South America

This thread is for discussion of South American aspects of global warming.

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Cold snap freezes South America – beaches whitened, some areas experience snow for the first time in living memory


Mapping the cold snap in South America


Peru Government Declares Cold Wave Emergency

Richard C (NZ)

A govt climate adaption initiative that actually helps people in need..

Peru Sends 97,000 Blankets To Andean Highlands To Weather Cold

Peru’s government on Monday sent 18 trucks carrying 97,000 blankets to villages in the Andean highlands, where the populations endure freezing temperatures.

The blankets were sent to Puno, Apurimac, Ayacucho, Junin, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ancash and La Libertad regions, daily La Republica reported.

The shipment is part of the national government plan to provide support to people who are not properly equipped to weather the cold.

Children and the elderly are often the most vulnerable to the cold temperatures, and every year a number of people in the highlands die during Peru’s cold winter months of June through August.

Last week, temperatures in the district of Mazocruz, located some 4,000 meters above sea level in the Puno region, dipped to -18 degrees Celsius, which is the lowest temperature in the department so far this year.

Meanwhile, some 70,000 blankets were also sent to the northern region of Loreto last week to help people living in colder than normal temperatures.

The government’s initial budget for the plan is about 36.1 million soles ($13.6 million), which is intended to benefit almost 250,000 people.

A better use of funds than rewarding China for manufacturing for deliberate destruction a gas a mindless creed makes us dread.


Chile – Big Freeze hits fruit farmers


175 people killed in South America cold spell


Freezing temperatures threaten thousands in Peru


Hundreds die in Peru’s big freeze


Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen


Argentina Colder Than Antarctica Raises Power Imports (Update2)

Richard C (NZ)

2 years later and a similar event is occurring (see previous comment), Tim Ball reports:-

These patterns [cyclonic activity directly related to the larger pattern of flow in the Circumpolar Vortex] are spilling out to lower latitudes. A June 22, 2012 email from Eduardo Ferreyra President of Argentinian Foundation for a Scientific Ecology (FAEC) reports;

“We’re having in Argentina a series of Antarctic polar waves that has people shuddering. In Ushuaia an entire neighbourhood had to be evacuated because the cold froze water pipes and blocked natural gas valves. No heating, no cooking, streets with 2.5 metres of snow. In two weeks snowed more than an entire normal winter season. And winter hasn’t begun yet!”


1 Million Fish Dead in Bolivian Ecological Disaster


Chilly in Chile: South America Hit by Cold Snap


Crops & Markets
Cold strikes Argentina’s blueberries

Richard C (NZ)

See this July 2, 2012 comment re frost impacting citrus fruit including oranges and mandarins, as well as lemons and grapefruit to a lesser extent.

Agricultural emergency declared in NEA Argentina

Richard C (NZ)

Starbucks blames cooler Costa Rica night-time temperatures on global warming. Meanwhile scientists and growers blame changing weather and climate on “climate change” (after planting higher up the mountains when the weather was warmer). —————————————————————————————————————————- Climate change takes toll on coffee growers, drinkers too Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 10:03 PM – The Seattle Times Shifting temperatures and erratic rainfall are taking a toll on the lucrative coffee crop in Costa Rica. Yields are way down, part of the reason coffee drinkers here are paying more for their morning cup. SANTA MARIA DE DOTA, Costa Rica — A mile above this rural mountain town, coffee trees have produced some of the world’s best arabica beans for more than a century. Now farmers are planting even higher — at nearly 7,000 feet — thanks to warmer temperatures. “We noticed about six years ago, the weather changed,” said Ricardo Calderón Madrigal, whose family harvests ripe, red coffee cherries at the higher elevation. He sells beans to some of the most notable coffeehouses in the U.S., including Stumptown Coffee of Portland and Ritual Coffee in San Francisco. [Snip] Yields in Costa Rica have dropped dramatically in the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Anger mounts over hydro plan for Patagonia May 14, 2011 CHILEAN authorities have approved a $2.8 billion plan to dam two rivers in Patagonia for hydro-electricity, triggering angry protests and claims that swathes of pristine wilderness will be destroyed. The HidroAysen project envisages five dams to tap the Baker and Pascua rivers, an isolated area of fiords and valleys, and generate 2.75 gigawatts of power for Chile’s booming economy. The government has championed the dams as vital to poverty alleviation and growth, but public opinion has split, with many saying the project is unnecessary and will devastate an ecological haven. [Snip] HidroAysen argued that the dams will provide cheap and clean electricity in comparison to oil and coal. Chile recently approved three coal plants. Some analysts say Chile will need to triple its energy capacity in the next 15 years to feed fast-growing industries and cities. The country imports 97 per cent of its fossil fuel needs and relies mainly on hydro power for electricity, leaving it vulnerable to oil shocks and drought. The council of ministers is expected to nod through the proposed dams but activists hope to win concessions in the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Five of South America’s major fruit-producing countries have witnessed an historic cold snap over the last week, including a snowstorm in the Argentine citrus region of Tucumán.

