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World Food Prices Jump Most In 18 Months

World Food Prices Jump Most In 18 Months

Global food prices increased the most in 1.5 years as trade disruptions from the El Nino weather phenomenon battered agricultural-producing countries, and Russia’s exit from a crucial UN-backed agriculture deal stoked supply concerns.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported Friday that the global food index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of globally-traded food commodities, averaged 123.9 in July, up 1.3% from the previous month.

The FAO Food Price Index’s July print was the largest monthly gain since March 2022.

FAO explained the FAO Vegetable Oil Price subcomponent of the index was responsible for the monthly increase:

The increase was driven by a sharp jump in the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, which rose 12.1 percent from June after seven months of consecutive declines. International sunflower oil prices rebounded by more than 15 percent in the month, due mostly to renewed uncertainties surrounding the exportable supplies after the Russian Federation’s decision to end implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. World prices for palm, soy and rapeseed oils increased on concerns over output prospects in leading producing countries.

Also, the FAO All Rice Price Index increased 2.8% on the month and 19.7% on the year due to “India’s 20 July prohibition of non-parboiled Indica exports fostered expectations of greater sales in other origins, amplifying upward pressure already exerted on prices by seasonally tighter supplies and Asian purchases,” the report said.

This upward pressure on rice prices “raises substantial food security concerns for a large swathe of the world population, especially those that are most poor and who dedicate a larger share of their incomes to purchase food,” FAO warned.

We noted in April and in early May, “El Nino Watch Initiated As Ag-Industry In Crosshairs” and “Global Rice Shortage Looms, Set To Be The Biggest In Decades” as a disruptive El Nino weather pattern wreaks havoc on the world’s ag crops.

Rising food prices risk fueling social instability for the weakest emerging market economies.

Thai Rice Crop In Crosshairs Of El Nino As Farmers Are Warned About Water Shortages

Thai Rice Crop In Crosshairs Of El Nino As Farmers Are Warned About Water Shortages

A disruptive El Nino pattern might impact rice production in Thailand, the world’s second-biggest exporter of the grain that feeds half the world’s population.

Bangkok Post reported farmers are being asked by the Office of the National Water Resources “to grow only one rice crop this coming season as rainfall will be below average because of the El Nino weather pattern.”

Surasee Kittimonthon, the ONWR secretary-general, said the rainy season, which usually begins in late May, will be delayed with periods of intermittent rain in June.

Kittimonthon said ONWR had devised a plan for increased water preservation within the country’s reservoir system.

“We can provide water to farmers for the first rice crop, starting in the rainy season.

“But for the second or third crops, we would like farmers’ cooperation to grow other plants that need less water to help limit the water shortage,” he said.

Rice production requires substantial amounts of water and relies heavily on irrigation systems and sufficient rainfall. It’s an early warning sign of how El Nino is set to wreak havoc on the global food system this year.

We told readers last month the weather-altering phenomenon had a high probability of forming. We said, “If El Niño does form, it could result in heavy rainfall and heatwaves in specific regions across the globe, potentially causing disruptions in the agricultural industry.”

And days ago, we informed readers about record-breaking heatwaves in Asia and Europe in a note titled “Is El Nino Supercharging Heatwave Across Asia?” 

Separately, earlier this month, Fitch Solutions published a report that forecasts this year’s global rice production will log its biggest shortfall in two decades.  

…click on the above link to read the rest…

‘Pineapple Express’ And Bomb Cyclone To Wallop California

‘Pineapple Express’ And Bomb Cyclone To Wallop California

A moisture conveyor belt of atmospheric rivers has unleashed near-record rainfall across the West Coast. Another, perhaps, more powerful atmospheric river and bomb cyclone are set to target California on Wednesday and Thursday, continuing ten days of heavy rains and snow for higher altitudes.

The National Weather Service office in the Bay Area warned about the imminent storm, calling it a “truly … brutal system … that needs to be taken seriously.”

“To put it simply, this will likely be one of the most impactful systems on a widespread scale that this meteorologist has seen in a long while,” an NWS meteorologist in San Francisco, adding, “the impacts will include widespread flooding, roads washing out, hillside collapsing, trees down (potentially full groves), widespread power outages, immediate disruption to commerce and the worst of all, likely loss of human life.”

The developing atmospheric river formed near Hawaii and, by Wednesday morning, will spread tropical moisture into California by a low-pressure system. This weather phenomenon is known as the “Pineapple Express.”

