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Analysis | The great drought and the great deluge, all at the same time

Analysis | The great drought and the great deluge, all at the same time


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In the age of climate change, our past intrudes upon the present. Last week, receding water levels in a Serbian stretch of the Danube, Europe’s second-largest river, surfaced a flotilla of Nazi-era German warships that were still packed with ammunition and unexploded ordnance. They were exposed at a time when Europe is experiencing what appears to be the worst dry spell in half a millennium, with two-thirds of the continent under some form of drought warning.

Other ruins and wrecks are popping up as waterways shrink. A submerged 1st century A.D. Roman bridge possibly constructed under the orders of Emperor Nero emerged from the Tiber River last month; further to the north, out of the depths of Italy’s tourist-clogged Lake Como, emerged a 100,000-year-old skull of a deer and the ancient remains of lions, hyenas and rhinos.

Scorching high temperatures left the Iberian Peninsula drier than any time in the last 1,200 years. In Spain, parched riverbeds and shrinking reservoirs have exposed a Neolithic monument known as the Spanish Stonehenge, a Roman fortress, a medieval church, and a number of more recent “ghost towns” that had been abandoned and flooded following 20th century dam projects.

In France, which is experiencing its worst drought on record, wine makers are harvesting their grapes earlier than ever. At a time where anxiety is already mounting over energy costs, surging temperatures and sparse rainfall have hit hydropower capacity in parts of Europe. They have also wreaked havoc on the continent’s agricultural output.

On this front, too, Europe’s rivers are turning up bleak omens — the receding waters in parts of central Europe have revealed old “hunger stones,” markers placed along riverbeds that locals centuries prior left as guides to earlier droughts. One stone that emerged out of the Elbe read: “When this goes under, life will become more colorful again.”

How ‘heat officers’ plan to help cities survive ever-hotter summers

These maps show how excessively hot it is in Europe and the U.S.

Yet what’s being experienced now in Europe — and all over the world — isn’t simply a rerun of the past. The northern hemispheric summer has been defined by a relentless series of unwelcome climate-related superlatives. Heat waves set record temperatures across cities in the Middle East and Europe. China is in the grips of its worst drought on record, which has dried up parts of the Yangtze River and impacted swaths of the country’s industrial sector. Meanwhile, in the space of only five weeks, U.S. cities experienced five instances of 1,000-year rain events — that is, episodes of severe flooding that have just 0.1 percent probability of happening in any given year.

The scale and ferocity of what’s taking place is supercharged by climate change. “Studies have found that heat waves are increasing in intensity and duration in China, as well as delivering warmer temperatures at night, because of human-induced climate change,” my colleagues reported. “The increase has been observed in urban and rural locations. Heat waves are also starting earlier and ending later.”

In China, the droughts in some parts of the countries have been met by a deluge in others. The western province of Qinghai experienced such heavy rains that some rivers changed course; landslides and floods killed more than a dozen people earlier this month.

In some cases, there is a direct link between drought and floods — soil actually absorbs water better when damp, while heavy rains slosh off parched landscapes into waterways. That explains why researchers in Central Texas are fearful of what may happen after a drought exposed 113-million-year-old dinosaur tracks in a dried-up riverbed.

“Given the wild fluctuations in weather and precipitation, we can have these long dry periods exposing things and then catastrophic flooding,” Vincent Santucci, senior paleontologist at the National Park Service, told my colleagues. “The high-energy nature of those floods can completely destroy a fossil site.”

Five 1,000-year rain events have struck the U.S. in five weeks. Why?

In South Asia, searing heat earlier in the summer gave way to an erratic and intense monsoon season. That, in turn, has stoked major flooding and landslides across Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Pakistan has been ravaged in recent weeks, with heavy rains and rising rivers leading to the deaths of more than 1,000 people and the displacement of over 10 million. Pakistan declared a state of emergency over the weekend and requested international aid, with officials describing the devastation wrought by a summer of extreme weather as the worst in over a decade.

Pakistan is experiencing a “climate catastrophe,” the nation’s climate change minister told NPR this weekend.

“Extreme climate events have become a regular phenomenon in South Asia,” wrote Hamid Mir for The Washington Post’s opinion pages last month. “We are facing weather-related problems in almost all parts of Pakistan. Flooding has become almost routine in some areas; others are plagued by drought. Glaciers are melting fast, resulting in reduced water flow in rivers. Farming is suffering as a result, and the decline in agricultural productivity is creating food insecurity. All this is accelerating migration from rural areas to cities.”

