Tag Archives: Weather / Weather Market

Australian tourism operators tired of COVID-19 are calculating the flood costs | Instant News

PORT MACQUARIE, Australia (Reuters) – For Carol Curry, manager of Marina Holiday Park, 330 km (205 miles) north of Sydney, Easter long weekends and school holidays will be a big end to the tourist season after a year of disasters. by COVID-19 restrictions.

Instead, he slipped through the mud to reach a cabin that was destroyed by the flooding after heavy rains hit Australia’s east coast earlier this month and tried to contact guests to cancel bookings.

“The park is collapsing and so are all our reservation books and computers and stuff like that, so it’s a bit of a challenge,” Curry told Reuters at the waterfront park he’s been caring for five years.

“We actually had guests last night to check-in, so unfortunately they have to go elsewhere.”

Tourism is a major contributor to Australia’s economy, generating around A $ 61 billion ($ 47 billion) in 2018/19 and employing around 5% of the country’s workforce, according to Tourism Australia.

The sector was hit hard when Australia effectively closed its international borders early last year to protect against COVID-19, while a series of internal border closings to contain the outbreak added to the pain.

With the easing of internal restrictions earlier this year, operators are groomed for a massive holiday period ahead of the slower winter months when devastating east coast floods dash their hopes.

Near the Stoney Aqua Park, which offers camping and water skiing around the now largely destroyed hurdles, co-owner Anissa Manton said she faced significant financial losses.

“We are completely booked,” he said. “We are looking forward to a great season.”

Manton said he had been told his insurance policy would not cover the flood damage, and the park was now facing six months of cleaning.

Meanwhile, the suffering for tourism looks set to continue, with the new COVID-19 outbreak in the state of north Queensland, a popular holiday destination, postponing plans for the Easter holiday for thousands of visitors.

($ 1 = 1.3060 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; written by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin


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Column: The alarmingly slow growing rate in Brazil raises the flag for second maize | Instant News

FORT COLLINS, Colorado (Reuters) – Yield risk arises whenever Brazil’s second widely exported maize crop is grown late, but this year’s delay is the worst in a decade, and the pressure for good weather over the next few months is substantially higher than the usual.

A man holds acorns during the Grain Harvest opening ceremony in Caseara, Brazil, February 15, 2018. REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino

Historically, dry conditions in Brazil last year led to a slow rate of soybean cultivation. Late soybean sowing alone does not necessarily mean the maize crop will be planted too late, but the rain has hampered the bean harvest, exacerbating delays for the subsequent second corn planting.

However, Brazil’s official statistical agency, Conab, remains optimistic about the prospects for the harvest. The agency on Thursday increased the country’s total corn harvest to 108.1 million tonnes from a previous estimate of 105.5 million.

That includes a jump of 2.7 million tonnes for the second maize crop, which is still being planted, to 82.8 million tonnes in both areas and an increase in yield. Conab also increased Brazil’s soybean harvest by 1% to a record 135.1 million tonnes.

But corn exporter No. 2 still face many hurdles to achieve a great corn harvest. AgRural Consultancy estimates the second corn planting last week at 54% compared to 80% last year.


For Mato Grosso, which produces about 45% of Brazil’s second maize, yields mainly depend on the start of the dry season, and in particular, the rains in April and May.

As of last Friday, the Midwest states had planted 73% of their second maize, far from the recent average for the date of 92%. That’s a very similar pace to 2009 and 2011, years of conflicting yields, albeit slower than the hot and disastrous dry harvests of 2016.

Mato Grosso has a strong seasonal rain cycle and receives almost no rain between June and August. It was generally favorable for the harvest that occurred at that time, but it could be a death sentence for a late harvest because once the rain stopped, it would die.

Corn was planted at the end of 2011, but rainfall was at or above normal levels until April. However, most of the rain in April fell within the first 10 days, and May was among the driest on record. Despite normal to cooler temperatures during the season, Mato Grosso’s second maize yield in 2011 was down more than 15% on its long-term trend.

The timing of planting in 2009 is the same as in 2011, but above normal rainfall continues throughout the season, with record accumulations almost recorded in May and June. A significant lack of heat also added to the success of the 2009 crop, which resulted in sharply above average yields.

The 2009 and 2011 examples in Mato Grosso should be used with caution as the current corn crop area is more than three times as large. The 2015 crop represents the next slowest planting attempt, but moderate temperatures and sufficient rainfall of April and May guarantee hefty yields.


Corn producer No. 2 Parana in the south observes more consistent rain throughout the year than its northern counterparts. However, the second maize planting rate was very slow and no comparable years were available.

On Monday, the country reported maize planting at 43%, well below the five-year average of 82%. The next closest year was 2011, but weeks of data were lost that year so comparable rates could not be confirmed.

