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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Wed 15 May 2019, 23:36:58
by EdwinSm
North Korea has said it is suffering its worst drought in 37 years
BBC wrote:...the UN said that up to 10 million North Koreans were "in urgent need of food assistance".

North Koreans had been surviving on just 300g (10.5 oz) of food a day so far this year, the UN report said.

In the 1990s, a devastating famine is believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.

There is no indication as yet that this drought will be as severe, but it follows a slew of warnings about poor harvests and crop damage across the country.....

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Tue 09 Jul 2019, 13:13:53
by dohboi
Semi-Arid Land in China expanded in Recent Decades; Will Continue to Expand ... cades.html

Drylands cover approximately 50% of the land surface in China, among which semi-arid regions are the main dryland type. However, these semi-arid regions have undergone continuous expansion and a significant drying trend in recent decades, which increases the risk of land degradation and deterioration in China.

Studies have shown that semi-arid regions dominate the coverage of drylands in northern China, which have experienced the largest warming and significant expansion during the last 60 years. The climate in expanded semi-arid regions has become drier and warmer, particularly in the newly formed semi-arid areas, and the drying trend is strongly associated with the weakened East Asian summer monsoon. The intensity of the regional temperature response over these regions has been amplified by land-atmosphere interactions and human activities, and the decadal to interdecadal climate variation in semi-arid regions is regulated by oceanic oscillations. Dust-cloud-precipitation interactions may have altered semi-arid precipitation by affecting the local energy and hydrological cycles.

"In the 21st century, semi-arid regions in China are projected to continuously expand. It will increase the challenges in dealing with desertification, food security and water supply."

Jianping Huang et al, Progress in Semi-arid Climate Change Studies in China, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (2019)


Before and After Photos: Drought Wipes Chilean Lake From the Map ... o-dries-up ... p-1779472/


Chile Suffers the Worst Drought in 60 Years ... 49467.html

Central Chile is suffering the worst drought in 60 years. That includes the capital Santiago, home to nearly half the country's population of 18 million.

Experts predict climate change, over-exploitation by agriculture and other factors means the shortage of water will be permanent.

Chile's populated capital Santiago, as well as the Valparaiso region, could be left without drinking water by 2030.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 11 Jul 2019, 20:06:39
by dohboi
We are currently in a low rainfall epoch and can expect more below-normal monsoons for next few years

The monsoon is a very robust system. If you take the last 150 years of observation data, you find that monsoon has not changed much in terms of all-India average rainfall. But there are regional changes. For example, Chhattisgarh and parts of Odisha are getting less rain whereas Maharashtra, parts of Karnataka, Gujarat, J&K and some other places are getting more rainfall.

Monsoon also has a large multi-decadal oscillation that’s well proven. This cycle spans around 60 years encompassing epochs of low and high rainfall. In some decades you will have more droughts. We are currently in a low epoch and can expect more below-normal monsoons for the next few years. Monsoons in the 1990s were good. But 2000 onwards, it again started going down. We have had drought years in 2002, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2016.

In the coming years, how is global warming expected to impact the monsoon?

The total quantum of rainfall is not expected to change. During the 122 days of the monsoon season, we do not have rain all the time. Monsoon goes through active and break spells.

What we have found is that the length of the dry spells is increasing.

So, instead of eight days of dry weather, we may have ten days in future. And since the total quantum of rainfall is not changing much, this means that when it rains, it rains very heavily. The number of rainy days may reduce.

This finding is very robust and has implications for agriculture. Farmers will have to think of storing water in tanks, ponds, etc during rainy spells and use this water during the dry periods.

IMD’s monsoon forecasts over the past five years have been consistently more optimistic than actual rainfall. Does it have a positive bias?

I’m not sure about the bias. Being a statistical model, there will be a bias. But whether it is positive or negative, I can’t say. ... few-years/

This is what most of the world is predicted to face in ever increasing extremes with increasing GW. Rains, when they fall, will be ever more intense and devastating, bringing ever worse flooding and washing away crops and other flora. Droughts in between these ever-more-intense deluges will be ever longer and deeper, also destroying crops and desiccating, weakening and killing other plants and trees (those that hadn't been washed away in the last deluge). What ever survives will be weaker and less able to withstand the next even more extreme deluge, roots weakened by drought failing to hold plants and trees in place.