South Asia is at the sharp end of a planetary crisis. “Unrelenting heat waves have led scientists to wonder whether areas in the region may soon become uninhabitable or too dangerous for human life. “Across India and around the world, summer has become a season of peril, when society’s poorest and most vulnerable members must live and work in conditions that push the limits of human endurance,” my colleagues detailed in a grim but important piece that charted life for Indian day laborers with no choice but to work outside.

No part of the world is shielded from the reality of climate change. “The signature of a warming world is now perceptible every day in the conditions we regularly face,” wrote my colleague Matthew Cappucci, when exploring the scientific causes of increased rainfall in the United States.

“For many people, the concept of a changing climate might seem distant and removed — a two-millimeter rise in sea levels a year or a subtle uptick in global temperatures may appear inconsequential,” he added. “But human influence is affecting the dynamics of weather systems, the periodicity of the jet stream and the moisture-holding capacity of the atmosphere.”

The experience of these weather extremes is not forcing major climate policy reforms. The global panic over energy has led to the short-term pursuit of more fossil-fuel extraction. China had to scramble for more coal after the summer heat and drought delivered a blow to its hydropower capacity.

“After this crisis, the coal lobby will be saying, ‘This is why you need to have more coal mines and more coal-fired power plants,’” Philip Andrews-Speed, a senior fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Energy Studies Institute, told my colleagues. “As in Europe, the key is keeping the lights on and keeping the heating and the air conditioning going. That is the short-term priority.”

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MCSD to host events in person ahead of classes for first time since 2019

MCSD to host events in person ahead of classes for first time since 2019

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO — Students in the Marshalltown Community School District are heading back to school on Tuesday, and parents and students will have the opportunity to meet teachers and familiarize themselves with each school during Back to School night this evening from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Students in the Marshalltown Community School District are heading back to class on Tuesday, and Director of Instruction Shauna Smith and Superintendent Theron Schutte took a look ahead at what to expect during the new school year.

Schutte is looking forward to a semester less permeated by pandemic concerns, and he is hoping for a school year that feels more normal than the last few. It’s already off to a more routine start, as Back to School Night is being held in person for the first time since fall 2019.

Back to School Night is an event that will be held at every school building in the district on Monday evening from 4:30 to 6:30, and it provides an opportunity to meet teachers, see school buildings and get pumped for the new school year prior to the first day of school on Tuesday.

“That’s really something that’s really been, I think missing in terms of our ability to maintain the same kind of connectedness that we had with families prior to the pandemic,” Schutte said.

For the most part, Schutte felt that school would look very similar to how it did pre-COVID, and in-person engagement is going to be a priority for the new school year since that has been relatively lacking in the last two years.

That engagement starts with Back to School Night, and Smith hoped the event would put any lingering jitters to rest as families will be able to familiarize themselves with teachers and each building’s layout. Smith also said that backpacks for students who have a need for one will also be available at the event.

“(The backpacks) are plain and simple, but it is something for those students who really have that need and we have a lot of them to give away, so we’re really excited to get them into the hands of our students,” Smith said.

Smith and Schutte described the event as an open house for the different buildings, and parents and families are welcome to filter in and out between 4:30 and 6:30, as there is no need to remain for the entire duration of the event.

Back to School Night is just the beginning of the school year, and Smith said maintaining engagement throughout the year begins with a student’s classroom attendance, which is a crucial part of their learning.

“We know that the more students attend, the more engaged they are in their learning and the more they are able to reach their fullest potential, so we ask that parents really partner with us in making sure students come to school on time,” Smith said.

Smith also stressed that there are resources within the MCSD that are there to help parents find “the right recipe” to get students to class if there are any barriers. Parents need only reach out to their child’s school.

The pandemic resulted in many changes throughout the district, and now that things are, in a sense, returning to normal, Schutte is eager to see how the more routine school year shapes up.

“I think we’re in a great position to turn the focus away from the safety concerns and issues that we’ve had in the recent past with the pandemic and really kind of focus in on, you know, how do we get better as students and employees at doing what we do on a daily basis,” Schutte said.

Schutte wants to really help teachers hone in on finding ways to enhance teaching methods so they can go from good to great, and he is looking forward to being able to find the best ways to address achievement gaps and learning loss.

“I’m really, really excited to see what we can do within the context of the regular school day for all students to help with some of that missed and or lost learning. And then also, continuing to provide supplemental opportunities through both interventions that we do during the school day, for the students most in need, but then the after school programming, the summer school programming, the high dosage tutoring, those types of things that we’ve been doing to, first and foremost, help kids rebound from COVID, but in reality, I think all of these things are critically important just to have our best shot at helping kids remove any learning gaps,” Schutte said.