“Basically, an (atmospheric river) is a river in the sky of water vapor, and when it hits the mountains, (the moisture) is forced up over the mountains. 

 “That upward motion causes clouds and precipitation to form, and the faster the flow of air and water vapor is hitting the mountains, the faster the rain is falling, so you get more and more rain with the stronger ARs hitting the mountains,” Marty Ralph, Director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, told FOX Weather

The heaviest rainbands are forecasted over parts of California Wednesday afternoon and evening into Thursday morning. NWS has already posted flood alerts across the Golden State.

Another 2-3 inches could be expected across the San Francisco area. Even the Los Angeles metro area could see 1-3 inches.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

An El Nino event has emerged in the Forecast for 2023, while the Cold La Nina impacts this Winter weather season for the final time

An El Nino event has emerged in the Forecast for 2023, while the Cold La Nina impacts this Winter weather season for the final time

La Nina has reached its peak just as the Winter 2022/2023 begins. After that, it will begin its slow breakdown process while still affecting the weather patterns over the Winter season. But we are already seeing signs that later in 2023, an El Nino could emerge after several years. It can completely change the weather patterns for the weather seasons next year.

Global climate is very sensitive to large-scale changes in the oceans. That is why we monitor these anomalies, as they can significantly influence seasonal weather patterns. Especially in Winter, when the pressure systems are strongest.

First, we will quickly analyze how these ocean anomalies actually change global weather. Then we will see how they will affect the current Winter 2022/2023 and why an emerging El Nino event is so significant.


El Nino and La Nina are just opposite faces of the ENSO, which stands for “El Niño Southern Oscillation.” This region in the equatorial Pacific Ocean periodically shifts between warm and cold phases. Typically there is a phase change around every 1-3 years.

ENSO significantly influences tropical rainfall, pressure patterns, and the complex energy exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. We can observe large-scale pressure changes in the tropics with each developing or decaying phase.

The image below shows the ENSO regions across the tropical Pacific. Regions 3 and 4 cover the east and west tropical Pacific. The main area is a combination of regions 3 and 4, seen in the image as the Nino 3.4 region.


Each ENSO phase influences the pressure and weather in the tropics in a different way. This affects the overall global circulation over time, changing the weather patterns across the world.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

La Niña expected to affect climate around the world by end of year

La Niña expected to affect climate around the world by end of year

Do you wish you had a crystal ball that could tell you what the climate will be next year when you plan your garden? So do many other gardeners (and climatologists). But while there is no magic answer, we do know that in many parts of the United States and other countries, year-to-year climate variability is strongly dominated by what is going on in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. This is through a phenomenon called “El Niño Southern Oscillation” or ENSO for short.

Witch Hazel Covered By Snow In The Garden. Hampshire UK. Source: Si Griffiths, Commons Wikimedia

What is ENSO and how does it affect climate?

ENSO has three phases—a cold phase with unusually cold water in the equatorial Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) called “La Niña”, a warm phase with unusually warm water in the EPO, and the neutral phase that occurs between the two extreme phases. The ocean see-saws back and forth between the two opposite phases on a semi-regular pattern that usually lasts between two and five years from one El Niño to the next. Sometimes you can have two La Niña years (or even three) back-to-back (the end of 2021 is expected to be a second La Niña in a row), but you almost never have two consecutive years of El Niño.

In many parts of the world, the phase of the ENSO is highly correlated with the climate. Scientists can use that relationship to predict what the climate might be like in the coming months. That is helpful for gardeners who need to know what to expect both next season and next year for planning purposes…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nothing Can be Reduced to a Single Cause & Effect be it Markets or Nature

Nothing Can be Reduced to a Single Cause & Effect be it Markets or Nature 

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Armstrong,

Thanks for the Socrates forecast.

Just a question. What will possibly happen to existing Tropic Belt countries like my region South East Asia when the world is turning into global cooling? Any forecast?



ANSWER: I am awaiting their data to run it through and see what comes out. This is what I mean about opinion. How can anyone forecast something without the data? What we do know is also that the Jet Stream moves up and down, so it would make sense that the Tropic Belt would also do the same. The Jet Stream has been dipping as well and creating a very diverse curve pattern. So this produced the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record last year. This is also why you have people who want to claim it is irrelevant if people die of cold in Wales. They argue that since it is warm where they are in Canada, it must prove that Global Warming is real. They are not the brightest bulb in the box.

