The Stream, August 21: South Asia Monsoon Floods Affect 16 Million

The Global Rundown

Aid workers struggle to reach millions affected by floods in South Asia. Floodwaters submerge Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India, killing more than 200 animals. Researchers warn that other African cities are at risk of landslides similar to the one in Sierra Leone. Climate change prompts farmers in northern India to experiment with new crops. Rising temperatures threaten the survival of seabird colonies in the United Kingdom.

“Our seabird colonies, especially those in northern Scotland, are withering away.” –Euan Dunn, an officer of the RSPB conservation charity, in reference to the rapidly declining population of coastal birds in the United Kingdom. Numbers indicate that Scotland may have lost up to half of its breeding seabird population in the last 25 years, and seabirds in other parts of the UK are struggling as well. Scientists theorize that a major cause is rising sea temperatures, which are devastating the birds’ food supply. The Guardian

By The Numbers

16 million Number of people affected by floods in South Asia. Torrential monsoon rains in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India have killed at least 343 people. Aid workers are attempting to bring food, water, and medicine to stranded communities, but ongoing rains and washed out roads are impeding relief efforts. Reuters

225 Estimated number of animals that drowned as floodwaters enveloped Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India, including 15 rhinos and at least one Royal Bengal tiger. Several other animals were forced to flee the park. ABC News

Science, Studies, And Reports

Last week’s deadly landslide in Sierra Leone sparked concern over the likelihood of similar events elsewhere in Africa. Researchers determined that the risk factors contributing to the landslide in Sierra Leone—heavy rain, a deforested hill, and poor urban planning—are present in several cities throughout Africa. Reuters

On The Radar

Farmers in the mountains of northern India are making the most of declining snowfall. With warmer winter temperatures becoming a reality, villagers have begun growing organic potatoes alongside traditional crops. As climate change continues to reshape the region, the new crop may help sustain these mountain communities. NPR