing

12:28AM PDT on May 28, 2011

I guess most people who are members at Care2 are more aware of the huge changes in our earth's climate and at least care about that. It is very disheartening to see others who keep consuming excessively, not cutting their pollution, energy and water usage - while there are so many suffering around the world.

10:18AM PDT on May 23, 2011

We definitely need to address the problem of human overpopulation. On the other hand, nobody wants to tell people to stop having babies, except for China. We exploit every natural resource there is for our own gain without thought of future consequences. What a dilemma we've put ourselves in.

12:51PM PDT on May 22, 2011

Granted the climate is changing. The planet naturally adjusts itself even to perhaps a polar shift now and again. Then there is the solar effects from the sun and other contributing factors in the universe.
How much have we with our HAARP/ionosphere and other climate experiments affected these extreme conditions? It seems to me it wasn't that long ago that the Chinese were guaranteeing sunny weather for the Olympic Games and painting their grass green. If the Three Gorges is affected that could lead to a major environmental disaster.
What effect would something like that have over time? Two thirds of the people live in China/India and Africa and cook with fossil fuels. Let's factor in fracking which I think is a major contributor to our present increase in extreme weather. Of course it helps when you create an oil/water based curtain through a major catastrophe like the Gulf and other spills did. Did you know that back in Desert Storm Iraqi troops deliberately dumped more oil into the sea than all that was released into the Gulf? In war we decimate the environment and in our myopia never think we'll have to pay for it. In business we do the same and then wonder why we are in dire straits.

11:12PM PDT on May 21, 2011

climate change definitely is happening, thanks for the article

3:52PM PDT on May 20, 2011

It's just another sign that climate change really isn't a myth. Here in Southern Africa, or at least in parts thereof, we have been experiencing way more rain in recent years than what we should. I can't give you figures, but in South Africa, we have recently experienced severe floods, and the Zambezi river is currently bursting its banks. You can't tell me that climate change is just a concept created by extremists and people with ulterior motives.

12:45PM PDT on May 20, 2011

i agree with the other posters who brought up the overpopulation issue - it's at the root of all environmental and climate change problems today, and yet it's not being addressed because of fears that our economies will tumble if we don't continue exponentially increasing the human race.

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