US drought now covers almost 35% of U.S., and is predicted to grow


#1

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#2

Uh oh… we have an abundance of fresh water in Canada…and that probably makes us the next “terrorists.”


#3

Thanks for covering this. I wish more people did. I live in an part of the US that is both outside of the drought zone and no longer associated with farming, so I had completely forgotten a drought was happening, and not just in the parts of the US that are (naturally) desert. A huge percentage of the food my neighbors and I eat is probably grown , raised, or grazed in these red organge and yellow areas.


#4

There is a massive corn crop this year thanks in part to plentiful rain in the mid-west. From the map it looks as though tomatoes are about to get a whole lot more expensive.


#5

It’s cool, wet, and green here in Ann Arbor, MI.

You’re welcome to visit the Great Lakes - but no straws, please!


#6

It won’t stop raining in Kentucky. GLOBAL WARMING IS A LIE, etc.


#7

Well it certainly sounds like you need liberating.


#8

My towns temps for the month of January of this year:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/san-francisco-ca/94103/january-weather/347629

It was glorious, comfortable…and deeply disconcerting.


#9

So is water like $10/gallon in LA now?


#10

So everyone knows:

This drought - while most likely exacerbated by AGW - is right on schedule. It was completely expected. It’s part of the same cycle that brought about the Dust Bowl. Back in 2005, people had already recognized that our national droughts are on an 80 year and 300 year cycle. The Dust Bowl in 1930 (which follows about 4,500 years of recorded cycling) had people looking for similar changing weather patterns in 2005, and they saw them coming.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0614_050614_drought.html

The biggest concern now is just how our altered climate will affect the already ongoing drought - will it lengthen it, speed it up, stall it out over the midwest or something else?


#11

a drought in the southwest? during summer time? i am shocked.
maybe raising crops in the desert is not such a great idea after all.


#12

I’m in the east coast now. We may not have an issue with drought, but we do have an issue with air quality. Not sure if it’s a better or worse issue.


#13

Mint-scented ozone or lavender-essence of locust?


#14

More than $10/gal for all the folks buying primo bottled water by the bottle (and there are a LOT of them…).


#15

The drought currently occurring in the Southwest is actually worst over California’s coast - which has either a high chaparral or mediterranean climate - not desert. The desert is south and inland. The hardest hit areas are actually farmland along the central coast. It’s so bad that farmers up there are paying bloated prices for water. Meanwhile, some people here in L.A. somehow still fail to realize there’s a drought.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/06/09/317011698/california-farmers-ask-hey-buddy-can-you-spare-some-water

Normally, we would have seen rain and snow during the winter months, but a change in the jet stream moved all the storms right on over to the midwest. (They dropped below us, and then lifted up inland.) The midwest got pummeled, and we got no snow pack. California relies heavily on our snow, and we’ve been missing it for a few years now. We’re also still waiting for the return of a decent El Niño - but that wind/ocean temp phenomenon doesn’t seem to be coming back this year.


#16

Have a look at the Drought monitor archive before you assume too much.
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/MapsAndData/MapArchive.aspx

The redder shades are best read as "Abnormally dry for this time of year. "


#17

That article actually says that the droughts follow a 160 year cycle, and doesn’t say anything about a 300 year cycle. It also says that because the model doesn’t accurately predict the actual recorded droughts, short term prediction is impossible (and it certainly didn’t predict in 2005 that were about to enter another drought cycle).


#18

I’m always amazed at how we will spend billions building pipelines to pump oil and gas all around the country, because profit, my freedom, auto culture; yet life giving things like water - nope.

I live in the South and frankly if there was an economical way to store solar power as electricity you could build large scale dehumidifiers that would only need to run about 3 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Seriously at 4am in July the humidity is like +95%, sweating literally does no good because it doesn’t evaporate.


#19

I’m always amazed at how we will spend billions building pipelines to pump oil and gas all around the country, because profit, my freedom, auto culture; yet life giving things like water - nope.

California does this

The keystone pipeline has a capacity of 94000 cubic meters per day. The California State Water project delivers 3 billion cubic meters per year-- (800,000 cubic meters per day), and is by some accounts, underutilized.


#20

The drought started in 2010, 80 years after the Dust Bowl. I tried to hunt up another (much better) article from 2005, but was unable to do so. I only included the article to show that people were already looking for the drought at that time, and were fully expecting it.

160 years is 80 years doubled. 320 years is the same time on fours. There’s a sub-pattern of intensity that has been noted to the droughts, and there is some variation of a few years to the droughts. That variation expands on the longer time scale. It was hoped that this drought would not be as bad as it is, but various factors - including the Dust Bowl itself, AGW, monoculture farming, increased human population, etc. had scientists already being cautious in 2005, and they were right.