This is the basic process (though there are a variety of others) responsible for wiping out so much of terrestrial life during the earlier GW-induced mass extinction events...once the plants go, the animal life that depended on them inevitably go, too. For scholarly articles about this, see the reference section of the very well researched book Six Degrees, though it is now getting a bit long in the tooth. Maybe it's time for Lynas or someone else to write an update??

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 18 Jul 2019, 16:40:15
by Azothius
Drought In The World’s Largest Temperate Rainforest? ... w0garR0SAA

Since early 2018, the southern portion of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, has experienced moderate to extreme drought. This has wide-ranging consequences on drinking water supplies, electricity costs, salmon habitat and forest health.

The drought has become so extreme that in June, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Juneau—a caution many local residents have never seen. The warning was issued due to low humidity, dry fuels and strong winds that could result in extreme fire behavior.


Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:28:56
by dohboi
East Africa faces drought from India's more efficient agriculture: ... SKCN1UH1V0

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 25 Jul 2019, 11:54:40
by Azothius
Per the article Dohboi, just shared:

environmental risks from human activities are becoming increasingly complex and interconnected, with far-reaching consequences for food production and livelihoods.

For example, evaporation and subsequent moisture flows from large-scale irrigated farming in India contribute up to 40% of rainfall in East Africa, according to the paper.

“If communities in India improve sustainable agriculture practices (reducing irrigation and groundwater depletion), then pastoralists and farmers in Africa could suffer,” it warned, calling the situation “a delicate dilemma”.

Here is another example, though this one combines drought and likely human complicity:

Missing Mekong waters rouse suspicions of China ... 53291.html

BAN NONG CHAN, Thailand, July 25 (Reuters) - By this time of year, the Mekong River should have been rising steadily with the monsoon rains, bringing fishermen a bounty of fat fish.

Instead, the river water in Thailand has fallen further than anyone can remember and the only fish are tiny.

Scientists and people living along the river fear the impact of the worst drought in years has been exacerbated by upstream dams raising the prospect of irreversible change on the river that supports one of Southeast Asia's most important rice-growing regions.

A Chinese promise to release more dam water to ease the crisis has only raised worries over the extent to which the river's natural cycles - and the communities that have depended on it for generations - have been forever disrupted.

"Now China is completely in control of the water," said Premrudee Deoruong of Laos Dam Investment Monitor, an environmental group.

In the northeastern Thai province of Nakhon Phanom, where the now sluggish river forms the border with Laos, the measured depth of the Mekong fell below 1.5 metres this week. The average depth there for the same time of year is 8 metres.

The collapse in the water level is partly due to drought - with rainfall during the past 60 days more than 40 percent below normal for the time of year.

The collapse in the water level is partly due to drought - with rainfall during the past 60 days more than 40 percent below normal for the time of year.

But it is also because dams upstream cut off water just when it was most needed. China's Jinghong hydropower station said in early July it was more than halving the flow rate for "grid maintenance" on what China calls the Lancang River.

It is just the kind of nightmare feared by the countries downstream - Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam - where tens of millions of people rely on a river that gave rise to the region's ancient kingdoms.

Facing water shortages in cities and fields, Thailand has told farmers to stop planting more rice.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Thu 25 Jul 2019, 19:36:24
by dohboi
Wow! Thanks, Az!

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Tue 06 Aug 2019, 05:27:16
by dohboi ... ay-experts

Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world's population, say experts

...The global research organisation compared the water available to the amount withdrawn for homes, industries, irrigation and livestock.

In the 17 countries facing extremely high water stress, agriculture, industry, and municipalities were found to be using up to 80% of available surface and groundwater in an average year. When demand rivals supply, even small dry spells, which are set to increase because of the climate crisis, can produce dire consequences...

California Drought

Unread postPosted: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 10:45:06
by jawagord
The environmental gadflies who jump from crisis to crisis fail to acknowledge our climate is largely doing what it has always done, cycling, oscillating. Instead of seeing this as normal, the gadflies cry doom every time the weather deviates from the statistical normal, a normal that exists only on a meteorologists spread sheet. Drought and deluge are part of normal. For California, fire, rain and mud are normal.

Residents in drought: 0

Re: California Drought

Unread postPosted: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 13:10:40
by jedrider
jawagord wrote:The environmental gadflies who jump from crisis to crisis fail to acknowledge our climate is largely doing what it has always done, cycling, oscillating. Instead of seeing this as normal, the gadflies cry doom every time the weather deviates from the statistical normal, a normal that exists only on a meteorologists spread sheet. Drought and deluge are part of normal. For California, fire, rain and mud are normal.

