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India Facing Drought Nation Wide Drought Crisis

India Facing Drought Nation Wide Drought Crisis 86

Narendra Modi had begun his first regime in 2014 on a drought note.

It was followed by another drought in 2015. This was said to be the first instance in a hundred years when India faced back-to-back drought years.

Narendra Modi won a bigger mandate in 2019 and India is staring at another spell of drought if the current trend of rainfall shortage continues.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) data fuels this fear.

In the pre-monsoon season or between March 1 and May 31, the rainfall deficiency was 25 per cent. It has been increasing since then.

Between May 30 and June 6, the IMD data says, the rainfall deficiency increased to 40 per cent.

According to the Drought Early Warning System, 43 per cent of India is currently under the spell of drought. Situation in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is grim.

It is not much better in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

About half of Maharashtra – including the districts of Latur, Beed and Osmanabad in Marathwada region – comprising nearly three-fourth of 36 districts of the state are facing severe drought situation.

In Karnataka, two dozen of its 30 districts – nearly 80 per cent – are reeling under drought.

News reports suggest that over 80 lakh farmers in the two states are affected by drought.

Monsoon is weak and delayed. It reached Kerala on Saturday after a delay of a week.

In its forecast, the IMD said monsoon is likely to be below normal – 96 per cent of the long period average (LPA) with 41 per cent possibility of a normal monsoon.

The long period average for India from 1951-2000 is 89 centimetres. Anything between 96-104 per cent of the LPA is normal, and below normal if it is 90-96 per cent.

The IMD said El-Nino phenomenon (heating) of the Pacific Ocean will impact early phases of monsoon before going neutral in the latter part of the rainy season.

Prediction of a below normal monsoon came with a possible variation of eight per cent. And, this holds true, 2019 may be the fourth drought season since 2014.

In 2014, India had 12 per cent monsoon rainfall deficiency leading to severe drought in many states. In 2015, deficiency was 14 per cent that aggravated farm crisis and protests were seen at many places.

Last year, even though Kerala floods dominated the news cycle, the large parts of the nation faced drought. June to September monsoon season was deficient by 9 per cent in 2018.

The drought situation became critical in South Indian states, which recorded a 44 per cent deficit in northeast monsoon – the main rainy season in the region. It was the sixth biggest shortfall since 1901. Overall annual rainfall was 15 per cent less in 2018.

Sensing the urgency to address the drought and water deficiency crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a new ministry – Jal Shahkti as he had promised at a public rally in Tamil Nadu during the Lok Sabha election. But PM Modi’s date with rain god has remained sour till date.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) earlier this week said water storage in most reservoirs in west and south has dipped to less than the average of last 10 years indicating a worsening water crisis.

It said, “The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on May 30, 2019, was 31.65 billion cubic metres, which is 20 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 21 per cent for the week ending on May 23, 2019.”

Surprisingly, resolving water crisis and fighting drought were not among top election issues. But these could cause severe headache for the Modi government if left unaddressed.

According to Lokniti-CSDS survey, 47 per cent of farmers voted for the BJP saying that despite lingering farm crisis, PM Modi should get another chance.

Prabhash K Dutta
India Today

Planet Earth

Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 99

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Planet Earth

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 100

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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Planet Earth

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China 101

In the first months of 2020, the whole world with a certain fright followed the events unfolding in China, where people fell on the streets during the day and astronauts wandered, and in the evening crematoria began to smoke. And now, with the onset of December, the cycle seems to be repeating itself.

Shunyi area in Beijing, where the authorities announced “wartime status” the day before. As you can see in the videos, thousands of people are lined up in the queue for mandatory testing:

Dalian city, where “wartime” is also declared. Neighborhoods are blockaded, people are walled up in entrances, familiar characters of George Lucas roam the streets:

https://twitter.com/UndergroundSilk/status/1341741036297723905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Chinese ‘rescuers’, before performing a combat mission:

Chengdu City:

Daluo Port, Yunnan – tourists came for adventure and they received the ‘time of their life’ after leaving the ramp:

If something happens in Beijing, it does not mean that tomorrow the same will happen everywhere. However, the trend towards such dynamics is observed and, as the practice of the first wave of the pandemic has shown, all countries and people, to one degree or another, have taken into account the ‘Chinese experience’. 

Therefore, one must think that everything will now be in peace, as in spring – a new global round of the fight against the Covid has begun in China, a new great pandemic cycle!

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