CLIMATE NEWS

CLIMATE NEWS

Heavy rains do seem to be arriving, dangerous wild fires close Arusha N.P., and African nations prepare for the Copenhagen Climate Change summit.

This evening at Larsen’s Camp in Samburu National Park, Jeremy told me that it had begun to rain over the park, and that the Ewaso Nyiro River had started flowing again five days ago.

This confirms the broad satellite photos we can access, which are showing heavier than normal rains appearing earlier than normal and spreading out radially from Lake Victoria.

Fear that the rain may be too heavy, as was the case with the last El Nino in 1998, have led to some villages near normal bodies of water to evacuate. Basouto Island Village, a fishing village in the Manyara district of Tanzania, reported widespread evacuation.

The 1998-99 El Nino came after several years of less than normal rains, and the terrible flooding was made worse by horrible landslides. Although this year’s El Nino is not expected to be as strong, the drought it follows has been much worse. Erosion and landslides are likely to be more severe.

But it will take some time to recover the rainfall deficit, and last week Arusha National Park was closed because of a wildfire that was raging out of control. As of today, it is still not controlled. The fire is creeping up to the summit, actually away from the major tourist areas, but they have still been closed out of precaution the wind could change.

Meanwhile, African nations are continuing to pow-wow in Addis Ababa to agree on a single position at the world climate change talks on December 7 in Copenhagen.

At the last round in Kyoto, the African nations in particular felt snubbed, especially by the Bush Administration. Western lobbyists got them on board with the Kyoto Protocol, only to have the U.S. pull out at the last minute.

This year the African nations plan on insisting that “above current aid levels” the developing countries promise an additional $200 billion per year to assist with carbon reduction in emerging African economies.