Dropping yields: After wheat, erratic monsoon pattern affect rice production across the country.

India’s rice production takes a hit after patchy rain in several states

Inconsistent rainfall across states has hit rice production in India. A few months ago, it was wheat that took a hit because of intense heatwaves across the country. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, which are major rice producers, have reported a rainfall deficit this monsoon season. Assam, another major rice producer, is reeling from intense flooding. According to experts, at least 15 million tonnes of rice production could be at risk. 

Heatwaves impacted agricultural output in 9 Indian states: Report

Intense heatwaves in March and April this year impacted agricultural output in nine Indian states, according to a report by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). While wheat production took a massive hit, the heatwaves also led to pest infestations, poor vegetative growth, whitefly attacks and viral infections in crops and livestocks, the report found in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra.   

The Aridity Anomaly Outlook Index for July, issued by India Meteorological Department (IMD), concluded that 85% districts across the country are facing arid conditions. The report found 63 of 756 districts were non-arid, while 660 had mild, moderate to severe aridity despite the ongoing southwest monsoon. Data for the remaining 33 districts remained unavailable. Of the 660 districts, 196 are facing ‘severe’ dryness—65 of them are in Uttar Pradesh.   

Heatwaves across continents continue to break temperature records

China is currently in the midst of a deadly heatwave with temperatures expected to exceed 40°C in almost 70 cities. Officials said another 373 cities and counties were expected to experience temperatures of 35°C and above. This is the second heatwave that China has reported for the month of July. 

The heatwave in Europe, meanwhile, continues in the UK, Spain, Hungary, Croatia and France, among others. Five regions in France have been put on ‘orange alert’ with temperatures expected to reach 40°C after remaining constant at around 35°C throughout July. Spain got the dubious distinction of having the world’s first named heatwave in Seville. Heatwave ‘Zoey’ pushed temperatures past 43°C in the region.  

In North America, two heatwaves were reported at the end of July. The first was between Oklahoma and Kansas and the second was between Oregon and Washington. In Canada, Lytton, a town in British Columbia, recorded a temperature of 42°C.

Climate hazards such as flooding have worsened 58% of infectious diseases: Study

Climate change-related events such as flooding, heatwaves and drought, have worsened around 58% of infectious diseases, including malaria, hantavirus and cholera, according to a new study. The study published in the journal Nature Climate Change observed medical literature of established cases of illnesses and found 218 of the known 375 human infectious diseases had worsened by one of 10 types of extreme weather connected to climate change.

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