Residents in drought: 0

The problem with California, currently, is not drought, although that is always in the background (and these wet years do not really make up for the pumping of the ground reserves, which is a man-made underground 'drought').

However, the rising temperatures along with this typical variation in rainfall totals from year to year is changing the entire California ecosystem currently and that is all about a climate that is changing.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 13:16:23
by jedrider
Currently, all my oak trees are dropping their leaves with a sticky sap on them. I've never seen this happen like this in all the forty years that I've lived surrounded by oak trees. I think it starts with a fungus that has just gone out of control and, evidently, there are not enough of an ecosystem of insects to control this (still researching the cause, though). What is clear, to me, is that fungi take over when other life forms start having a tough going because of climate change.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Fri 13 Sep 2019, 11:31:49
by Azothius
just posted this in the Antartica thread, but as an influence upon the Australian drought, seemed like it should go here as well:

Sudden warming over Antarctica to prolong Australia drought ... 20967.html

A rare phenomenon causing "the strongest Antarctic warming on record" is set to deliver more pain to dought-stricken Australia, scientists said Friday.

The unusual event, known as "sudden stratospheric warming", started in the last week of August when the atmosphere above Antarctica began heating rapidly, scientists at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said in a report.

"The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the strongest Antarctic warming on record, likely to exceed the previous record of September 2002," it said.

The upper atmosphere above the South Pole has heated up from close to minus 70 to about minus 25 degrees Celsius, bureau climatologist Andrew Watkins told AFP.

"It has leapt up more than 40 degrees warmer than normal in the course of three weeks," he said.

Watkins said the uncommon occurrence was not believed to be linked to global warming.

The occurrence is triggered by a mix of "disturbances" in weather patterns closer to the ground, he added.

Sudden stratospheric warming is common in the northern hemisphere but has only been recorded on one other occasion, in 2002, in the southern hemisphere.

But is it amplified by global warming? Perhaps something to watch for, if it's frequency of occurrence increase?

How this affects Australia:
The rapid warming slows down westerly winds spinning in the upper atmosphere above the South Pole until they move to the surface.

The winds track northwards until they are over Australia, blowing eastwards across the dry centre to New South Wales and Queensland states, which are currently struggling through one of the driest periods on record.

"You start getting more winds from central Australia, from the desert and less winds from the ocean, so they tend to have drier, warmer conditions in New South Wales and Southern Queensland," Watkins said.

The impacts of the Antarctic event in Australia will start to arrive in the coming weeks, and be particularly felt in October before the weather pattern is expected to break down in December or January.

The east of Australia has been battling hundreds of bushfires in recent weeks, in an unusually early start to the season.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Sat 14 Sep 2019, 09:08:08
by dohboi
Zimbabwe Drought Risks Famine and Climate Change Makes It Worse ... n-zimbabwe
... Zimbabwe is in the grip of a nationwide drought that’s depleted dams, cut output by hydropower plants, caused harvests to fail and prompted the government to appeal for $464 million in aid to stave off famine. It’s disastrous for a nation whose economy has been driven to the brink of collapse by two decades of mismanagement, meaning the authorities can’t afford to effect repairs, let alone extend water access to a burgeoning urban population.

But Zimbabwe’s location means it’s likely to experience more frequent droughts in future. The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change has identified southern Africa as a so-called hotspot—a region that faces increased risks of heat extremes and less rainfall as the planet’s temperature rises.

The consequences are plain to see in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo, in the west of the country. Once a thriving industrial hub, most manufacturing has come to a standstill and the city council has begun rationing water from the pumps and pipes that still work in a bid to stretch supplies until November when the rainy season normally begins.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Sun 15 Sep 2019, 03:17:46
by dohboi
The Maas River is going dry again, but only partly because of GW. ... e-a3972921

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Mon 16 Sep 2019, 00:42:06
by EdwinSm
Is Jordan running out of water?

Parts of the Middle East could become uninhabitable by 2050 because of climate change.

Jordan is one of the countries most affected by rising temperatures – and it’s predicted to get worse.

The Dead Sea is shrinking, and many houses only get up to 24 hours of water a week.

So, could Jordan run out of water?

A 4 minute video at:

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Mon 16 Sep 2019, 07:40:38
by dohboi
More proof that, for some people, no amount of evidence, even 'evidence' that destroys their lives and their towns, will convince some people to discard a cherished ideology:

'I don't know how we come back from this': Australia's big dry sucks life from once-proud towns ... roud-towns

Australia is experiencing one of its most severe droughts on record, resulting in desperate water shortages across large parts of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Dams in some parts of western NSW have all but dried up, with rainfall levels through the winter in the lowest 10% of historical records in some areas.

