Emerging North American megadrought

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Emerging North American megadrought

Postby TheVat on April 17th, 2020, 11:30 am 

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/ ... 8/314.full

A trend of warming and drying

Global warming has pushed what would have been a moderate drought in southwestern North America into megadrought territory. Williams et al. used a combination of hydrological modeling and tree-ring reconstructions of summer soil moisture to show that the period from 2000 to 2018 was the driest 19-year span since the late 1500s and the second driest since 800 CE (see the Perspective by Stahle). This appears to be just the beginning of a more extreme trend toward megadrought as global warming continues.


Stories like this are being knocked off front pages by the current pandemic. They still need the public's attention.
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Re: Emerging North American megadrought

Postby Serpent on April 17th, 2020, 12:39 pm 

What should be done?
Obviously, reduce CO2 emissions - the pandemic is giving us an unexpected shove in that direction.
Of course, a lot of special interests, including the US and other governments, hope to make up for all this lost 'productivity' as fast as possible. Equally obviously, that's not going to happen - at least, not by any return to normal-but-more-so. Air traffic will almost certainly stay depressed for a considerable while afterward; tourism and all its related supporting industries will take a permanent diminution.
That's all to the good, climate-wise.
But it's nowhere near enough to mitigate the damage already done or retard the processes already underway.
Nobody's going to stop, slow or contain the ... drought+increased tornado activity+wildfires ... What like a sooty dustbowl, only bigger?
So, besides the farmers who should sell up and skdaddle, what can the public do?
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Re: Emerging North American megadrought

Postby TheVat on April 18th, 2020, 11:34 am 

It does seem to suggest public push for water conservation, more investment in water storage, and shifts in crop choices (e. g. barley is less thirsty than some grains, millet less than rice, etc.). If some drought is inevitable, it's time to start making changes. Also, planting tough native plants to help reduce dust storms.
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Re: Emerging North American megadrought

Postby Serpent on April 18th, 2020, 12:48 pm 

I imagine such an effort would need to be federally co-ordinated, and financed, since the danger encompasses a vast area in - let's pull up Google earth for a minute - at least four states that are not already desert, possibly six, and not the richest or most progressive.
Is there a federal agency not gutted by the Tumpeters that could organize the necessary change in anything like a viable time-frame? Failing that, would it possible, say in the wake of this ... um, what's the appropriate word? ... unprecedented period of co-operation for the affected states to put a task force together themselves? I've formed the impression that climate change preparation and mitigation initiatives at the state level are far and away ahead of federal policy.
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