8 months of no rain!

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DNS
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8 months of no rain!

Post by DNS »

Las Vegas broke it's own record for the longest dry streak of no measurable rain.

240 days of no rain, until today when it finally rained. I believe this is the longest dry streak of no rain for any large city in the U.S., since they started keeping records.

https://www.weather.gov/vef/2020DryStreak
tingdzin
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by tingdzin »

Las Vegas has been a water disaster waiting to happen for at least a generation. Climate change will just be another nail in its coffin.

All kinds of weather records are being smashed to smithereens.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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tingdzin wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:37 am Las Vegas has been a water disaster waiting to happen for at least a generation. Climate change will just be another nail in its coffin.
Indeed, and some people have seen it coming -
NPR wrote:...In his equally powerful sophomore novel, The Water Knife, [Bacigalupi] takes a similar approach to an inorganic substance without which human life wouldn't exist: H2O. But where The Windup Girl takes place hundreds of years from now in Southeast Asia, The Water Knife hits closer to home for U.S. readers. Its setting is the American Southwest, at a time in the near future when Britney Spears is toothless and old, the country is plagued by climactic calamities and the Southwest's dwindling water supply is controlled by robber barons.

A toothless Britney Spears, believe it or not, is the least chilling thing about The Water Knife — although "chilling" might be the wrong word for Bacigalupi's speculative vision of Arizona. Hit by "Big Daddy Drought," a perpetual catastrophe that has become the horrifying new normal, the Grand Canyon State is the new American dust bowl — or sand bowl, if you will — where refugees crowd the ghettos of suburban Phoenix and rapacious "coyotes" smuggle people not from Mexico to the U.S., as they do now, but from Arizona to California...
https://www.npr.org/2015/05/28/40829580 ... -cuts-deep
All kinds of weather records are being smashed to smithereens.
That's climate change for you. James Hansen explained it years ago - look up "Climate Dice". In brief, we're getting more extreme weather and we're getting it more often. The averages have shifted a little bit but the extremes have shifted much further.

I live in the tropics so we have a monsoonal climate, meaning that nearly all our rain comes in just a couple of months or it doesn't come at all. In 2019 nearly all our rain came in just over a week :toilet:

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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by DNS »

We get our water from Lake Mead, which feeds from the Colorado River.

Image

You can see where the water line used to be, almost covering this hill in the lake.

I remember hearing back in the 1990s that Las Vegas would run out of water by 2006 or 2012 at the latest, but here we still are with water. But you can definitely see the level going down, so it might for sure run out one day.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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Even Germany was affected by two no-rain-years. In 2018 we had heat and no moisture from April to October and 2019 granted only very few rain. Our flora is not used to such weather and forests partly died. Spruces and birches are widely parched to death. Oaks look sick.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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Ayu wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:36 pm Even Germany was affected by two no-rain-years. In 2018 we had heat and no moisture from April to October and 2019 granted only very few rain. Our flora is not used to such weather and forests partly died. Spruces and birches are widely parched to death. Oaks look sick.
It's December 18, and I have yet to see snow where I live. This weekend, south Norway may get 17-18C weather. Which is beyond ridiculous, considering what country I live in.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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Las Vegas and other downstream users have been frantically buying up lands at the headwaters of the Colorado River in order to control their water rights, with harmful effects on mountain ecosystems.

Given the record heats across the southwest lately, and the fact that there are few if any more water rights to buy,it is not a matter of if but when Las Vegas runs out of water. The river near my home village in Thailand dried up for the first time in history last year,and they have a monsoon season.

And, as with Germany, the Rocky Mountains have vast areas where the trees are ill both from lack of water and from heat, which has allowed massive invasion of beetles -- one reason, besides the temperatures, for the huge fires this year.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by KathyLauren »

I used to live on an island off the west coast of Canada. That area has an undeserved reputation for being rainy all the time. But those particular islands are in a rain shadow of mountains on Vancouver Island, and experience very dry summers. While we were there, there were a couple of years with no rain from May to October.

We had a vegetable garden, but the well produced only 2 gallons per hour, enough for household use but not for gardening. So we installed a rainwater collection system. There was already a 1000 gallon tank when we bought the house. We added a 1500 gallon tank, and eventually a 2000 gallon tank, for 4500 gallons total. We collected rain water in winter, topped it up in spring, when the danger of freeze-up was past, and relied on it all summer.

I had a spreadsheet on which I monitored the usage and predicted when the rainwater would run out. In that driest year, it ran out at the end of September. The garden had to fend for itself from then until the rains came at the end of October. Fortunately, by that time, most of the crops were almost mature.

That sort of system is going to become a necessity for many places as the climate changes.

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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by Malcolm »

DNS wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:02 am Las Vegas broke it's own record for the longest dry streak of no measurable rain.