Schutte said the district is in a good position to fully implement all of the information and techniques they have been learning regarding Social Emotional Learning this year as well, and 51 new teachers are also being welcomed to Marshalltown this fall.

The first week of school has officially arrived, and MCSD staff and teachers can’t wait to meet this year’s students.

“We want our students to be ready to be a bobcat and, you know, show pride, and continue to build each other up with positivity. Our teachers are ready to welcome them with open arms, and we couldn’t be more excited to get the 22-23 school year launched,” Smith said.


Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or

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Commonwealth Games 2022, Day 11: India Schedule, Events List On August 8, Live Streaming, IST Time, TV Channel

CWG 2022, Day 11: India Schedule

India will be chasing five gold medals on Day 11 of CWG 2022 and three of them will be in Badminton — women’s singles, men’s single and men’s doubles.

It will be safe to assume that India are in with a good chance to win all three of those gold medals as they will field PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen in singles.

In the doubles, India have on their ranks Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Renkireddy, and they too are in a good space to win the yellow metal.

In table tennis also, India will pursue a gold in men’s singles. In hockey, India men will face their Australian counterparts in the gold medal match, and which will also be India’s final competitive event in CWG 2022.

India will certainly want a gold in the hockey as women team ended up with a bronze after that controversial penalty shootout against Australia in their semifinals.

However, the task — winning the gold and extracting some vengeance on Australia — will not be easy for the Indians as the Aussies are quite the formidable side.

The closing ceremony is scheduled for 12 AM midnight, bringing curtains down on a sporting event that gave us some thrills and disappointments over the last fortnight.

Here we are giving India’s Day 11 schedule at the Commonwealth Games. The matches can be accessed on Sony Sports Networks and live streaming will be on Sony LIV.


Women’s Singles Finals: PV Sindhu vs Michelle Li – 1:20 pm

Men’s Singles Finals: Lakshya Sen vs Ng Tze Yong – 2:10 pm

Men’s Doubles Finals: Chirag/Satwik vs Sean Vendy and Ben Lane – 3:00 pm.

Table Tennis

Men’s Bronze Medal Match: G Sathiyan vs Paul Drinkhal – 3:35 pm

Men’s Gold Medal Match: Achanta Sharath Kamal vs Liam Pitchford- 4:25 pm


India vs Australia: 5 pm

Closing Ceremony: 12 am

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Rain or shine? Not this time — Weather cancels area events – Salisbury Post

Rain or shine? Not this time — Weather cancels area events - Salisbury Post

ROWAN COUNTY — As storms rippled through much of Rowan County over the weekend, many residents were relieved.

After weeks of steadily rising summer temperatures, the opportunity to cool off with a quick summer shower was a welcome opportunity.

Unfortunately, those brief summer showers turned out to be a whole lot more in some parts of the region, leading to the cancellation of multiple events around the county.

The storms included a series of powerful cells bringing lightning and heavy rain that repeatedly swept through Rowan and surrounding counties on Friday evening, with more arriving later on Saturday and Sunday as well.

As a result of this, the Reels & Riffs series had to cancel its screening of “Ghostbuster Afterlife” at City Park in Salisbury on Friday evening.

On Sunday, Kannapolis was forced to take similar measures when another round of rainy weather led local officials to close down activities at Village Park for children and cancelling their own Movies in the Park event as the rain persisted.

The rain also impacted the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers and their ability to start an afternoon game on Sunday, leading to a delay as groundskeepers hurried to protect the field while players and fans alike waited out the weather.

These cancellations have raised questions about just how possible it is to plan outdoor social events in Rowan County when strong storms regularly pass through the region on a consistent basis for the summer season.

Speaking with local officials for Salisbury and Kannapolis, there is a confidence that such events can continue, however, due to a proactive approach to anticipating and planning around any weather-related issues.

Annette Privette Keller, the director of communications for Kannapolis, explained that, “usually our events are rain or shine, but if there is lightning or more severe weather, we will consider a cancellation.”

Keller pointed out that Kannapolis has not canceled any previous movies for the public this year and that this decision was only made after consideration that rain had been falling for hours, the showers were expected to continue, and the temperatures were unseasonably cold.

Vivian Koontz, the events coordinator for Salisbury, said that they take a lot of factors into consideration before deciding how to handle a scheduled event when inclement weather is on the horizon.

Koontz explained that, “summer storms often come with high winds which are dangerous to our movie-goers” and could potentially damage the city’s screening equipment as well.