Then we have the Pacific Jet Stream. These people who always try to reduce any effect to a single cause should be barred from any research EVER!!! If you want to understand how interconnected our planet is then you also need to look at and study El Niño. The interconnectivity is similar to all the world financial markets, which create a level of complexity beyond most human’s ability to rationalize. Both the weather system and the financial system function on an extremely high level of complexity. The patterns and events in one place can affect life on the other side of the planet in both systems.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lakes run dry from too much water extraction and climate change

Lakes run dry from too much water extraction and climate change

Source: Hannah Osborne. Feb 8, 2016. Bolivia’s vanishing Lake Poopó: ESA images show fully evaporated lake from space. International Business Times.

Preface.  It’s bad enough that aquifers are being depleted that won’t recharge until after the next ice age, or in some places like California, never, because greedy farmers suck all the water up and the caverns below collapse and will never fill up with water again.

But equally problematic are lakes and rivers drying up, essential for agriculture, fisheries, drinking, and industrial water supplies.

Ah the poor grandchildren, what a bleak future, with little time left to do anything, if that’s even possible given human nature…

Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report


Kate Ravilious. 4 March 2016. Many of world’s lakes are vanishing and some may be gone forever. NewScientist.

Bolivia’s second largest lake has vanished into thin air. In December, Lake Poopó became a dry salt pan and its largest lake – Lake Titicaca – is heading towards trouble, too. The combination of silting up and irrigation withdrawal from the Desaguadero River, which feeds Poopó, together with climate change and the extra warmth from current El Niño, were enough to finish this lake off.

Recent research and new data suggest that lakes in other parts of the world may also be on their way out.

“Considering the size of the lake – 2700 square kilometers (1042 square miles) – this is quite an astounding event, with slim prospects of recovery,” says Dirk Hoffmann from the Bolivia Mountain Institute. “This event should serve as a real warning. Eventually, we can expect Lake Titicaca to go the same way.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Forget El Nino, StormFest is about to Hit the West Coast

Forget El Nino, StormFest is about to Hit the West Coast

Things often calm down after January 1 during El Nino years….but not this year…with the U.S. West Coast from central California to Washington State about to be pummeled by a series of storms.   Rain, snow, wind?  Plenty for everyone.

A view of the latest infrared satellite imagery shows an amazing line-up of one storm after another stretching way into the Pacific.  A traffic jam of storms.
Let’s examine our stormy future, using a series of sea level pressure forecasts from the UW WRF weather forecast models (solid lines are sea level pressure, shading in lower atmosphere temperature).
At 10 PM today, a  strong low is just off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
10AM Saturday brings an energetic low center into northern CA.
10 PM Sunday?   Another storm hits central Oregon!  And another system is in the wings.

That storm is right off our coast late Wednesday.

El Nino late winters generally have less action—not so this year! 
What about precipitation you ask?   Do you really want to know?  The accumulated total through 4 AM next Thursday is impressive, with 5-10 inches over many mountain areas and even 10-20 inches over parts of northern CA, the Olympics and southern BC.
Snow?   There will be abundant amounts.   For example, here is the accumulated snowfall for the 72 hours ending 4 PM Wednesday.  2-3 feet for the high terrain from the central Sierra Nevada to southern BC.  Our winter ski season is secure.
Wind?  You bet.  Each of these storms will bring strong, damaging winds to a favored area of the coastal zone and mountain peaks.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

El Nino Threatens North America In New Weather Report – “Big East Coast Systems Capable Of Snow”

El Nino conditions are quickly developing across the central and eastern equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean, with meteorologist now indicating a high chance of development by December.

Warmer-than-normal temperatures for most of the country are expected, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s official winter weather forecast released Thursday.

Current models show El Nino has a 70 to 75% probability of forming. “We expect El Nino to be in late fall to early winter,” Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Although a weak El Nino is expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the Southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North.”

El Nino is a massive ocean-atmosphere climate event linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific waters.

The swings between warmer and cooler waters in the tropical Pacific are the primary factors for either El Nino (warmer seawater) or La Nina (cooler seawater), which government meteorologist watch closely in determining the North American winter weather forecast.

Here is the 2018 U.S. Winter Outlook report (Dec. through Feb): 

Warmer-than-normal conditions are expected across much of the northern and western U.S., with higher probabilities of warmer temperatures in Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains, Halpert said in a statement.

The forecast does not show any region in the US below-average temperatures for the season. Much of the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Ohio Valley regions will remain within average ranges.