240 days of no rain, until today when it finally rained. I believe this is the longest dry streak of no rain for any large city in the U.S., since they started keeping records.

https://www.weather.gov/vef/2020DryStreak
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by Kim O'Hara »

tingdzin wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:43 pm Las Vegas and other downstream users have been frantically buying up lands at the headwaters of the Colorado River in order to control their water rights, with harmful effects on mountain ecosystems.

Given the record heats across the southwest lately, and the fact that there are few if any more water rights to buy,it is not a matter of if but when Las Vegas runs out of water.
Water rights are a key plot point in The Water Knife.
The river near my home village in Thailand dried up for the first time in history last year,and they have a monsoon season.
Monsoons are changing too. Weather patterns are shifting and spreading away from the equator in both hemispheres. Hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones (all the same thing except their location) are getting stronger but not (fortunately) more frequent. Fiji is being hammered by a Cat 5 cyclone right now. :crying:

And all this comes from less than 1.5C (average!) warming. What the Earth will look like with 2 degrees is scary.

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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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tingdzin wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:43 pm
And, as with Germany, the Rocky Mountains have vast areas where the trees are ill both from lack of water and from heat, which has allowed massive invasion of beetles -- one reason, besides the temperatures, for the huge fires this year.
The Northeast US, especially the mid-Atlantic region, is set to be a global climate sweet spot for the next 50 years, as the West dries out and precipitation increases in the Northeast. Expect an eastward migration which results in NY-DC megapolis.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:41 am
tingdzin wrote: Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:43 pm
And, as with Germany, the Rocky Mountains have vast areas where the trees are ill both from lack of water and from heat, which has allowed massive invasion of beetles -- one reason, besides the temperatures, for the huge fires this year.
The Northeast US, especially the mid-Atlantic region, is set to be a global climate sweet spot for the next 50 years, as the West dries out and precipitation increases in the Northeast. Expect an eastward migration which results in NY-DC megapolis.
Relatively sweet, perhaps, with a hurricane Sandy only every couple of years, Manhattan as the new Venice, and not too many blizzards.

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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by Ayu »

Kim O'Hara wrote: Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:45 am ... Manhattan as the new Venice, ...
Well, I'm sorry to destroy that euphemism, but Venice was built directly into the mud and therefore was able to have rising waters to a certain extent.
But Manhatten will not be able to stand in water and Venice will die as well when the sea is rising.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by DNS »

Bad weather will be the norm throughout the U.S. and the world. The East gets plenty of rain -- too much sometimes to the point of flooding, plus hurricanes along the coast, and blizzards.

The best weather in the U.S. is in the Southwestern states from about West Texas to San Diego. Picture a region of the Southwest with the easternmost part around El Paso, Texas all the way West to San Diego. I'm okay with excluding Las Vegas from that due to the water / rain shortages. But the Southern and middle portions of New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California (south of Los Angeles) all have the best weather.

*No tornadoes
*No hurricanes
*Virtually no flooding
*Mild winters, no snow
*Mild summers, except for Arizona
*Almost no earthquakes or when it does happen, it's so small you can't even feel it.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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Actually, Americans have been moving South and/or West almost since the beginnings. The population was all along the East Coast in the beginning and since then have been gradually moving South and West.

The mean center of the U.S. population as shown here and how it has moved.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_cent ... population

Image
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

Post by Malcolm »

DNS wrote: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:59 pm
The best weather in the U.S. is in the Southwestern states from about West Texas to San Diego.
Today, not in 20 years.



Basically, the region between the 40th and 50th parallel is the safest best for long term climate viability. Everything below the 40th parallel will become too hot for comfort.
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Re: 8 months of no rain!

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Yes, and that leads to this -

Climate-related displacement and migration is set to be the greatest challenge of our era. While there is a general consensus that global warming impacts us all, the role it will play in future human migration is often underestimated. Climate change disproportionately impacts developing countries, and more specifically fragile states.

Communities in arid and semi-arid lands are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Exposure to extreme temperature irregularity and rapid rainfall fluctuations makes these communities more prone to recurring drought or flooding.

Why should we care?

Climate-induced displacement is on the rise. Last year, climate-related factors resulted in the displacement of around 16.1 million people. It is estimated that, by 2050, between 150 to 200 million people are at risk of being forced to leave their homes as a result of desertification, rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions.
:reading: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/ ... -about-it/
and
... In 2018 alone, 17.2 million new displacements associated with disasters in 148 countries and territories were recorded (IDMC) and 764,000 people in Somalia, Afghanistan and several other countries were displaced following drought (IOM).

“Many people who were displaced cannot return home. The drought in Somalia is happening all the time. People have no way to recover,” said Halima, a 30-year-old mother of three displaced in Somalia because of the drought.

Climate migrants have been invisible for many years on the migration and climate debates. Our work at IOM has been focused for over 10 years on bringing climatic and environmental factors to the light and on building a body of evidence proving that climate change affects – directly and indirectly – human mobility.

Hence, it might seem paradoxical in this context not to encourage the establishment of a climate specific legal status, parallel to the existing refugees’ status. ...
:reading: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopme ... -refugees/

:thinking:
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