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The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 20 May 2020, 17:58:50

This is not my field but let me try. Others here will gently correct me if I am wrong.

The historic plains were riddled with lakes and bogs, places where water collected if even seasonally. Those ponds were drained and turned into “productive” farm land.

Returning the plains to their pre-Columbian state is likely not possible but simply letting more and larger patches be would work to allow those sustainable habitats to reoccur.

What calls me is that much of the food produced in those acres are wasted either through our inconsiderate habits or through ethanol production.

The other thing is the aquifers are being depleted because this land requires irrigation. This is fossil water that accumulate over eons and is not readily replaceable.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 20 May 2020, 18:27:47

Newfie wrote:This is not my field but let me try. Others here will gently correct me if I am wrong.

The historic plains were riddled with lakes and bogs, places where water collected if even seasonally. Those ponds were drained and turned into “productive” farm land.

Returning the plains to their pre-Columbian state is likely not possible but simply letting more and larger patches be would work to allow those sustainable habitats to reoccur.


Yes, we'll never get back all the ponds that used to exist on the plains, however Ducks Unlimited has helped to restore and manage at least 12.5 million acres of waterfowl habitat in North America. I remember seeing a summary of budgets of major nature related charities in Canada and Ducks Unlimited was way out in front. 90% of their members are hunters so it seems hunters are much more willing to contribute to preserving habitat than non-hunters. Of course there aren't going to be very many ducks to hunt if the habitat they breed in has been destroyed.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 20 May 2020, 19:24:05

In the Dakotas a lot of the farm to market roads have been built by taking about two feet of earth by ten feet wide on each side of the road and mounding it in the center and then placing base courses and pavement on top of that. That raises the road about three feet above the surrounding prairie so the wind blows the snow off it keeping it clear of drifts in winter. The secondary effect is to make ponds of the ditches each side ten feet wide by miles long. Coming over a rise you can have thousands of ducks in season lift off and fly a circle to settle back down after you have passed.
I don't know as that was deliberate but the ducks don't seem to care. :)
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 18 Jun 2020, 03:48:45

Beyond [a] reasonable drought: New Zealand's climate future

NIWA's projections are based on four scenarios, known as representative concentration pathways, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The pathways range from a best-case scenario of decreasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere by 2100, through to a scenario where the levels continue to increase throughout this century.

RNZ has used NIWA's data to visualise two extremes – the number of ‘rain days’ each season, when at least 1mm of rain falls; and ‘hot days’, when the maximum temperature gets over 25 degrees Celsius.

...

Right now in areas like Auckland or Whangārei, there are about 30 days every summer where the mercury shoots up to 25 degrees Celsius or more – roughly one in every three days.

That’s already hotter than it was 50 years ago
, when the two cities experienced maybe a dozen ‘hot days’ each summer – balmy beach days interspersed with comfortably warm periods.

By the middle of this century – not all that far away – the number of hot days could nearly double, to 50 a summer.

By 2100, within the lifetime of children being born now, nearly every summer day will be a ‘hot day’ in Auckland and Whangārei. The cool days of respite will be over.

Spring rainfall in both places is projected to diminish – meaning it will already be drier when summer begins.

In Northland, even winter rain days are projected to decrease, meaning droughts could become severe, Sood says.

...


https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/cli ... ate-future
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby REAL Green » Thu 18 Jun 2020, 06:41:18

dohboi wrote:Beyond [a] reasonable drought: New Zealand's climate future


I am preparing for heat and drought even though here in the Mo Ozarks we are seeing a cooler and wetter period. The forecast I have read about climate change and the Ozarks call for more moisture because heat means more water in the atmosphere. I suspect as heat continues to build this will shift to hot and dry periods too so maybe we have a cool wet winters and hot and dry summers thing IOW extremes. It has been unusually wet now for several years around here. Uncomfortably so in the winter with long periods of grey, wet, and cool. I hardly gathered any solar this winter. It was a horrible winter for solar.