However, about 17% of the Parana maize crop was planted on February 21, 2011, compared to about 10% on the same date this year. As of March 21, 2011, progress had reached 87%, slightly below average.

Unsurprisingly, better Parana yields are associated with sufficient rainfall during the growing season and timely planting speed. Rainfall in May 2011 was among the lowest on record, and April and May 2018, another slow growing year, also had very little humidity. The second maize yield was poor in both years.

The expansion of the maize area in Parana is not as sharp as Mato Grosso. Since 2011, Parana’s second maize planting has jumped 35% to around 2.3 million hectares.


The Brazilian government is already worried about tight domestic supplies over the next year. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture noted that measures will be put in place, likely in May, to increase next year’s summer harvest.

The first maize crop, which supplied local needs, used to represent a large part of Brazil’s output. But now it accounts for less than a quarter as global demand for maize has increased, and Brazil’s export capacity has increased. Currency weakness has spurred more cultivation of a second crop in the country as it attracts Brazilian farmers to sell it on global export markets.

The expected harvest delay pushed the availability of a second crop even more slowly, causing more concerns about domestic supply by mid-year.

Conab on Thursday pegged Brazil’s first corn crop for 2020-21 at 23.5 million tonnes, down slightly from previous estimates. That’s also down from the initial October estimate of 26.8 million tonnes and last year’s 25.7 million. Yields have fallen 14% since the October forecast.

Conab’s second crop estimate of 82.8 million tonnes is up 8% since the initial estimate, mainly due to the expected increase in planting. Compare with last year’s harvest which reached 75.1 million tons.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a market analyst for Reuters.


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FEATURES-Less? Brazilian hospitals are at risk as climate change brings more flooding | Instant News

* 70% of Latin American hospitals are in a region particularly vulnerable to floods, earthquakes or hurricanes

* 550 floods hit the region between 2000 and 2019, causing nearly $ 26 billion in damage

* Changes now to build resilience and avoid flood damage are cost effective, experts say

SAO PAULO, March 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Last December, when doctor Victor Heitor Gomes became director of health for Rafard, a municipality 150 km northwest of São Paulo, he knew he faced challenges ahead.

The only clinic in the city of 9,000 has weathered tough times: heavy rains in mid-November caused part of the conference room walls to collapse and a month later more rain inundated parts of the building, including the operating room and public areas.

The problem forced the clinic to move some services to another room – and repairing a one-meter hole in the meeting room wall had to be postponed due to continued rain in Brazil’s summer.

Heavier rains and increasingly scorching temperatures have made life difficult for doctors in other ways too, said Gomes.

“They change the season for certain diseases. “You don’t expect to see dengue fever in winter, but it’s becoming more and more common now,” he said.

Extreme weather, such as the floods that swept through the Maria Tereza Apprilante Gimenez Primary Health Care Unit in Rafard, is increasingly becoming a region-wide threat as climate change continues – and creates additional burdens for health workers struggling to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, nearly 70% of the 18,000 hospitals in Latin America and the Caribbean are located in areas highly prone to flooding, major earthquakes or hurricanes.

Inundation is the most common threat. Nearly 550 floods hit the region in the two decades between 2000 and 2019, affecting more than 40 million people and causing nearly $ 26 billion in damage, according to a 2020 report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Brazil is the most flood-prone country in Latin America, the report said.


The storm that hit Rafard also worried nearby São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and in South America.

The concrete-filled urban area acts as a “heat island” that absorbs and then slowly releases solar heat, making it hotter than the surrounding rural areas.

In cities like São Paulo, that extra heat combines with the moisture coming from the nearby Atlantic Ocean to create heavier rains, said Tércio Ambrizzi, an atmospheric scientist at the University of São Paulo.

“Heat lifts and condenses moisture, making it rain,” often more intense than is possible elsewhere, said the scientist, who co-authored a 2020 study of changing rainfall patterns in metropolitan São Paulo between 1930 and 2019.

Using data from Brazil’s National Meteorological Institute, the researchers found that heavy rains become more concentrated in shorter periods, while dry seasons are longer.

The changes have been very visible over the last decade, they said.

In 2014, Sao Paulo’s hottest summer in seven decades, reservoir water for the city fell below 20% capacity, in a record of the city’s biggest water crisis and a serious threat to health care facilities.

Very heavy rainfall events – the kind that can trigger disasters – have nearly doubled in the last decade compared with 1971-1980, the researchers found.

Extreme conditions are most visible in Brazil’s southern and southeastern regions, and are a particular problem for densely populated cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre, which are particularly prone to flooding and landslides in part due to poor urban planning, Ambrizzi said.


Eduardo Trani, sub-secretary of the environment for the state of Sao Paulo, said his office was aware of the challenge.

A 2009 law passed by the state establishes policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate threats, including efforts to map climate risk in all 645 cities in the state.

Nearly 250 have been completed so far.

