Sinking farms: Farmers suffered huge crop losses following extreme rainfall right before the crops were ready for the September harvest. Photo: Rod Trevaskus_WikimediaCommons

Monsoon withdrawing: 27% of India left dry, 4 million ha of crops damaged in Marathwada

Farmers in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region suffered huge crop losses following extreme rainfall right before the crops were ready for harvest in September. The region was caught in a spell of extreme rainfall during August and September. Over 4.48 million farmers suffered severe crop damage and the figures may increase over the coming months, according to the divisional commissionerate, Aurangabad, DTE reported. 

According to the news portal, some 3,652,872 hectares (ha) of land have been affected due to the unexpected rains, of which 35,34,371 ha are rain-fed. Around 68,391 ha come under irrigation and 5,0,109 ha fall under horticulture. The Aurangabad, Beed and Latur districts received over 100% above normal rainfall in the last three weeks of September according to official data, resulting in large-scale crop loss.

Around 27% of the country (188 districts) were left dry during this monsoon. Central India received 19% excess rainfall, southern peninsula received 22% excess rain. Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab received very little rainfall. But in the last week of September Uttar Pradesh received more than 193% of the normal rainfall. Haryana received 916%, Punjab 350%, Himachal Pradesh 207%, Uttarakhand 223%, Rajasthan 190% and Madhya Pradesh 83% above normal rainfall.

Climate change behind extreme snowfall and avalanche of October 4 in Uttrakhand?

Extreme rainfall exacerbated by climate change may be the cause of the avalanche of October 4, on Danda-2 peak of Himalayas in Uttarakhand. The state received extreme rainfall in the lower altitudes and heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of the region in the last three weeks of September. Scientists told DTE the avalanche indicates that more snow has deposited on a mountain peak than it can support. 

According to official data, in the first week of September the southwest monsoon usually starts to retreat from Uttarakhand, but in 2022 it rained in the last week of the month which was 20-59% above the average. The rainfall for the state during the entire month was 267.6% above the average figure of 182.4 mm, DTE reported.

Hurricane Ian wreaks havoc in parts of Florida, Cuba; more than 60 dead

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida’s southwestern coast this past week, killing at least 62 people, flooding neighbourhoods and cutting off power lines with maximum sustained head winds of about 240 km per hour. 

After making landfall in Florida, and impacting neighbour Cuba as well, Ian turned towards North Carolina, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the area. This week, protestors took to the streets in Havana, Cuba, after Ian brought down power lines, most of which have remained inoperative since September 27. In Florida, 600,000 people remain without power.  

Over 6,000 trees cut to make way for tiger safari in Corbett Tiger reserve

More than 6,000 trees were felled in preparation for a tiger safari in the Kalagarh forest division of Corbett Tiger Reserve. The Forest Survey of India (FSI), in its report, stated 6,093 trees were felled over 16.21 hectares of land in place of 163 that had been approved by the ministry of environment, forestry and climate change (MoEFCC). The FSI submitted the report based on a survey taken in June this year.

Swiss glaciers record worst melt rate ever 

Switzerland’s glaciers recorded the worst melt rate this year since records began more than a century ago. According to monitoring body GLAMOS, the glaciers lost more than 6% of their remaining volume this year. 

This is nearly double the previous record set in 2003. At one site, bare rock that remained buried for more than a millennia was seen, while a plane that crashed in the alps years ago was found because of the extreme melt. Small glaciers have vanished, according to the data.   

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