Hello, and welcome to this edition of Whew-I’m-Glad-I-Live-Here-and-Not-There. Today’s list of places you’re glad you don’t live:
Nebraska, the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming
A blistering drought is bringing on conditions that are being compared to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, leaving farmers and ranchers desperate. No really, desperate:
Gov. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, who has requested that 51 of the state’s 66 counties be designated a federal agricultural disaster area, recently sought unusual help from his constituents: he issued a proclamation declaring a week to pray for rain.
Colombia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, and Bolivia
Glaciers in the Andes are melting at a not-just-alarming-but-all-out-terrifying rate: some are expected to disappear within 15 to 25 years. Besides, you know, changing the whole ecosystem, deglaciation is likely to threaten water and food supplies in the region’s cities. Says a report by the IPCC‘s Working Group on Climate Change and Development:
The [drastic melt] forces people to farm at higher altitudes to grow their crops, adding to deforestation, which in turn undermines water sources and leads to soil erosion and putting the survival of Andean cultures at risk.
Latin America and the Caribbean
The same IPCC report warns that less predictable, more extreme weather is undermining ecosystem adaptation and efforts to end poverty.
Says Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation:
The region has had to deal with highly variable climates for many centuries. It has developed very resilient forms of agriculture based upon high levels of diversity of crops, which are adapted to grow in a wide range of microclimates.
The danger that now seems to be facing people in the region is that those conditions could become more permanent and more extreme.
Don’t get too jealous, readers, of these regions’ time in the climate spotlight. Considering the all-around climate chaos our planet is experiencing, your area could be next!