“This mapping is adapted to an environmental scale, so that the local town hall can study preventive measures to deal with floods and landslides,” said Trani.

So far the results found are that basic health care units, especially in the metro area of ​​São Paulo, are often in flood-prone areas or are surrounded by them.

That can be partially mitigated with infrastructure changes, such as building flood walls around hospitals and moving vulnerable ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems to higher ground, resistance experts say.

Having spare resources – including solar panels or other renewable energy – can also keep hospitals functioning when the broader power system goes down in extreme weather.

Mariana Silva, infrastructure and sustainable finance specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank, says building resilience is also a planning issue for the next few decades.

“If a hospital is to be built in a place that is very prone to disasters, we have to ask ourselves what we can change in terms of the technique. You’d be surprised how small changes can make a project resilient, “he said.

A design shift could add to costs – but ignore the risk that it would be more expensive, he said.

“Making that change costs extra – but now Latin American governments know that climate change is not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’ problem,” he said.


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The extreme climate appears to be dangerous for unborn babies in the Brazilian Amazon | Instant News

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A new study linking extreme rain with low birth weight in the Brazilian Amazon region underscores the long-term health impacts of climate change-related extremes, researchers said on Monday.

Heavy rains and heavy flooding during pregnancy have been linked to birth weight loss and preterm birth in Brazil’s northern Amazonas state, according to researchers from Britain’s Lancaster University and the health research institute FIOCRUZ.

They compared nearly 300,000 births over 11 years with local weather data and found babies born after extreme rainfall were more likely to have low birth weight, which is associated with poorer education, health, and even income as adults.

Even non-extreme intense rainfall was associated with a 40% higher chance of a child with low birth weight, according to the study published on Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability.

Co-author Luke Parry said heavy rains and floods could lead to an increase in infectious diseases such as malaria, food shortages and mental health problems in pregnant women, leading to weight loss at birth.

“This is an example of climate injustice, because these mothers and communities are very, very far from the deforestation frontier in the Amazon,” Parry told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“They are contributing little to climate change but being the first and the worst,” he added, saying he was “shocked by how severe the impact was”.

Heavy flooding in the Amazon river is five times more frequent than it was a few decades ago, according to a 2018 paper in the journal Science Advances.

Last week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited the neighboring Brazilian rainforest state of Acre, which is in a state of emergency after heavy flooding.

Parry said that local people have adapted their lifestyles to cope with climate change, but “river heights and extreme rainfall have substantially exceeded the adaptive capacity of the community”.

The negative impact is even worse for adolescents and indigenous mothers.

The study said the “long-term political neglect of the Amazonia province” and the “unequal development of Brazil” needed to be addressed to tackle the “double burden” of climate change and health inequalities.

It said policy interventions should include antenatal health coverage and transportation for rural youth to complete secondary school, as well as better early warning systems for flooding.

Reporting by Jack Graham; Edited by Claire Cozens. Please acknowledge the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity, covering the lives of people around the world who struggle to live free or fair. Visit news.trust.org


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EUROPEAN POWER – Friday prices rose due to lower German winds, solar power output | Instant News

PARIS, February 25 (Reuters) – European spot electricity prices for delivery on Friday rose on Thursday due to lower forecasts for wind and solar power generation in Germany.

* Over-the-counter baseload prices for Friday delivery in Germany rose 6.2% to 48.30 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) at 1009 GMT.

* France’s future contract added 6.2% to 48.25 euros / MWh.

* Power generation from German wind turbines is expected to fall 1.8 gigawatts (GW) day-on-day to 13.4 GW, while solar generation is expected to drop 2.2 GW to 3.6 GW, Refinitiv data show.

* “We expect wind power output to fall in the first half of the day, and increase in the latter half of tomorrow,” Refinitiv analysts said.

* French wind power supply is expected to increase by 1 GW to 3.6 GW, data show.

* Refinitiv forecast shows the average daily German wind power supply will fall to around 3 GW early next week before rising to 8 GW next Friday.

* France’s nuclear capacity reaches 75% of the total installed.

* More than half of EDF’s nuclear reactors could be operational for a decade longer than planned after maintenance work was carried out, French nuclear security watchdog ASN said on Thursday.

* French electricity demand on Friday is expected to rise 700 megawatts (MW) to 56.9 GW and fall in Germany by 390 MW to 64.2 GW, Refinitiv data show.

* Further along the curve, German Cal ’22 baseload power edged up 0.1% to 53.20 euros / MWh, following higher fuel prices.

* France 2022 contract added 0.2% to 54.25 euros / MWh.

* European CO2 allowances expiring December 2021 edged down 0.1% to 39.10 euros per tonne.

* Coal for northern European delivery in 2022 rose 0.9% to $ 69.1 a tonne, after hitting the highest level since February 1 at $ 69.20 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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