On the train to Wollongong yesterday I struck up a conversation with a man who raced onto the train just before it left, several large bags indicating he was a traveller. In fact he had just spent summer in his native Hungary and had stepped off the plane just an hour before. He is a Wollongong resident and ended up inviting me the the chess night at one of the local clubs, which is nice but I am not a chess player.
He had been visiting relatives in his native village around 80 km from Budapest.
It had been such a hot summer in Hungary, he said, quite unlike anything he’d known forty to fifty years ago. And the floods! He couldn’t recall anything like them. Being a villager he was particularly keen to tell me about this:
Hungary: One-third of fruit and vegetable crops lost due to bad weather
One-third of this year’s fruit and vegetable harvest has been lost in Hungary due to adverse weather conditions, with losses of up to 80% in the case of certain crops, head of Hungary’s Fruit and Vegetable Council (FruitVeb) József Szabó told MTI.
This year’s average yields show that the harvest is around 30% less than last year’s and 40-50% less than the average of the past ten years, Szabó said.
He said 30% of the harvest of tomatoes and sweetcorn, 40% of peas and 11-15% of the harvest of peppers and cabbages has been lost this year compared to last year.
Fruit growers have suffered even bigger losses as 80% of the harvest of cherries, 40% of sour cherries and 30% of the harvest of apricots, peaches and plums has been lost.
Apple growers project a harvest of 300,000 tons of apples this year compared to 500,000 tons last year, Szabó noted.
Hungarian food processing companies, including canned food, frozen food and juice makers are now expected to process 1 million tons of vegetable and food this year, down from 1.3 million tons in 2009 and 1.5 million in 2008.
I didn’t even mention climate change, by the way, but he said there was something weird about the weather in the last few years.
Meanwhile in New Zealand: NZ glacier sheds 50m tonnes of ice.
Up to 50 million tonnes of ice has fallen off New Zealand’s largest glacier. The Tasman glacier has changed from a U shape to an L after shedding the ice.
Mount Cook Alpine Village general manager Denis Calleson says a trail of huge icebergs has been left behind. One is believed to be the largest in a fresh water lake outside Antarctica.
The event was thought to have triggered a three-metre-high tsunami in a remote part of Mount Cook National Park.
Straws in the wind, or evidence of a trend? Time will tell.