As we reported, super typhoon Nuri dissipated after hitting Alaska last week, but not all of its effects have.  Americans and Canadians felt these effects; the all too familiar polar vortex.  Temperatures plummeted dramatically, dropping from about 14ºC (57ºF) to about -26ºC (-14.8ºF) in Calgary, literally overnight.  Saturday, there were two major pileup accidents on major Calgary highways, with six cars being involved in one and eight in the other.  In Minnesota, two people were killed in accidents due to snowy conditions there. In Italy, five people were killed due to flooding and landslides.  The death toll could be a result of poor infrastructure rather than the intensity of the storm dumping rain in Italy.

Serious drought in Sao Paulo is crippling the local economy after a record dry season.  In addition to the usual disruption to daily life that accompanies bone dry conditions, at least one aluminum plant is having to import water to keep up with operations.  The plant’s owner needs 5,000 litres (1,320 gallons) a day, and is worried about future supply.  One can only imagine how the typical denizen must feel.  There are fears that Sao Paulo does not have the infrastructure to handle such a severe drought.  With increasing water demand and the driest season on record, the economic effects could be deleterious, and the human tragedy unutterably horrible.  Drought conditions in Australia are forcing them to slaughter about 10% more cattle than usual.  The major problem with this is that the price of beef will drop substantially.  When supply increases at a given price, suppliers must drop either increase demand by lowering price, or drop supply again.  Neither is an option with perishable goods such as meat during drought.  While that’s great for consumers at the supermarket side, it is certainly devastating for the farmers, and it is clear that failing farms will harm consumers in the long run.

To read all our articles in the last week, click here.

 

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