RECORD HEAT continues to plague parts of the U.S. - This summer is setting records for heat and drought in the west, southwest and southeastern United States. Charlotte, North Carolina, is about to set a record for most consecutive days in one year with high temperatures over 90 degrees. The west has seen severe heat for months. In California, Palm Springs has seen brutal temperatures hovering near 115-degrees, while in Arizona it's been 110-degrees or hotter for 29 straight days, a new record. Severe drought conditions are drying up lakes, lawns and fields. Farmers are fighting to save crops and cattle in some of the driest areas. In North Carolina there is a "hay emergency," continuing what has been a rough go for several seasons now. "We've had a late freeze that damaged crops in North Carolina, and then we've had a drought that has been very severe, but then couple that with probably the hottest August temperatures that have ever been recorded on record. We've had our three strikes but we're still fighting." Smaller crops and the extra cost for farmers to deal with the conditions will surely mean higher market prices in the fall.
ALGERIA is facing an UNPRECEDENTED heat wave resulting in forest fires that are being felt across the entire northern regions. In the Tizi Ouzou province in the central northeast of the country at least four people died from severe burns. The temperature in Algiers reached the 110 Fahrenheit or 42 Celsius, pushing power consumption to peak levels on August 28th. Firefighters are battling fires on 28 fronts; a battle that appears difficult to win. 36 fires are currently destroying forests in Annaba, Guelma and El Tarf. In all, 74 fires have been active over the past couple of days in 19 provinces, affecting 21,000 hectares of land (52,000 acres). Since the beginning of summer, 1,204 fires have been registered, making 2007 the busiest season for Algerian firefighters.
Nature has a way of continually surprising us and inspiring awe within us, and it seems there are just as many fantastical wonders t...