Salisbury works to assure that when these events occur, contingencies are in place. Whether it involves notifying the crowd in advance so they don’t arrive to find the event canceled, or adding a make-up date on their calendar to reschedule a canceled event, officials are mindful of the possibility for inclement weather.

The impact of these storms may continue in the coming weeks and months as the summer heat and humidity only leads to new storm cells passing through the region, according to the National Weather Service.

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Father’s Day fundraiser returns in-person for the first time since pandemic

Father's Day fundraiser returns in-person for the first time since pandemic

Hundreds of Islanders celebrated their Father’s Day morning by running to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

The Island Prostate Centre held its 22nd annual running event, with this year being the first in-person event in a couple of years.

“The last couple of years have been hard because of COVID. We were doing virtual events but we are so happy to be back today doing a live in-person event,” said Executive Director of the Island Prostate Centre Leanne Kopp.

According to Kopp, events like the Father’s Day run are what help fund the Island Prostate Centre as the organization does not receive government funding. This made being able to bring this event back in-person all the more significant.

Participants of the event had the option of going on either a 3 km or 5 km run, with pancakes and other activities waiting for them at the finish line. The winner of this year’s 5 km race, Paul Siluch, is a prostate cancer survivor himself.

“I had prostate cancer around 2014, and I’ve survived it. And not only that but I’ve won the race this year so [it shows] you can win a race without a prostate,” joked Siluch.

This year’s run raised over $60,000 and brought together more than 200 people.

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What Time Is The Fortnite ‘Collision’ Live Event Today? (June 4th, 2022)

What Time Is The Fortnite 'Collision' Live Event Today? (June 4th, 2022)

Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 2 is officially coming to an end as Epic Games confirms the start date and time for the next in-game live event.

With Fortnite’s next big live event set to take place later today, this isn’t something fans are going to want to miss out on. Thankfully, Epic Games has confirmed all the details surrounding the in-game event, including the official start time, rewards, and details on how to participate.

When Is The Fortnite Live Event For 2022?

The next Fortnite live event, otherwise known as ‘Collision’, will take place on Saturday, June 4th, 2022, with the start time confirmed for 1PM PT / 4PM ET / 9PM BST.

According to an official blog post by Epic Games, the Collision playlist will go live in-game 30 minutes prior to the start time mentioned above. This will allow players to jump in before the event begins, as servers are usually known to experience connectivity issues during events, so we recommend getting in-game as early as possible.

Remember, every player who logs in on June 4th from 8 AM ET will receive an exclusive loading screen and lobby track. There are also exclusive Mecha Weapons Team Outfits available in the Item Shop, so players are able to look the part for the event.

  • CHECK THIS OUT: Ark 2 Reportedly A Timed Xbox Exclusive and Will Come To PlayStation & Switch

How To Play In The Fortnite ‘Collision’ Live Event

If you want to take place in the next Fortnite live event, simply boot up your game and navigate to the playlist section from the main menu.

As mentioned previously, 30 minutes before the event is set to begin, a special limited-time playlist will become available. The playlist will be titled “Collision”, simply select the mode and jump in, the event will then begin at the aforementioned time.

Remember, today’s event is only happening once. If you miss it, you won’t be able to replay it!

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These summer events are returning to Vancouver, some for the first time in 2 years

These summer events are returning to Vancouver, some for the first time in 2 years

With the majority of COVID-19 restrictions eased, many Vancouver events that were halted, held virtually or had limited capacity over the past two years are set to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer.

This will be the first time that summertime traditions like Bard on the Beach, Greek Day on Broadway and the Honda Celebration of Light will be returning to the city after a two-year hiatus.

For others, including the Vancouver Pride Parade, it will be the first time since 2019 that the event will be held at full capacity. The parade took place in a mainly online format last summer.

The Pacific National Exhibition Fair will also be returning, however, there will still be a cap on daily attendance.

Canada Day celebrations will be held at Canada Place once again, but for the third year in a row, a fireworks show will not be taking place. This time, organizers say it’s due to rising costs for events and security, and not public health guidelines.

