Brrrr… Longest Ever Cold Spell Kills Cattle & Rice in Vietnam
Farmers in Dam Thuy Commune in Cao Bang Province inspect a corn field damaged by the cold spell. (Saigon Times)
Hanoi – Record-setting cold weather has killed more than 8,000 cattle and 100,000 hectares of paddy rice in northern Vietnam since mid-January, officials said Tuesday. Most of the cattle have died in northern mountainous provinces, where temperatures during the month-long cold spell have sometimes dropped to below zero Celsius, a rarity in Vietnam.
“We fear that the number of cattle killed by coldness and shortage of food in northern provinces will keep rising in the coming days,” said Hoang Kim Giao, director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Livestock Department.
The cold spell, which the National Hydrometeorology Forecast Center says is the longest ever in Vietnam, has also killed up to 100,000 hectares of the winter-spring crop of paddy rice throughout the northern provinces.
However, agriculture officials say the situation will not hurt the country’s rice production this year.
“Vietnam has more than 3.6 million hectares of paddy rice in the winter-spring crop, and farmers can replant the dead paddy rice area before March 5 with no loss in production,” said Nguyen Tri Ngoc, director of the ministry’s Cultivation Department.
Satellite data shows that concerns over the levels of sea ice may have been premature.
It was feared that the polar caps were vanishing because of the effects of global warming.
But figures from the respected US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that almost all the “lost” ice has come back.
Ice levels which had shrunk from 13million sq km in January 2007 to just four million in October, are almost back to their original levels.
Figures show that there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for the time of year.
The data flies in the face of many current thinkers and will be seized on by climate change sceptics who deny that the world is undergoing global warming.
A photograph of polar bears clinging on to a melting iceberg has become one of the most enduring images in the campaign against climate change.
It was used by former US Vice President Al Gore during his Inconvenient Truth lectures about mankind’s impact on the world. But scientists say the northern hemisphere has endured its coldest winter in decades.
They add that snow cover across the area is at its greatest since 1966.
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