A report released recently claims that the US has experienced its hottest July ever.  Recent months have also been exceedingly dry.  At least 63% of the US is suffering from drought conditions.  The hot dry conditions prevalent in the American midwest are causing a new alarming effect.  There has been a mass fish die off due to low water levels and hot temperatures the region’s rivers. The water levels on the Mississippi are so low that they are affecting barge traffic.  They must carry less cargo per trip to accomodate the shallower waters.  Meanwhile, new wildfire have started in Georgia, US, and Missouri .  Not all of droughts effects are bad for us, however.  This month, we have had record few tornadoes within the US.  There were only 24, which is dramatically less than the previous record low of 42 in the 1960’s.

Since precipitation is more or less constant, (although rising very slightly overall,) we should expect to see more precipitation in parts of the world not afflicted by the staggering drought engulfing the US.  In fact, this is exactly what we do see.  In the Philippines, heavy rains over the last two weeks killed at least 62 people!  First they were inundated by typhoon Saola, then battered by flash floods, triggering a deadly landslide, killing no less than nine of those 62.  In Taiwan, 44 people were killed by the same storm.  31 people have died in North Korea’s torrential rains, adding to the 88 who died there earlier in the month.  This is to say nothing of the crop devastation there.  30,600 hectares (75,600 acres) of crop land has been affected.

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