Thursday, July 09, 2015

In Other Drought News

Okay, Ontario.  By the time the summer's over you might be sick of your Saskatchewan cousins or at least the smoke from their out of control forest fires. Here's the thing. That smoke might keep blowing your way until the snow flies on the Prairie.

The fires burning in northern Saskatchewan could burn until the first snowfall, according to researchers.

Kerry Anderson, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, said the weather pattern known as El Nino, which is caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America, is responsible.

Anderson said even if crews bring the Saskatchewan fires under control, they may not actually be out until the fall.

"The large fires that are burning there will continue to burn until they are contained or until a fire-ending event may occur, and that may just end up being the first snowfall."

Mike Flannigan said tinderbox conditions that have lead to the destructive fires in the West can be blamed on climate change.

"Our weather this year has been very hot, dry and windy," said the University of Alberta professor.

"This is consistent with what we expect with climate change. I'm not saying every year is going to be a bad fire year, but we are going to see a lot more fire on the landscape."

Meanwhile, out here on the Pacific, it's blue skies today.  Hooray!  We're even promised a bit of rainfall in a few days.  Who would have thought anybody from Vancouver Island would be praying for rain?  Times change and, when they do, they really change.

The drought is even impacting recreational fishing.  All but two rivers around here have been closed to angling because of low water levels.  South of the border, the Pacific states are having it even worse.

On the other side of the majestic Pacific, the Korean peninsula is also reeling from drought which, in famine-prone and nuclear armed North Korea, is worrisome.  The last thing anyone needs is nature to further destabilize the wobbly kingdom of Kim Jung Un.  The U.N. is calling it North Korea's worst drought in 100-years.


Northern PoV said...

This one is hard to get my mind around...challenging to say the least.

The Mound of Sound said...

I know, NPoV. Yet there's a far better solution than simply letting these forests, especially the beetle-ravaged pine forests, turn into a carbon bomb. What if there was a way to extract bio-oil, bio-gas and thermal electricity from those trees while at the same time mineralizing the carbon that fire, otherwise, reduces to greenhouse gas in a form that will allow us to sequester that mineralized carbon permanently while using it to enrich degraded farmland, greatly increasing crop yields without having to use soil degrading chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides? I know that's a lot to digest but it's real and it can be done if only we had a government to implement it. There's nothing new about it. It's been done for over 2,500 years and the soils enriched back then - in the middle of the Amazon rainforest no less - are still rich today.