North Korea dispatched soldiers to pour buckets of water on parched fields and South Korean officials scrambled to save a rare mollusk threatened by the heat as the worst dry spell in a century gripped the Korean Peninsula. [Associated Press]
Parts of both countries are experiencing the most severe drought since record-keeping began nearly 105 years ago, meteorological officials in Pyongyang and Seoul said Tuesday.
The protracted drought is heightening worries about North Korea’s ability to feed its people. Two-thirds of North Korea’s 24 million people faced chronic food shortages, the United Nations said earlier this month while asking donors for $198 million in humanitarian aid for the country.
Most of Central and Eastern Canada is experiencing extreme heat and little rain causing drought conditions, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada says. [CBC]
Preliminary data computed from the Palmer Drought Severity Index shows that 54.6 percent of the contiguous 48 states was in drought at the end of June, the highest percentage since December 1956, and the sixth-highest peak percentage on record. [Weather Channel]
As a relentless drought bakes prairie soil to dust and dries up streams across the country, ranchers struggling to feed their cattle are unloading them by the thousands, a wrenching decision likely to ripple from the Plains to supermarket shelves over the next year. [New York Times]
Nearly $25 million has already been spent to prepare for the immediate aftermath of this year’s wildfires, putting the U.S. Forest Service on track for another possible record year of spending on burned-area recovery efforts. [Huffington Post]
Sharper seasonal variations of ice and snow and temperature are being repeated all across the world from the Himalayas to the Andes, which scientists say are driven by a higher level of energy in the atmosphere from global warming. As a result, climbers have to think twice about what they might expect one year to the next, or even one day to the next, in places they might have climbed for decades. [New York Times]
China is building more eco-cities designed to be low-carbon and energy-saving than any other country, according to a survey by the University of Westminster in London. The USA ranked second. [USA Today]