The Stream, November 25: Wildfires Rage In Drought-Hit Peru

The Global Rundown

Thousands of hectares are burning in Peru as wildfires spurred by drought and strong winds sweep across the country. Millions of people still need emergency food assistance in southern Africa after a severe drought, and conditions are expected to worsen. A new report details the Arctic’s rapidly changing climate, which could shift rainfall patterns in Asia. China is sending out more inspection teams to gauge how regional officials are enforcing environmental laws. A water distribution project in northern Argentina aims to bring clean drinking water to thousands of people.

“This is a crucial period coming up – the height of the lean season. The numbers [needing aid] are still growing and the crisis has yet to reach its peak.” –David Orr, spokesperson for the World Food Programme in southern Africa, on a worsening food crisis in the drought-hit region that is affecting 39 million people. Humanitarian agencies are calling for more aid to reach those in need. (Reuters)

In context: Learn how the drought in southern Africa is compounding political and economic woes in Zimbabwe.

By The Numbers

12,000 hectares Area burned by wildfires in Peru, where drought conditions contributed to their spread. The government declared a state of emergency on Thursday. Guardian

16,500 people Number in northern Argentina’s Chaco province who are expected to benefit from a new drinking water distribution system that includes aqueducts, water treatment plants, and storage tanks across the region. EFE

Science, Studies, And Reports

The Arctic ecosystem could soon reach “tipping points” due to climate change, creating fallout for climate conditions worldwide, according to the comprehensive Arctic Resilience Report released Friday. Rapidly melting sea ice and changing snowfall patterns, for example, could affect the Asian monsoon. Guardian

On The Radar

Seven government teams are being sent to investigate how China’s environmental laws, including those to prevent air and water pollution, are being enforced regionally. The inspections will cover the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai, as well as the provinces of Gansu, Guangdong, Hubei, and Shaanxi. They will be completed by the end of the year. Reuters