Author Topic: Drought in the Southwest: watch how Lake Mead has shrunk in recent decades  (Read 2574 times)

rcjordan

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>partly conditions and partly luck.

Do you know what percentage of last year's fires were attributed to UNnatural causes?  (Power lines, arson, campfires, etc.)

ergophobe

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I don't. The first big wave was set off by a set of lightning strikes, but I know there were a couple arson fires, one of which was set to cover up a murder.

Still, "cause" and "attributed" are slippery words. Or, put another way, can you attribute WWI to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and if you do, what have you really learned?

Brad

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Study:  Arizona wants to pipe "stormwater" from Mississippi River to Colorado River to save SW lawns, golf courses and other things.

https://mohavedailynews.com/news/131764/arizona-legislature-wants-feasibility-study-for-long-distance-pipeline-to-replenish-colorado-river-supply/

Does this mean the Colorado River will get Asian Carp as well?

rcjordan

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FTFY: Arizona wants somebody else to pay for

See last panel. I don't hear of Phoenix without thinking of it. (Note: It was 118f once when I vistited.)

ergophobe

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The idea that golf courses and green lawns are tolerated in one of the hottest, driest places on earth is not just arrogance, but folly.

I don't understand the obsession. There is not a single lawn in our neighborhood of 200 houses and I would venture to say that if someone planted one there would be rebellion in the streets (basing that assessment on the outrage when there was talk of selling up to 5,000 gallons per day to a brand-new $12 million educational campus up the road that is unable to open due to lack of water).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 06:54:41 PM by ergophobe »

Brad

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rcjordan

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First-ever Colorado River water shortage is now almost certain, new projections show

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/27/weather/lake-mead-colorado-river-shortage/index.html

ergophobe

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From here, y'all look screwed.

Pretty much. The 100-hour fuel and 1000-hour fuel moisture levels have been at the lowest levels ever recorded and are expected to keep going lower.
 - https://gacc.nifc.gov/oscc/fuelsFireDanger_Hundred.php
 - https://gacc.nifc.gov/oscc/fuelsFireDanger_Thousand.php

They conducted a prescribed burn near here on Monday that was supposed to have three days of ignition. They had to call off about 70% of it because the first acres got so hot so fast.

It could be a very nasty summer in the Western US unless we get some good luck

rcjordan

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We had an extremely wet & stormy 1st quarter but May has been dry. 1/4 of NC is under drought conditions.

North Carolina Burning Ban Halts Memorial Day Fireworks

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2021-05-29/north-carolina-burning-ban-halts-memorial-day-fireworks

Brad

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Lake Oroville, CA, already at less than half capacity.  Doom.

https://news.yahoo.com/california-already-throes-drought-summer-012718210.html

rcjordan

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>Lake Oroville

California's Sierra Nevada Mountains show what climate change can do as it worsens. The mountain snowpack, which provides 30% of the state's water supply annually, has vanished about two months ahead of schedule.

Water runoff from snow melt has been paltry, and major reservoirs like Lake Oroville are running even lower than they did during the record drought from 2012-2016.

Climate change is playing a key role in the drought, by boosting temperatures and increasing the loss of water to the atmosphere. Much of the snow went directly from frozen form back into the air, rather than melting into runoff.

Warming is also thought to be leading to increasing chances of dry fall seasons in the Golden State and shortened rainy seasons, according to Daniel Swain, a climate researcher at UCLA and the Nature Conservancy.

Good, bulleted article. Worth a scan.
https://www.axios.com/climate-southwest-drought-wildfires-e0e0132c-c3d8-4872-b623-280f30383155.html



rcjordan

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ergophobe

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Much of the snow went directly from frozen form back into the air, rather than melting into runoff.

More and more precip is falling as rain too. If the reservoirs are empty, that's fine, but if full, there's no storage.

I forget the exact numbers, but the historic (1970-2000) snowline was 5700 feet. Above that altitude >50% of precip falls as snow. I think a 2 degree rise pushes that to 7200. A 4 degree rise pushes it to 9000. Again, I forget the exact numbers, but it roughly means that you go from 20% of the park being below snowline to 20% being above. It might be more dire than that even. 15% sticks in my mind for one of those numbers

Don't quote me on that. I know most of those numbers are incorrect to some degree, but the general idea is that a relatively small increase in temperature makes for a large decrease in storage for the simple reason than mountains are pointy and get smaller as you go higher.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 03:18:45 PM by ergophobe »

rcjordan

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As droughts threaten water supplies across the planet, some municipalities aim to utilize an untapped resource: sewage water.


Water recycling: "Toilet to tap" is future of clean drinking water

https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/water-recycling

ergophobe

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I heard an interview with one guy who said that the frustrating thing is that they put the treated sewage back in the ground and then pull it out and treat it again because putting it in the ground just makes it dirty.

Quote
Unsurprisingly, surveys show that most people don't like the idea of drinking recycled water

Well... all water is recycled water. Or at least almost all water. I suppose there's some recombination of H and O that makes tiny amounts of new water.