Low temperatures were registered in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia.

The blizzard hit Tucumán on Friday in conditions not seen since 1920, while the Brazilian state of Santa Caterina recorded a wind chill of -25°C (-13°F), website reported.

June 29th, 2011

Richard C (NZ)

A repeat from last year, see previous comment:- Agricultural emergency declared in NEA Argentina Serious frosts in NEA Argentina have led to a declaration of agricultural emergency and disaster for the region. Entre Ríos governor Sergio Urribarri said he had met with president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to set out a diagnosis of the situation and plan short-to-medium term goals. He said around citrus 2,000 growers have been affected by the frosts, which impacts on 12,000 workers. “Mindful of the social dimensions of this situation, we are committed to managing this both at the provincial level and before the national authorities with the measures necessary to partner with the sector, which is suffering from the consequences of an unheard of phenomenon for this time of year,” Urribarri was quoted as saying. Urribarri is expected to hold roundtable talks with people from affected areas this week, with a group comprising of growers, mayors and his own government team. Frosts of -5°C (23°F) hit the departments of Feliciano, Federal, Federación, Concordia and Colón on Jun. 7, 8 and 9, registering a duration of 12 cold hours. The story reported the frosts affected 50,000 hectares of… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Carbon cowboys

Amazonian tribes are facing new challenges as carbon credit dealers move into their forests, write Patrick Bodenham and Ben Cubby.

Read more:

Richard C (NZ)

Chile hit by ‘white earthquake’ of heavy snow

A “white earthquake” of heavy snow has blanketed parts of Chile leading the government to declare a “disaster area” in eight municipalities where around 16,000 people were left isolated.

Temperatures plunged to as low as -23 C (-9.4F) in some rural areas as severe snowfall wreaked havoc, leaving people without food supplies, mobile phone signals or radio communications.

Miguel Mellado, governor of the province of Cautin, said that in four days from Sunday to Wednesday the area had seen “four months worth of snowfall.”

In the town of Lonquimay, around 350 miles south of the capital Santiago, more than 6,500 people were trapped in their homes after snow piled up to 2.3 metres (7ft 6ins), while in surrounding rural areas it was reported to have reached 9ft.


Although severe cold weather is not unusual in the region, close to the border with Argentina, Mr Pinera described the current polar front as the worst it had seen in 30 years.

Richard C (NZ)

South America Gripped By Brutal Winter By P Gosselin on 26. Juli 2011 German climate blog Readers Edition here has been keeping an eye on the winter in South America. While much of the news has been buzzing about the “record heat wave” hitting the US last week (a whopping 0.4% of the stations reported record highs! /sarc), Europe and South America for example are being left out in the cold. [Check out the anomaly plot] In South America, dozens of people have died from the bitter cold in 7 countries so far, just when cold snaps were supposed to be getting rarer and the heat waves more frequent. The cold is repeat of last year’s brutal South American winter. Readers Edition writes (paraphrased): In southern Peru, temperatures in the higher elevations of the Andes fell to -23°C. Since the beginning of last week 112 people have died of hypothermia and flu. Coldest winter in 10 years In Argentina the lowest temperatures in 10 years were measured – the temperature dropped to -14°C. At least 33 people died, some froze to death and some from poisonous gases emitted from faulty heaters. Thousands of… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Selected quotes from:- In the Andes, freak cold extracts a brutal toll Climate change alters the environment in complex ways. The Andes, warming for decades, has seen three bitter winters that have left more than 400 dead and aid agencies scrambling. Experts see the fingerprints of global warming there, too. By Emily Kirkland for the Daily Climate But the bean harvests have failed recently, and cattle have come down with strange illnesses. Ice has ruined the oranges and avocados. Most worryingly, the cold has taken its toll on his children. “The children get pneumonia,” said Chanta. “This cold is so much for our children.” Over the past three years, bitter cold spells and frosts have made life in El Higueron – and throughout most of the Peruvian Andes – increasingly difficult. As paradoxical as it seems, scientists suspect global warming is to blame. And, Bone-chilling cold has always been a feature of life in the Andes. But rural residents, government officials, and development workers all say that frosts and cold waves have grown more extreme. Christopher Hinostroza Quiñonez, the head of disaster management for the town of Yungay in the central Andes,… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

