Omani delegation impressed by Fars tourism capacities
Head of an Omani tourism delegation visiting Fars Province said that he found the province’s tourism and medical capacities astonishing and he will seek to help promote tourism ties between Fars and Oman.
Ahmad Talal told IRNA at the end of the delegation’s six-day tour of Fars Province that the delegation’s trip was interesting and that his country will use the potentials of Fars Province in the future.
Talal, who is managing director of one of the Omani airlines, further
noted, “I have visited major Iranian cities including Isfahan and Tabriz but Shiraz is superior to them since it has the basic infrastructure such as hotels and residential centers.”
He also hailed Shirazi people’s hospitability, adding that such characteristics will help promote tourism industry.
After visiting the historic sites in Fars Province, the Omani delegation left Shiraz for Muscat late Sunday.
Oman is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in West Asia.
Farming impact of Australia’s worst drought in living memory
The worst drought in living memory is sweeping parts of eastern Australia, leaving farmers struggling to cope and asking questions about their future.
Record-low rainfall in some regions and successive seasons of above-average temperatures have blighted vast tracts of Australia’s grazing and crop land, Reuters wrote.
While the weather has improved in parts of Western Australia, winter rain has gone missing across much of the country’s east, leaving farmers praying for rain after planting seed in dry soil or culling cattle and sheep they can no longer afford to feed.
New South Wales, which just recorded its fifth-driest July on record, has been hardest hit. About 99 percent of the state — which accounts for a quarter of Australia’s agricultural output by value — is now officially in drought.
Eastern Australia has suffered major losses since 2016, the most recent year without major drought.
A dust bowl
With grazing pastures turned to dust and feed costly and scarce, the drought is having a major impact on livestock.
Farmers have been
shipping in hay from growers in the country’s west or the far north to feed their livestock. Even those sources are now being depleted, however, and as grain silos in the south are emptied, desperate owners are being forced to slaughter animals, even if it means it will take years for herds to recover.
The cull will ultimately leave the size of Australia’s national herd at a record low, ushering in a prolonged period of livestock rebuilding and higher prices for the industry.
Seeds rely not only on rainfall but also moisture already in the soil, which carries nutrients for plant growth and regulates soil temperature. The drought has devastated large swathes of eastern Australia’s crop land, which supplies about a third of the nation’s wheat.
Australia’s last winter was the warmest since records began more than a century ago and one of the 10 driest, sapping moisture from the earth. Dry conditions since have only made things worse, leaving farmers to plant dry and hope for rain to salvage their crops.
Last year, drought cut Australia’s output to the lowest level in a decade. This season has got off to an even worse start, with farmers planting in some of the driest soil in years.
Australia’s official forecaster has trimmed its estimate of this year’s wheat crop to 21.9 million tons, but warned yields would fall further without rain. Some private forecasters say the crop could be as low as 13 million tons, which would be the lowest since the drought-stricken 2008 harvest.
The ground in drought-hit regions has dried out to such a depth that it is even killing large trees. Scientists have reported more swathes of forest are dying off, while farmers point to trees that have survived 100 years on their properties but which are now dying before their eyes.
Deep-rooted vegetation can access moisture down to levels of about six meters (yards). However, these areas have been too dry for too long, and the effects are becoming visible.
The east is hardest hit, with large areas of New South Wales and Queensland seeing extreme deficiencies.
The current dry period is not as extensive as the Millennium drought of 1997-2005, which devastated nearly 50 percent of the country’s agricultural land and was associated with two El Niño systems, which bring hot, dry weather to Australia.
But analysts and industry experts worry about how badly conditions have already deteriorated, especially since El Niño weather may be just around the corner.
“Drought is a little bit like cancer,” said Margo Wollaston, who lives with her cattle farmer husband, Tom, 70, outside Tamworth in northwest New South Wales.
“It sort of eats away at you, and it just gets drier and drier and more severe and more severe.”
Scientist warns of climate change’s effects on New Zealand
A second contingent of New Zealand firefighters is heading to North America to help fight hundreds of wildfires.
And climate change experts say while the wildfires so far haven’t afflicted us so badly, we’re likely to see more extreme weather events as climate change continues.
Sixty-five firefighters will fly to Canada shortly, and can expect to be using techniques they learn when they get back home as climate change bites, newshub.co.nz wrote.
Firefighter team leader John Sutton said: “It’s almost like a boost to morale, someone cares and someone’s here to help.”
The experience they gain will be invaluable ahead of the fires they say will burn New Zealand this summer.
“They are becoming more intense and complex and it’s a way of training our people and developing their skills,” Sutton said.
