The Stream, October 31: The Price of Sandy

Sandy, the hurricane turned mega-storm that battered the United States’ East Coast earlier this week, could cost insurers $US 5 billion to $US 10 billion, while economic losses are estimated anywhere between $US 10 billion and $US 20 billion, Reuters reported. The increasing cost of natural disasters could pressure Congress to take action on climate change.

Here, a Reuters slideshow displays eerie photographs of the storm’s destruction, from flooded amusement parks to homes gutted by fire.

River Transport
The share of cargo transported on the Nile River could increase as much as 15 percent in the next five years, as Egypt cuts fuel subsidies that give land transport an edge, Bloomberg News reported.

Meanwhile, shipping rates for oil products on the Rhine River are at their highest in three months after water levels on part of the river dropped 40 percent in the last two weeks, according to Bloomberg News.

Food in a Changing Climate
Declines in maize, rice and wheat yields due to climate change will necessitate a change in crop planning for many developing countries, according to a new report from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Guardian reported. Irrigated wheat crop yields could see a 13 percent drop in developing countries, while irrigated rice production could drop 15 percent.

In Kenya, however, farmers are reluctant to turn away from maize in order to grow crops more suited to the drier climate because they fear it will affect their food security, Xinhua reported.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

Author: Codi Yeager-Kozacek  is a news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She co-writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.

Email: Codi Yeager-Kozacek  :: Follow on Twitter :: More Articles


2 Comments
  1. This new paradigm of agriculture is sustainable crop production intensification (SCPI), which can be summed up in the words “save and grow”. Sustainable intensification means a productive agriculture that conserves and enhances natural resources. It uses an ecosystem approach that draws on nature’s contribution to crop growth – soil organic matter, water flow regulation, pollination and natural predation of pests – and applies appropriate external inputs at the right time, in the right amount. “Save and grow” farming systems offer proven productivity, economic and environmental benefits. A review of agricultural development in 57 low-income countries found that ecosystem farming led to average yield increases of almost 80 percent. Conservation agriculture, which is practised on more than 100 million hectares worldwide, contributes to climate change mitigation by sequestering in soil millions of tonnes of carbon a year.

  2. While climate change clearly affects agriculture, climate is also affected by agriculture, which contributes 13.5 percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions globally. In the United States, agriculture represents 8.6 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions, including 80 percent of its nitrous oxide emissions and 31 percent of its methane emissions.

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