Next to Pakistan, record rainfall and subsequent flooding and mudslides in western China are estimated to have left roughly 1,200 dead and scores more homeless. China's government has been handling that crisis on its own and has yet to appeal for international support.
Russia's drought has reduced its wheat crop by 20 percent, and droughts in Canada are anticipated to reduce the crop there by an equal proportion. Though the Food and Agriculture Organization says the United States alone has enough grain in storage to meet the gap, the U.S. Department of Agriculture put out a warning last week that reduced yields from droughts in Europe and Africa have lowered food stores to levels close to those seen just before the onset of the 2007 food crisis in the developing world.
Less reported, on Aug. 5, a sensor on a NASA satellite recorded a massive chunk of ice breaking off a glacier in Greenland. The huge block measures more than 77 square miles in size and is one of the largest calving incidents witnessed in the Northern Hemisphere.
Asrar and other WMO officials argue that the evidence linking all these events to climate change is strong.
"The occurrence of all these events at almost the same time raises questions about their possible linkages to the predicted increase in intensity and frequency of extreme events, for example, as stipulated in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007," WMO says in a report.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500