The crisis in the far west of the state became unavoidable after the mass fish kills along the lower Darling River last summer, but now much bigger towns closer to the coast, including Dubbo, are also running out of water.

Residents of three distinct areas talked to Guardian Australia about the state of their towns under extreme stress from water shortages, expressing anxiety about their future but also determination to keep communities alive.

“Ah, but it will be all right. We’ve got through this before.”

Macdonald says he was called “a communist” by a local Warwick identity for suggesting the weather patterns had changed and that October thunderstorms were no longer a regular occurrence.

“I’d be too frightened to talk about [climate change] in this town,” he says. “It doesn’t get through to people at all. Not one bit.”

Warwick is on track to run out of water within months. Roadside signs heading into town remind residents of the new restrictions: 100 litres per person, per day.

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Tue 17 Sep 2019, 14:34:53
by Azothius
The drought is now so severe it is biting in even the greenest corners of the country ... y/11487026

The NSW mid-north coast is usually a lush part of the country, with reliable rain and regular flooding

Farmers along Australia's normally green eastern coast are reeling from the worst drought they have ever seen and face a tough summer if it doesn't rain in the next few months.

But the region has been in drought for two years now and farmers say it is starting to bite.

"We normally get 40 inches of rain [a year] and I think we are up to around 8 inches," fourth-generation beef farmer Tony Saul told 7.30.

"And that might be all we're going to get for the year."

He is standing in a dry river bed that stretches for hundreds of metres through his property near Kempsey.

It's usually full of water where his cattle drink.

"This is the longest and the driest it's been since I can remember and I've been here for my whole life," Mr Saul said.

"We've had dry periods — you know, it might be dry for three or four months.

"But it's been dry for 12 months here and the big concern is we've just been through our wet period of the calendar year."

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Tue 17 Sep 2019, 21:53:16
by dohboi
Wow! And now this:

'Critical': parts of regional NSW set to run out of water by November

WaterNSW warns without significant rain, Macquarie River will run dry, wiping out supply to Dubbo, Cobar, Nyngan and Narromine ... BS3Uu6oEO8

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Fri 04 Oct 2019, 06:31:05
by dohboi
'Flash Drought' Worsening Across 14 Southern US States ... tates.html

More than 45 million people across 14 Southern states are now in the midst of what's being called a "flash drought" that's cracking farm soil, drying up ponds and raising the risk of wildfires, scientists said Thursday.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows extreme drought conditions in parts of Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and the Florida panhandle. Lesser drought conditions also have expanded in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Overall, nearly 20 percent of the lower 48 U.S. states is experiencing drought conditions.

... The drought was affecting some water supplies across the region. Lake levels have been falling throughout Georgia, including at Lake Lanier, which provides much of Atlanta's drinking water. ...

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postPosted: Mon 07 Oct 2019, 13:39:30
by Azothius
Australia drought continues:

Drought: Rainfall deficiencies and water availability

*August rainfall was below average over much of New South Wales, southern Queensland, northern and eastern Victoria, South Australia, and northern Tasmania

*Rainfall deficiencies generally persist with little change in affected areas

*Long-term rainfall deficiencies, record-low for some periods, continue to severely limit water resources across the Murray–Darling Basin

*Root-zone soil moisture was below average for August for most of Australia

*Water storages in the Northern Murray–Darling Basin extremely low, with no meaningful inflows during August

*Below average winter filling season for water storages in the Southern Basin for the third year in a row

When compared to other 32-month periods commencing in January, the 32 months from January 2017 to August 2019 has been the driest on record averaged over the Murray–Darling Basin (34% below the 1961–1990 average), as well as over the northern Murray–Darling Basin (40% below average) and for the state of New South Wales (34% below average). All three regions have also been the driest on record for the 20 months from January 2018 to August 2019, whilst the 26 months from July 2017 to August 2019 rank second in all three regions; only the 1900–02 peak of the Federation Drought has been drier. The last 32 and 20 months have also been the driest on record averaged over the Border Rivers, Macquarie–Bogan, Namoi, Gwydir, and Castlereagh catchments, with the last 20 months also the driest on record for the Moonie, Condamine-Culgoa, and Lower Murray catchments.