Halpert said wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier and Mid-Atlantic, with the highest odds for above-average precipitation in northern Flordia and south Georgia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Scientists Warn World Facing Major Famine, Could “Lead To Severe Shocks To Global Food System”

Researchers from Washington State University have published a new report of the Great Drought, the most destructive known drought of the past 800 years – and how it sparked the Global Famine that claimed the lives of 50 million people. The scientists warn that the Earth’s current warming climate could spark a similar drought, but even worse.

One of the lead researchers, Deepti Singh, a professor in WSU’s School of the Environment, used rainfall records and climate reconstruction models to characterize the environmental conditions leading up to the Great Drought, a period in the mid-1870s known for widespread crop failures across Asia, Brazil, and Africa. The drought was connected to the most extreme manifestation of the El Nino supercycle ever recorded.

“Climate conditions that caused the Great Drought and Global Famine arose from natural variability. And their recurrence — with hydrological impacts intensified by global warming — could again potentially undermine global food safety,” lead author Singh and her colleagues wrote in the Journal of Climate, published online Oct. 04.

The release of the study came days before the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global warming could cause intense droughts, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

WSU says Global Famine was among the worst humanitarian disasters in modern time, comparable to the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, World War I and World War II. As an environmental disaster, it was the worst.

“In a very real sense, the El Nino and climate events of 1876-78 helped create the global inequalities that would later be characterized as ‘first’ and ‘third worlds’,” writes Singh, who was influenced by “Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World,” which detailed the social impact of the Great Drought and additional droughts in 1896-1897 and 1899-1902.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Flu Season Begins the Risk of a Pandemic 2018-2019

A possible new pandemic is forming from a deadly strain of flu emerging from Australia and will be headed to the UK as the normal flow of travels would take it. Britain will perhaps be hit with the worst flu season in 50 years. Already, there are about 170,000 cases of flu reported in Australia which is more than double this season than usual.

The strain of flu is called H3N2, and the number of flu deaths in Australia over winter has not yet been released, but it’s thought to be the worst in many years. The last major flu epidemic was in the 1968 pandemic which began in Hong Kong killing more than a million people worldwide. Flu pandemics have been linked to fluctuations in climate, and new research connects the world’s four most recent pandemics to the cyclical cooling of the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

The cyclical research correlating everything reveals that the four flu outbreaks that swept the world in the past 100 years all followed periods of global cooling. These were in 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009 (in this last instance, the H1N1 “swine flu”). When sea-surface temperatures sank abnormally low, this correlates to large flu pandemics. This cooling is associated with  La Niña, a phase in a larger climate pattern. La Niña is the cool counterpart to El Niño, which is marked by unusually warm temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. It is now clear that both events alter weather patterns around the globe.

While the typical Transverse Wave cycle event would be every 22.75 years, but the Longitudinal Wave structure simultaneously exists and the complexity of these wave points to this season as turning up the risk factors for a pandemic flu season in 2018 and 2019.

State of the climate: 2017 shaping up to be warmest ‘non-El Niño’ year

State of the climate: 2017 shaping up to be warmest ‘non-El Niño’ year

Much of the year, though the summer Arctic minimum was only the eighth lowest on record.

2017 is also almost certain to be the warmest year without an El Niño event. When the effects of El Niño and La Niña are removed from the temperature record, the first nine months of 2017 are likely the warmest ever recorded.

Near-record warm temperatures

Ten months in, 2017 is very likely going to be either the second warmest or third warmest year on record, depending on the temperature series used. While there was some speculation earlier in the year that it could challenge 2016 for first place, colder temperatures in the period from June through September have largely eliminated any chance of a new record.

Carbon Brief has examined global temperature data from eight different climate centres around the world, both for the Earth’s surface and the lower troposphere (TLT). Temperatures for the full year of 2017 were estimated using the data available to-date for each dataset, along with projection of the El Niño Index for the remainder of 2017 (see methods at the end of the article for technical details).

The results are shown in the figure below. Annual temperatures from 1979 through 2016 are shown in black for each record, while the likely (95% confidence interval) range of the 2017 annual temperature is shown by the red bar.

The last two records shown, RSS and UAH, come from satellite data and are measuring the atmosphere on average around 5 km up from the surface. While these have similarities to surface temperatures, they are not expected to always respond in the same way to El Niño or other factors.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blowout Week 123

Blowout Week 123

A few careless campers who forgot to extinguish their campfire, or maybe a few kids playing with matches, or a cigarette, or an arsonist, a piece of glass, whatever, have in the last few days done more to bring the global oil market back into balance than OPEC and the rest of the world’s producers put together:

The raging wildfire burning through vast areas in and around Fort McMurray has forced more nearby oilsands companies to shut down their operations and forced staff and output reductions at more far-flung facilities in northern Alberta.