Thirty-eight New Zealand firefighters are already in California, and are among the more than 15,000 people tackling 18 blazes.
“This has been a challenging and deadly fire season just in the month of July,” California Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection chief Ken Pimlott said.
“Four firefighters perished fighting the fires in California many members of the public have been put at risk, injured and a number of fatalities.”
Europe too is touching record temperatures above the 40°C mark as fires burn out of control in the Iberian Peninsula.
In Australia it’s still winter, but fire is licking the Pacific Highway too — and the sun is parching the soil further inland, taking farmers beyond breaking point in the worst drought since 1965.
Charity worker Edwina Robertson broke down as she told Australia’s prime minister of another rural suicide.
Scientists say extreme heatwaves are now twice as likely, as weather events that used to be exceptional become expected.
Weather experts say because of climate change, New Zealand will be no different from the rest of the world — there will be more extreme weather events, more wildfires, more droughts and more floods.
Victoria University climate scientist James Renwick said climate change has forced the temperature up 1°C — but warns at present rates of carbon dioxide emission, it’ll rise by another 1°C in just two decades.
“Pretty much the whole of the eastern part of New Zealand — that’s from south of Dunedin right through to East Cape — would be in that very high or extreme danger zone for four or five or six months of the year.”
Global warming to increase water in South Asian rivers
A wetter future awaits South Asia, said a new study based on global climate change models that informed the fifth assessment report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The South Asia region will see a 20-percent to 30-percent increase in mean annual runoff for the period 2046–2075 relative to the study baseline period of 1976–2005, said Hongxing Zheng, corresponding author of the study published this month (August) in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. The study was carried out by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia.
“We also discovered that the percentage change in precipitation may amplify by 1.5 percent to 2 percent in wet areas and by more than two per cent in dry areas,” Hongxing told scidev.net.
South Asia is home to 54 rivers of varying sizes linked to the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra river basins, all originating in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. While the Indus basin connects China with Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, the Brahmaputra and Ganges basins connect Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal.
“A spike in mean annual runoff of about 10 percent is projected for the Indus, Tibetan Plateau and Arakan Coast regions, and about 15 percent in the Ganges-Brahmaputra, Deccan Plateau and Ghats Coast regions,” Hongxing said, adding that the spike will be over 20 percent in the Narmada-Tapti region and Sri Lanka.
The change will be driven by higher temperatures from global warming, leading to more rain, the study said. Average daily temperatures would rise by 2.9°C to 4°C in 2046—2075 relative to the baseline. It also said the winter season will be slightly warmer and the summer seasons may see noticeably higher temperatures especially in the northern (high altitude) regions.
Arun Bhakta Shrestha, manager of the river basins program of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development Center (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, said that until recently hydrologists and climatologists perceived runoffs across South Asia as reducing due to climate change.
“But field and satellite imagery show that water availability is likely to increase — this is consonant with the new study on runoff scenarios for all the rivers.”
Managed properly, Shrestha said, increased runoffs could help socio-economic growth and poverty reduction in the largely farming countries of South Asia. However, failing to do so will exacerbate floods, land erosion, water logging, droughts and related impacts, he warned
Food security and farm-based livelihoods expert at ICIMOD, Golam Rasul, suggested “investing in flood-resilient farming systems, flood-tolerant crop varieties and infrastructure as well as collaboration among South Asian countries for joint river basin management and early flood warning systems to mitigate projected impacts”.
Myanmar’s ancient city gets set for world heritage listing
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) will visit Myanmar’s ancient city Bagan in September for inspection assessment to decide whether the city should be placed into World Heritage list.
In accordance with the set rules and regulations, the council will inspect pagodas and building in the area to check whether the city meets the standards of the World Heritage site, khmertimeskh.com wrote.
Meanwhile, awareness forums are being conducted by the Department of Archeology and National Museum and charity organizations to broaden local people’s understandings and knowledge of the area for the sake of preserving the heritage of Bagan, which lies in the central part of the country with thousands of religious edifices and pagodas.
According to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Bagan Archeological site was extended from 42 square miles to 62 square miles.
While working for enlisting Bagan Archeological Zone as one of the World Cultural Heritage, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed some religious edifices and pagodas on August 24, 2016.
The restoration works were being done by experts to maintain their original shape, form and value.
The world heritage committee will adjudicate on the second submission of Bagan in June or July 2019. So we will continuously watch whether Bagan will become the next world heritage-cultural site of Myanmar.
Myanmar already ascended to the UNESCO world heritage — cultural site status in 2014 for three Pyu ancient cities: Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra.
India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has begun a marathon exercise across Tamil Nadu to sensitize farmers on climate change and need to focus on water conservation.