I have a rotational grazing permaculture system that embraces a polyculture of grass, weeds, and brush with a multi species of cows and goats. The industrial agriculture of the large cow calf operations around here could be in a world of hurt with extremes. The monocultures of these operations with cool season grasses is dangerous if droughts become a regular yearly thing in the summer. I feel a polyculture especially mixed with drought tolerant native grasses is the key. I participated in a program to introduce warm season grasses that has succeeded on several fields. So, this is part of the reason I added goats to my grazing mix and embraced weeds and brush. There is more money in cattle but goats allow for a polyculture that better manages diversity of a pasture with less chemicals and machine use. Goats need less water too and that could be an issue even around here in the future. We are blessed with great water here in the Ozarks but that could change in severe drought situations.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Tuike » Wed 08 Jul 2020, 14:30:58

100-Year Drought Hits Poor EU Region Already Reeling from Virus -bloomberg
The dry spell that’s scorching parts of the European Union’s eastern wing is devastating harvests and exacerbating what’s expected to be the region’s deepest economic downturn since at least the fall of communism. In parts of Romania and Poland, the drought is the worst in a century. In the Czech Republic it’s the worst in five. It’s raising questions of how to ensure food security in a region with painful memories of both food shortages under totalitarian regimes and the more recent scramble for medicine and protective gear to fight against the coronavirus.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby jedrider » Thu 01 Apr 2021, 20:51:00

Time to resurrect this thread from the desiccated past.

California's reservoirs at 50% of capacity as drought looms
https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-reservoir-levels-drought-snow-survey-16070325.php?IPID=SFGate-HP-CP-Spotlight

I've been 'shitting bricks' ever since the 2019 season ended in an April Miracle, knowing how close California is to an horrific drought. That was the year California's governorship switched from Schwarzenegger to Gavin Newsom. Gavin then quickly ended our 'drought emergency' and we were 'supposedly' back to 'normal'. Normal not. One has to wonder how much our divisive politics shapes everything though.

Lake Oroville
http://oroville.lakesonline.com/Level/

Hetch Hechy
https://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv/?cb_00054=on&cb_62614=on&format=gif_default&site_no=11275500&period=&begin_date=2019-03-25&end_date=2021-04-01

You would think they would both be on the same website, but evidently San Francisco owns Hetch Hechy and not the state of California.

The graphs look very different because one probably (I'm no expert) has to interpret it via the geography of California and how the jet stream is behaving. However, you don't need to be an expert to see the cliff ahead. I think we will go into 'drought emergency' very soon, but we should have been conserving and saving up for this all along.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby jedrider » Fri 02 Apr 2021, 13:12:15

Drought is back. But Southern California faces less pain than Northern California
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-04-02/drought-conditions-hit-northern-california-harder-than-in-the-south

Memories of unprecedented water-use restrictions in cities and towns, dry country wells and shriveled croplands linger from California’s punishing 2012-16 drought.

Officials say the lessons of those withering years have left the state in a somewhat better position to deal with its inevitable dry periods, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is not expected to declare a statewide drought emergency this year.

“We don’t see ourselves in that position in terms of supply,” said Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth. “If it’s dry next year, then maybe it’s a different story.”

Southern California is a case in point.


Well, there's two sides to the state and one side begin OK is still not sufficient.

Let's use the dividing line of the Monterey-San Luis Obispo county border. That leaves 48 counties and about 15.7 million people in Northern California and 10 counties with 23.8 million people in Southern California — both still larger than any state but Texas, Florida and New York.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 02 Apr 2021, 15:38:11

If one wants to look at the broader situation, at least in the US, there is the US Drought Monitor Map, which tracks the drought / dry situation, week by week, for months.

Clearly, the US Southwest is generally getting MUCH worse than the long term averages would predict.

CA is bad, but far from the worst.

https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Now, how bad does the overall map need to get before society generally, or the Current POTUS admin, etc. is willing to acknowledge that there's a significant problem?

"Significant" enough to risk losing an election over (re actually DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT, via modified policy -- which in the US is FAR from often enough, considering how politics on BOTH sides, generally works.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 06 Apr 2021, 18:53:29

Third lowest snowpack in California in recorded history.

california-reports-third-driest-year-on-record/

That means the forests are going to be dry again and most likely California will see more severe forest fires again this summer.

Image

The good news is that Joe Biden is going to fix climate change.

Or maybe not....I have my doubts, frankly.