Analyst estimates on Thursday put the total amount of oil shut in from the fires at one million bpd, or roughly 40 per cent of total oilsands production. But the amount of production affected is now expected to exceed those numbers as the fire grew significantly into Friday and as additional companies have reduced production. “When we’re talking about a potential shutdown of up to a million barrels per day, that’s very serious business for the global oil market if it persists,” BMO Capital Markets chief economist Douglas Porter said Friday.

We continue with the usual story mix, including how AGW contributed to the wildfires, industry responses to David Mackay’s comments, Exxon’s novel CCS technology, EU CO2 emissions rise, Indonesia likes thorium, UK short 87,600 nuclear technicians, Belgium hands out iodine pills, EU’s percent renewable numbers not reliable, problems with perovskite PV panels, Saudi Arabia fires Oil Minister al-Naimi, moving day for Halley Base and the world’s first certified climate refugees – from Louisiana.

El Niño and ongoing climate change have both contributed to the devastating Alberta wildfires according to experts. The weather phenomenon has caused much drier conditions than normal, leading to a massive increase in the number of fires in the province.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Drought, El Niño, Blackouts and Venezuela

Drought, El Niño, Blackouts and Venezuela

It’s fashionable these days to blame everything that goes wrong with anything on human interference with the climate, and we had yet another example last week when President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela fingered drought, El Niño and global warming as the reasons Venezuela’s lights keep going out. In this post I show that his Excellency has not a leg to stand on when he makes these claims, but that because no one ever looks at the data everyone believes him.

International Business Times:  Venezuelan Leader Blames El Niño And Global Warming For Nation’s Energy Crisis

The fierce El Niño event under way in the Pacific Ocean and warming global temperatures have helped create the brutal drought now racking Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday night. Venezuela is facing its worst drought in almost half a century. The nation depends on hydropower for nearly two-thirds of its electricity, but the reservoirs that fuel its facilities are evaporating. Power outages in recent weeks have forced factories to send workers home early, slowing production, and many residents are now scrambling to secure enough drinking water supplies.

The fierce El Niño created the brutal drought now racking Venezuela, the worst in almost half a century. No pulling of punches. Boiled down to essentials, however, there are three issues here – a) is there really a “brutal” drought in Venezuela, b) if so, did the “fierce” El Niño cause it and c) has global warming made it worse? We’ll take a look at these issues shortly, but first it’s important to note that about 70% of Venezuela’s electricity comes from one massive installation, the Guri dam on the Caroni River (officially the Simon Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant) which holds back a 4,000 square kilometer lake, about the same size as Rhode Island or Somerset.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s Pure Chaos Now; There Is No Way Back” – Venezuela Hits Rock Bottom As Its Morgues Overflow

“It’s Pure Chaos Now; There Is No Way Back” – Venezuela Hits Rock Bottom As Its Morgues Overflow

When we previewed Venezuela’s upcoming hyperinflation, which in January was predicted to be 720% and as of this moment is likely far higher…

… we said “This Is What The Death Of A Nation Looks Like” and said “there is no good news in any of the above for the long-suffering citizens of this “socialist paradise” which any minute now will be downgraded to its fair value of “socialist hell.

Subsequent news that Venezuela was now openly liquidating its gold reserves while its president, in an amusing twist, announced last week, that henceforth every Friday will be a holiday, (the term there was a slightly different meaning) to cut down on electricity usage (while blaming El Nino for its electricity rationing) merely confirmed that the end if nigh for this once flourishing Latin American nation.

Sadly, while we have been warning for years about Venezuela’s inevitable, economic devastation, we said it was only a matter of time before the chaos spreads to broader society and leads to total collapse.

That may have arrived because as even the FT now admits, after visiting the main Caracas morgue, Venezuela risks a descent into chaos.

But back to the morgue of central Caracas, where FT correspondent Andres Schipani writes that the stench forces everyone to cover their nostrils. “Now things are worse than ever,” says Yuli Sánchez. “They kill people and no one is punished while families have to keep their pain to themselves.

Ms Sánchez’s 14-year-old nephew, Oliver, was shot five times by malandros, or thugs, while riding on the back of a friend’s motorcycle. His uncle, Luis Mejía, remarked that in a fortnight three members of their family had been shot, including two youths who were shot by police.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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