Monday, July 30, 2012

Megadrought the New Normal

It's here - to stay.   Let's call it "megadrought."  And what the States is getting now could be considered, "the wet end of a drier hydroclimate period."   From the oh-so corporatist Globe & Mail.

Anyone who weathered the stubborn dry spell that enveloped western North America from 2000 to 2004 knows it was harsh, but now a group of researchers has concluded it was the most severe drought in 800 years – bone-dry conditions that the scientists believe could become the “new norm” in this vital agricultural region.

“Projections indicate that drought events of this length and severity will be commonplace through the end of the 21st century,” the group of 10 scientists from several American universities and the University of British Columbia wrote in a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

If so, a “megadrought” that severely cuts crop production could be on the horizon, the scientists warn. Many farmers now in the throes of an extreme drought in the U.S. Midwest that is devastating corn and soybean crops and threatening to send food prices soaring might concur, although it’s not yet clear whether this dry spell is part of the broader trend, noted Beverly Law, a professor of global change biology at Oregon State University and a co-author of the study.

But climate change and megadrought are just part of the agricultural story.   There is also the one mighty Ogallala aquifer that underlies eight states of America's bread basket.   It has been the key to irrigation of crops, particularly water-intensive corn, for decades.   But it's drying up, pumped out.  With drought sweeping the region and the vital Ogallala nearly drained out, bountiful agriculture of the Great Plains is coming to an end.   This too is the new normal.


Anonymous said...

There is already a global shortage of food. The drought in Africa, is causing a horrendous death toll.

The drought in the U.S. should scare the hell out of everyone.

In Canada. The huge Athabasca watershed is contaminated, by the dirty tar sands. The amount of water used for the retraction of the Bitumen, is obscene. Pipeline spills in Alberta this summer, have been disasters. Farms destroyed. A lake supplying a city's drinking water, contaminated, along with a river. Fracking for gas, wastes horrendous amounts of water and, contaminates the clean underground drinking water. At least you can get free home heat from fracking. All you have to do is, light the water on fire, coming out of your faucets.

Same in BC. Lakes are poisoned by mines dumping toxic mine waste into them. BC is very foolishly, destroying valuable farmland. The site-C dam is flooding the most valuable farmland in Canada, for the asinine fracking for gas. That is disgusting and a very sick greed. Valuable farmland in BC is also being destroyed, by urban sprawl, out of pure utter greed. Now they want to string, the Enbridge pipeline through BC. The dirty, lethal chemical laced oil, will kill everything in it's path. When the dirty massive tar tankers from Communist China spill. Our marine creatures will all perish.

Man has even polluted space with debris. They are worried about the Muir Space Station and the satellites being knocked out. Our oceans are already dying, from spills and burning fossil fuels.

It's as they say. Man is the most destructive animal on earth, and the most stupid one at that. Even wild animals don't foul their environment, as man does.

opit said...

Cheap American corn replaced local supply for and the farmers of many nations and especially Mexico suffered as a result. The US south has growth of weeds which tangle up harvesters and choke out corn....and might be temporarily be controlled by...Agent Orange. If that wasn't scary enough Monsanto has a controlling interest in the White House and has been insulated from lawsuits by farmers whose crops are contaminated by seed drifting on the wind.
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