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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby jedrider » Tue 06 Apr 2021, 20:38:02

California is revising it's forest management, but something that took decades to create probably needs a decade to resolve to some stalemate of fires that doesn't blow out huge areas all at once. I'm going to try to get my camping in early this year because July/August/September seem like no goes now whereas before it was the height of the camping season. The climate has certainly turned a corner already in California. How do they call that? A tipping point. (I should add that June/October/November is still a time of danger, but at least it may be possible to avoid the smoke if lucky.)
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 07 Apr 2021, 01:40:44

jedrider wrote:California is revising it's forest management, but something that took decades to create probably needs a decade to resolve to some stalemate of fires that doesn't blow out huge areas all at once. I'm going to try to get my camping in early this year because July/August/September seem like no goes now whereas before it was the height of the camping season. The climate has certainly turned a corner already in California. How do they call that? A tipping point. (I should add that June/October/November is still a time of danger, but at least it may be possible to avoid the smoke if lucky.)


I've spent a lot of time climbing and camping in the Sierras and I've skied across the Sierras twice in winter....once from west to east from Yosemite Valley up to the high country and then east to Mono Lake and the second time from east to west on the Sierra Haute Route.....the ski route that stays as high as possible and goes from Whitney to Kings Canyon. Both trips took about a week. Incredibly beautiful.

I love the goddamn Sierra Nevada.

In my old pictures of Yosemite Valley there are no dead trees in the Valley. But now the heat and drought has killed stands of trees here and there in Yosemite Valley, and when I climbed Half Dome via the steel cable a few years there were HUGE stands of dead trees in the high Sierra. And the father south you go there are more and more and MORE huge areas of heat and drought killed trees.

Its all gonna burn. It makes me really sad but its all gonna burn because the stupid bastards who run this country didn't take global warming seriously enough and didn't do enough to get the world off oil 20 years ago when it might have done some good.

I hope you have a great time camping in the Sierras this summer, Jedr. Enjoy it while you can. Remember it when its gone.

Image
The Sierra Nevada is so goddam beautiful. Have a wonderful time hiking and camping, Jedr.

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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 07 Apr 2021, 19:45:27

2021 is going to be the worst year yet for drought across the western USA

what-will-western-half-us-look-during-second-dust-bowl

Its not just in California.......global warming is creating severe drought conditions across the entire western US.

I predict we are going to see massive forest fire activity in places all the way from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean shoreline.....and massive forest fire smoke and unhealthy air issues affecting just about all of the western US and Canada.

Image
Here comes the smoke again....

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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Azothius » Fri 09 Apr 2021, 13:13:11

Plantagenet wrote:2021 is going to be the worst year yet for drought across the western USA


Contributing to this, The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge returns…again

https://weatherwest.com/archives/8692#: ... 0in%202013.

The 2020-2021 “rainy season” to date has, in fact, turned out to be exceptionally dry across portions of California. I think this probably slipped in under the radar, given everything else that has transpired in the world over the past few months, but some parts of northern California (including the SF North Bay, Mendocino County, and much of the central/northern Sacramento Valley) are currently experiencing their driest season since the 1976-1977 drought (and a few places are running behind even that infamous season). This is doubly concerning as these same regions experienced a top-5 driest winter on record just last year–so this is now year two of exceptionally low precipitation in these areas. All of this is amplified by the prolonged periods of record high temperatures and drying offshore winds last year–both of which reduced water availability beyond what would be expected from precipitation deficits alone.
[/quote]

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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 09 Apr 2021, 19:23:28

Weak circulation cells crate all kinds of weird weather.

The top is slowing, getting tippy. What happens when it falls over?

Todays 500mb circulation.

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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Azothius » Mon 12 Apr 2021, 11:31:02

Western U.S. may be entering worst drought in modern history
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/western- ... 10067.html

In the past 20 years, the two worst stretches of drought came in 2003 and 2013 — but what is happening right now appears to be the beginning stages of something even more severe. And as we head into the summer dry season, the stage is set for an escalation of extreme dry conditions, with widespread water restrictions expected and yet another dangerous fire season ahead.


[see graph in the article]

The above image is a time series of drought in the western states from 2000 to 2021. This latest 2020-2021 spike (on the right) is every bit as impressive as the others, but with one notable difference — this time around, the area of "exceptional drought" is far larger than any other spike, with an aerial coverage of over 20%. As we enter the dry season, there is very little chance conditions will get better — in fact it will likely only get drier.

With this in mind, there is little doubt that the drought in the West, especially the Southwest, this summer and fall will be the most intense in recent memory. The only real question: Will it last as long as the last extended period of drought from 2012 to 2017? Only time will tell.
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