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IRI Climate Digest    July 2000

Climate Impacts


Eastern Africa Millions of Kenyans continue to potentially face severe malnutrition as a result of lingering drought. Lack of significant rains in the north, northeast and northwest has left those areas most vulnerable. Drought conditions continue in Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia. (RW:USAID) Story: (DRO)

Central and South Asia Much of the area is currently suffering from severe drought. The countries most affected are Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. The disaster has also spread over Mongolia, northern and western China, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. Significant losses of livestock and crops, and rapid deterioration of health and sanitary conditions have already been reported and the prospect of large population displacements has been raised. Situation Reports: (RW:OCHA) (RW:UNDP)

Mongolia Unusually high temperatures and below-normal rainfall during the summer months has stressed crops and grasslands in the region and fueled wildfires. These conditions follow an extremely harsh winter which killed over 2,000,000 livestock - a significant loss in a country where animal husbandry represents more than 30 percent of the GDP. (Reuters)

United States Wildfire season in the western United States is worsened by ongoing dry conditions which were initially associated with La Niña. Some 70 large fires have burned more than 747,110 acres of the West, according to the National Fire Information Center. (CNN)


India At least 26 people in the Bombay area have died from leptospirosis, a disease borne by rat and dog urine, prompting a widespread medical alert. Leptospirosis outbreaks are worsened during the monsoons, as flooding spreads the urine in drinking water, vegetation and mud. People wading through flooded streets may become infected if they have cuts on their body. (EarthAlert)

Romania One man died from anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) after eating contaminated pork and several others are suspected of having this disease. Due to the drought in Romania, its worst in a century, grazing livestock are forced to feed in lower-lying areas where anthrax spores may have collected. A ban on the consumption of meat products from affected regions has been declared. (ProMED)

United States In Indiana, a 3-year-old, and possibly a 29-year old, died from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a tick-borne disease. The last death due to this disease occurred 12 years ago in the state. This year's warm winter and wet spring are believed to have increased the tick numbers. (ProMED)

Water Resources

Turkey The Turkish government was reported as taking steps to prevent an energy shortage in the coming winter. Due to severe drought in the southeast, where the majority of the country's electricity is generated at hydro-electric facilities, water resources have been adversely affected. Thermal power plants have been put into operation to reduce the demand for water. (PMA)

Middle East In Iran, Iraq, Syria and Jordan severe drought conditions continue throughout the region as more regular rain is not expected (climatologically) until boreal autumn. Water shortages are widely reported. Some river beds have been dry for months. Up to 12 million people are said to be affected by a shortage of potable water as well water levels continue to decline. (OCHA)

Sri Lanka Residents of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo were told to use water sparingly or face supply cuts to cope with drought conditions according to reports. The government also asked people to conserve electricity as the country is heavily dependent on hydro-electricity. (Reuters)


South Asia Monsoon rains improved planting prospects in central and western India's primary oilseed and cotton regions.(JAWF)

Eastern Asia In Manchuria widespread rains stabilized yield potentials for corn, soybeans and spring wheat, while in the North China Plain moisture supplies were increased but more rain is needed to eliminate regions affected by drought. (JAWF)

Mexico Dry conditions stressed summer crops across northeastern and north-central Mexico, and also across the southern Plateau Corn Belt.(JAWF)

United States Moisture shortages were eliminated in the eatern corn belt, and warm temperatures accelerated crop development. Crop conditions suffered in the southern plains and southeast due to high temperatures and moisture shortages.(JAWF)

South America A series of strong cold fronts brought frosts to central Argentina and southern Brazil. The frosts reportedly had a major impact on coffee in the Brazilian state of Parana (8 percent of the national coffee production) raising concerns for next year's flowering potential. In the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo the impacts were less severe on coffee. However, other crops, which were already stressed in São Paulo state due to severe drought, were further damaged.. (JAWF)


Peru The Peruvian catch of small pelagics for the month of July is expected to exceed one million metric tons, bringing the total 2000 catch to over 7.3 million metric tons, compared with approximately 4.5 million metric tons for the same period in 1999. Fishmeal prices have also increased, in part due to increased demand in the Chinese market, and lower than normal production in Chile. Due to delayed spawning, there is an expectation for the fishing ban which began on July 29 to last into early to mid October.
Material for this portion of the IRI Climate Information Digest has been extracted from the UN/OCHA Reliefweb (RW), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Doctors Without Borders (DWB), Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED) , USDA/NOAA Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (JAWF) and the Fishmeal Exporters Organization. Additional information was obtained from the NOAA/OGP Climate Information Program, Red Cross/CNN/IBM Disaster Relief, Earth Alert, CNN, and the Power Marketing Association PMA.

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