The droughts in the United States, China and other parts of the world are some of the worst in recent memory. Is this a sign of the damage Global Warming has done? Is it a sign of the Apocalypse? Is it just a normal occurrence and therefore nothing to worry about? Well, that would depend on who is asked.
U.S. droughts drying up crops
Farmers in Texas and Oklahoma are watching crops dry up. But those who have been around long enough remember a worse drought in the 1950s. La Nina is being blamed by the National Weather Service. It is a shifting of the jet stream that occurs every so often in the Pacific Ocean causing shifting weather patterns. According to the NWS, it is almost over and more neutral conditions are on the horizon.
But for right now, the drought is taking its toll in places like Houston where they are at about 15% of their normal rainfall for the year. Wildfires are now a real fear in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Is this a sign perhaps? In 1998 Florida went through a similar pattern. Drought led to some of the worst wildfires in state history. Hundreds of thousands of acres burned all over the state. Fire departments came from all over the nation. Then six years later, Florida was hit with no fewer than five hurricanes within a two month period. Many wanted to blame global warming. Many wanted to blame God’s Wrath. Many think it’s just normal weather patterns.
Florida is still alive and kicking today. I suspect that Texas and the southwest will be fine too.
Drought in China threatens wheat
China however could be a different story. They are in a 200 year drought right now which threatens their very important wheat crop. China is the world’s largest wheat producer and also by far the world’s largest population. A world wide problem could arise if they cannot feed their own population.
World food prices could soar out of sight if stocks diminish and China must import its food. Right now they are not expecting much rain at least until March, 2012. Keep an eye on this one. This could be bad.
Africa facing brutal drought
Africa is experiencing drought this year too. That is a place that can ill afford more bad news. Politics and economics are the worst of anywhere in the world there already. Bad weather is like adding insult to injury. Typically Africa leads the world in suffering and starvation. This has to be especially brutal.
There is really no way to prepare for drought. Stocking up on water is very difficult. Eventually you run out. Then what? Without rain, we are all going to die. So really it is out of our hands. All we can do is hope and pray the rains will continue to come as they always have.