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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Icebergs in Argentina

This doesn't look any too promising:

The Argentina coast guard was astonished to find icebergs floating along the Atlantic coast. "It's the first time icebergs of such size reached Buenos Aires," Miguel Angel Reyes, 44, chief of maritime traffic at the coast guard, said in an interview. "The police escorted the icebergs until they were out of the danger zone." For scientists, the icebergs' migration underscored how global warming is disrupting weather patterns and threatening agriculture.

The main problem isn't the presence of icebergs, but the impact of what is causing them to arrive:

The implications are worrisome for farming-dependent countries such as Argentina, the world's third-largest exporter of beef, corn and soybeans. Rising temperatures prompt flooding in some areas and dry up rivers in others, said Vicente Barros, a climatology professor at the University of Buenos Aires.

Warmer weather is evaporating water from rivers in northern Argentina at a faster pace than in previous years, curbing hydroelectric power and cutting the water supply to crops, Barros said. It also is bringing more rain to the central provinces of Cordoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires, flooding fields of soybeans, wheat and corn, he said.