‘Peru Declares State of Emergency in Puno as Temperatures Drop’ August 28, 2013 by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES Peru’s government has declared a state of emergency in parts of the southern Andean region of Puno that have been hit with the coldest temperatures in a decade, daily El Comercio reported. President Ollanta Humala, visiting the area this week, announced the emergency for seven provinces in Puno – Carabaya, Sandia, Lampa, San Antonio de Putina, Melgar, Puno and El Collao. Hundreds of families have been affected and more than 250,000 alpacas have died due to freezing temperatures and snow storms that have hit the southern highlands. Vehicles on the highway between Puno and Arequipa were also affected. Passengers on interprovincial buses were forced to wait some eight to 10 hours on the icy highways at temperatures of minus 15 degrees Celsius. Related Posts (bottom of link above) * Climate change: intense cold front has killed 20,000 alpaca in Puno so far this year August 13, 2009 Climate change continues to wreck havoc in Peru’s southern Altiplano, where the arrival of freezing temperatures since March — almost three months earlier than usual… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

See selected quotes from “In the Andes, freak cold extracts a brutal toll” immediately upthread for confusion over Peruvian cold events:


“As paradoxical as it seems, scientists suspect global warming is to blame”

“I can’t understand it,”…………“The climate is changing.”

“… [climate change] can lead to greater extremes of both hot and cold.”

“……global warming could make cold waves less frequent but more severe.”

“Everyone’s talking about climate change adaptation, but what are we adapting to?”

Richard C (NZ)

‘At least five dead in South America cold snap’

At least five people have died due to a cold snap in South America, which has also killed thousands of cattle and damaged crops, authorities said Wednesday.

In Bolivia, heavy snowfall claimed at least three lives and thousands of families were reeling from a sudden dip in temperatures over the past week, according to regional officials.


In neighboring Paraguay, two people died from hypothermia due to the chill that has also killed 4,000 cattle and affected 30 percent of the country’s wheat crops, according to official reports released Wednesday.


Richard C (NZ)

‘Chile frost hits fruit crops and wine, emergency declared’

Source: Reuters – Thu, 3 Oct 2013 04:18 PM

SANTIAGO, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Chile declared a state of emergency on Thursday after a late frost caused an estimated $1 billion worth of damage to fruit crops, potentially hitting wine production as well.

The affected central region is the main fruit and wine producing area in Chile, the world’s No.7 wine producer, and includes vineyards owned by prominent local wine label Concha y Toro.

The industry is one of Chile’s most important after copper, with fruit exports worth $4.3 billion in 2012 and wine worth $1.8 billion, according to government figures.

“These frosts are the worst that agriculture has faced in 84 years, impacting the area from Coquimbo to Bio Bio,” the national agricultural society said as Agriculture Minister Luis Mayol pledged aid for affected farmers.

Fruit trade association Fedefruta has given an early estimate of up to $1 billion of damage from the extensive cold snap in late September.


Richard C (NZ)

It estimates the frost damaged between 35 percent and 61 percent of stoned fruit crops, 57 percent of almonds, 48 percent of kiwi crops and 20 percent of table grapes.

Richard C (NZ)

For some amusement, check out the comments here:

‘Caribbean Water’

Richard C (NZ)

Peru – Heaviest snowfall in years kills 171,850 alpacas

Bolivia – At least 75,000 head of cattle may starve [heavy snow, 1.5m deep]

Richard C (NZ)

‘Argentine gov’t denies responsibility for recent power blackouts’

EFE Buenos Aires, 24 Jun 2015

The Argentine government on Wednesday denied responsibility for the power blackouts in recent days that have affected thousands of customers due to the increase in demand for electricity as a result of cold weather, and it pointed to utility firms and distribution companies as the responsible parties.

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Cold wave in South America. Al Jazeera has reported it but I don’t see it anywhere else.