Here’s a lineup of events taking place in Vancouver this summer:

June 8 to Sept. 24 – Bard on the Beach

June 18 to Aug. 19 – Playland

June 23 to June 27 – Jazz Fest at the Vancouver Art Gallery

June 25 – Vancouver Half Marathon

June 26 – Greek Day on Broadway

June 30 to July 1 – Canada Day celebrations at Canada Place

July 2 to July 3 – Jazz Fest at Roundhouse and Drake Street

July 9 – Khatsalano! Music + Arts Festival

July 15 to 17 – Vancouver Folk Music Festival

July 16 to July 17 – Chinatown Festival

July 23, 27 and 30 – Honda Celebration of Light

July 29 to July 31 – Powell Street Festival

July 31 – Vancouver Pride Parade

Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27 – Granville Promenade

Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 – Festival of India

Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 – Mural Fest Mount Pleasant

Aug. 20 – Car Free Day on Denman Street

Aug. 21 to Sept. 6 – Pacific National Exhibition

Aug. 27 – Car Free Day on Main Street

Aug. 31 to Sept. 7 – Taiwan Fest

Sept. 10 – RBC Gran Fondo

Sept. 10 – Car Free Day on Commercial Drive

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Ramstein rethinks Pride Month events after critics bash ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ for kids

A newly installed welcome sign is on display at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 2, 2021. (Airman Edgar Grimaldo/Air Force)

Ramstein Air Base in Germany is overhauling its Pride Month festivities after critics, including a Republican senator, complained that a drag queen was picked to read to children.

Ramstein, the largest American air base in Germany and headquarters of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, was slated to host local drag queen Stacey Teed at a 30-minute story time event for kids at an on-base library, according to a since-deleted Facebook event.

“Be sure to wear your brightest and most colorful outfits!” the post read.

But the event created a furor. Chief among its opponents was Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who confirmed the Air Force had canceled “Drag Queen Story Time” the same week he wrote to Secretary Frank Kendall demanding the service “immediately cancel this politically divisive event, and take appropriate disciplinary action against all involved in allowing this gross abuse of taxpayer funding to place children in a sexualized environment.”

Rubio also asked Kendall how many events “involving drag queens spending time around children” have been held on American military installations around the world, and what resources have been used to hold them.

“Decisions over children and their bodies should be left to moms and dads serving our nation,” Rubio wrote Thursday. “The last thing parents serving their nation overseas should be worried about, particularly in a theater with heightened geopolitical tensions, is whether their children are being exposed to sexually charged content simply because they visited their local library.”

His opposition comes amid a spike in baseless accusations of LGBTQ people “grooming” or befriending children with the intent to sexually abuse them.

“It’s story time, not RuPaul’s Drag Race,” said Natalie Ricketts, a member of the Ramstein community who created a petition to reinstate the events. “Stacey Teed isn’t a sexualized name, nor would they wear the same clothes [to the reading that] they would for a show.”

Neither Ramstein’s 86th Airlift Wing nor the Modern Military Association of America, an advocacy group for LGBTQ service members, responded to questions by press time Friday.

Drag is the centuries-long practice of dressing in exaggerated makeup and clothing of the opposite sex, most commonly used in theater and other stage performances. It’s often on display during Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month events, held worldwide each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York that served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement. Pride Month also celebrates the community’s contributions and remembers those killed in hate crimes or by HIV/AIDS.

Military organizations have started hosting Pride events in the decade since the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning openly gay service members ended.

This year, Ricketts wrote in the petition, the 86th Mission Support Group commander canceled all Pride events unless they are rebranded without drag queens.

“The reason for this is because the [public affairs chief] received a lot of angry emails from ‘taxpaying Americans’ … most of which aren’t stationed here,” said Ricketts, whose public LinkedIn profile shows she served as an active duty geospatial intelligence analyst before joining the Air Force Reserve.

“Per the [86th Airlift] Wing … ‘You can do the event but remove the drag queen [and] have someone ‘normal’ reading the stories,’” said Ricketts.

According to the petition, which had gathered more than 140 digital signatures as of Friday afternoon, the library will only hold Pride story time if a drag queen participates.

Objections centered on the library gathering but allegedly led to a blanket ban from local leadership on any drag-related event. Pride was slated to kick off next week with a karaoke event run by drag queens at the base’s enlisted club, Ricketts said.

Ricketts disputed the idea that the event would involve anything untoward.

The “Monarchy of RoyalTea,” a drag group in the Kaiserslautern military community that holds performances and events like holiday drag brunches, is losing out on funds it would have received for working at Pride Month activities, she said. Most of the drag queens are enlisted members.

A note anonymously posted to the popular Facebook page “Air Force amn/nco/snco”, which airs airmen’s questions and gripes and shares news articles, said those involved with Ramstein Pride are working with the Air Force’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning Initiative Team; the Modern Military Association of America, an advocacy group for LGBTQ service members; and 86th Force Support Squadron on a solution.

“We are deeply disappointed that discrimination like this continues to be tolerated,” the note said.

Rachel Cohen joined Air Force Times as senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in Air Force Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), the Washington Post, and others.