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Trinity Lake in northern California, one of the state's largest water reservoirs in February.
Not A Snowballs Chance In Hell
By Ernest Stewart
"In case we have forgotten, because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair, 'You know what this is? 'It's a snowball, from outside here. So it's very, very cold out. Very unseasonable." ~~~ US Senator Jim Inhofe ~ (R/Okla.)
The trouble is, for the rest of us, a new study finds that California's severe and continuing drought is just a taste of what's to come, thanks to global warming.
"California's warming trend is driving an increase in the risk of drought," said study co-author Daniel Swain, a doctoral student in climate science at Stanford University.
"A dry year does not always trigger a drought, even in the arid West. But the new report finds that dry years are now more likely to hit during long heat waves, and human-caused climate change is to blame," Swain continued.
"Warming in California has made it more probable that when a low precipitation year occurs, it occurs in warm conditions and is more likely to produce severe drought. That warming would not have occurred without greenhouse gas emissions," said lead study author Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford.
"Heat and low precipitation are a deadly combination in California, which relies on winter rain and snow to fill its rivers and reservoirs. The state is now entering its fourth year of severe drought conditions, with an estimated economic impact approaching $2 billion, according to a University of California, Davis report. And 2015 won't see much relief: The snowpack is trending at record low levels because of high temperatures and low snowfall. Warm temperatures also cause more water loss and evaporation from soils and reservoirs," Swain said.
The researchers looked at historical temperature and precipitation records to find out whether drought conditions were more likely to hit during warm or cold years in the past. There was "no change in the frequency of dry years during the 120-year record," they reported. But "dry years were twice as likely to trigger a severe drought if they occurred during warm years instead of cold years," according to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Global warming has tipped the odds, making warm years more common and sparking more droughts. There were six drought years in the past 20 years (1995-2014), compared to 14 drought years in the previous 98 years (1896-1994)," the study reported.
According to the National Weather Service, "California's drought risk will only increase in the coming decades, with the predicted global temperature spike of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) later this century," the study concluded. "California sweated through its hottest year on record in 2014."
"California appears to be on the cusp of a condition in which all years are warm or severely warm. Even if there is no change in precipitation, all years will be a drought risk," said Diffenbaugh.
Therefore, with bought-and-paid-for stooges running our environment, like Senator Inhofe, we are sooooo screwed, America; and it's all your fault for doing nothing about it! I wonder what'll you tell your children and your grandchildren about why you didn't take a stand to stop this while you could have?!!?
To the 39,000,000 folks in California who'll soon be out of clean drinking water, you might consider moving back to the Rust Belt states surrounding the Great Lakes, before it's too late! There's no shortage of fresh, pure, water around here.
01-29-1931 ~ 02-27-2015
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(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.