•   
  •   

Tech & Science Victoria Falls shrink to a trickle, feeding climate change fears

15:25  06 december  2019
15:25  06 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Engineer starves himself in 40C heat during a ten-day hunger strike protest while demanding politicians declare a 'climate emergency'

  Engineer starves himself in 40C heat during a ten-day hunger strike protest while demanding politicians declare a 'climate emergency' Daniel Bleakley, 37, along with two other activists have been protesting on the steps of Victoria's Parliament building as part of Extinction Rebellion's global hunger strike.Daniel Bleakley, 37, along with two other activists have been protesting on the steps of Victoria's Parliament building as part of Extinction Rebellion's global hunger strike.

climate change . Image: In places, the usually mighty Victoria Falls is reduced to a a trickle by drought. image/svg+xml. But avoiding the Victoria Falls would be like going to Rome and avoiding the Colosseum, or travelling to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower, or visiting China and by-passing

“These pictures of the Victoria Falls are a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment and our livelihood,” wrote Mr Lungu. “It is with no doubt that developing countries like Zambia are the most impacted by climate change and the least able to afford its consequences.”

FILE PHOTO: Visitors walk along a walkway near Victoria Falls© Reuters/STAFF FILE PHOTO: Visitors walk along a walkway near Victoria Falls

By Mike Hutchings and Tim Cocks

VICTORIA FALLS, Zambia (Reuters) - For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 meters into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views.

But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears that climate change could kill one of the region's biggest tourist attractions.

While they typically slow down during the dry season, officials said this year had brought an unprecedented decline in water levels.

In US, climate anxiety churns up psychological storm

  In US, climate anxiety churns up psychological storm In the melting Arctic, communities are racing to maintain their way of life. Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, said Americans can be broken into six categories based on their reaction to climate change, ranging from alarmed to dismissive. "The common wisdom is that only upper-middle-class, white, well-educated, latte-sipping liberals care about climate change. Turns out that's not true," Leiserowitz said.None of the six groups is majorly driven by one demographic, he said, with the exception of the "dismissives" -- where "well-educated conservative white men" reign.

Victoria Falls (Lozi: Mosi-oa-Tunya, "The Smoke That Thunders") is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls , which lies between Zambia and Zimbabwe, have almost completely dried up after the One of the world's most iconic waterfalls have been reduced to a pathetic trickle after being starved He told Sky News: It's [ climate change ] a serious problem, a genuine one. And it is surprising when

"In previous years, when it gets dry, it's not to this extent. This (is) our first experience of seeing it like this," Dominic Nyambe, a seller of tourist handicrafts in his 30s said outside his shop in Livingstone, on the Zambian side.

"It affects us, because ... clients ... can see on the Internet (that the falls are low) .... We don't have so many tourists."

As world leaders gather in Madrid for the COP25 to discuss ways to halt catastrophic warming caused by human-driven greenhouse gas emissions, southern Africa is already suffering some of its worst effects -- with taps running dry and some 45 million people in need of food aid amid crop failures.

Zimbabwe and Zambia have suffered power cuts as they are heavily reliant on hydropower from plants at the Kariba Dam which is on the Zambezi river upstream of the waterfalls.

Actress Pamela Anderson is the 'climate change hypocrite of the week'

  Actress Pamela Anderson is the 'climate change hypocrite of the week' Sky News host Andrew Bolt says Hollywood actress Pamela Anderson has been crowned his "climate change hypocrite of the week".Sky News Digital Editor Jack Houghton said Ms Anderson was a 'Hollywood hypocrite' following the former Baywatch star lecturing Australians about climate change and their diets.

Image: A trickle of water flows over the Victoria Falls , which has fallen to its lowest level in years. In an exclusive interview from the State House, in the capital Lusaka, Edgar Lungu told Sky News that climate change is having a devastating effect - and the impact is being felt most of all in developing

Scientists have warned that climate change will affect marine ecosystems in ways that we never even imagined before. The problem for the marine This may weaken species ability to respond to a changing environment as a result of changing climate , increasing pollution or increasing predation.

Stretches of this kilometre-long natural wonder are nothing but dry stone. Water flow is low in others.

STARK REMINDER

Data from the Zambezi River Authority shows water flow at its lowest since 1995, and well under the long term average. Zambian President Edgar Lungu has called it "a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment".

Yet scientists are cautious about categorically blaming climate change. There is always seasonal variation in levels.

Harald Kling, hydrologist at engineering firm Poyry and

a Zambezi river expert, said climate science deals in decades, not particular years, "so it's sometimes difficult to say this is because of climate change because droughts have always occurred".

"If they become more frequent, then you can start saying, ok, this may be climate change," he added.

He said early climate models had predicted more frequent dry years in the Zambezi basin, but that "what was surprising was that it (drought) has been so frequent" -- the last drought was only three years ago. As the river gets hotter, 437 million cubic meters of water are evaporating every second, he said.

In Livingstone this week, four tourists stared into a mostly dry chasm normally gushing with white water. German student Benjamin Konig was disappointed.

"Seems to be not much (water), a few rocky stones with a little water between it," he said.

Richard Beilfuss, head of the International Crane Foundation, who has studied the Zambezi for the past three decades, thinks climate change is delaying the monsoon, "concentrating rain in bigger events which are then much harder to store, and a much longer, excruciating dry season".

(Reporting by Mike Hutchings in Victoria Falls and Tim Cocks in Johannesubrg; additional reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka, Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Linking climate change to Australia's bushfires 'is insulting': Kenny .
Sky News host Chris Kenny says it is “sickening” to observe the “hysterical politics of climate change” permeating into the coverage of Australia’s devastating bushfires. “These fires are terrible, they have taken lives, they have ruined lives,” Mr Kenny said. Mr Kenny said it “is pretty sickening,” to observe “facts, history and context thrown out the window” in order for a “climate alarmist” narrative to be pushed. Mr Kenny said some of the discussion around climate change and the Australia's devastating bushfires simply, “insults everyone’s intelligence”.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!