Growing heat driving the megadrought parching 77 percent of the Western US

Rising temperatures and lack of rain threaten to decrease water supplies and bring more wildfires this summer and in the years to come. By Lili Pikelili.pike@voxmedia.com  Mar 13, 2021 The Western US is in the midst of yet another dangerous dry spell. The drought has been building over the past year, and since November, a greater stretch of the West has been in the …

Hail, America’s most under-rated climate risk has expanded footprint across the country + ‘staggering increase in heat deaths’. Fossil fuel and coal downturn

Hail! It’s America’s most underrated climate risk, Atlantic, February 9, 2021. (See bottom of this post) Wisconsin researchers in a new study find that over the last 40 years hail has expanded its footprint across the country and has become more frequent in the so-called Hail Alley stretching from Wyoming to Texas. Study: Warmer weather will increase flooding in the Columbia River Basin this …

Farmers are depleting the Ogallala Aquifer because the government pays them to do it

November 9, 2020, The Conversation, Matthew R Sanderson, Professor of Sociology and Professor of Geography and Geospatial Sciences, Kansas State University; Burke Griggs, Associate Professor of Law, Washburn University; Jacob A. Miller, PhD Student in Sociology, Kansas State University A slow-moving crisis threatens the U.S. Central Plains, which grow a quarter of the nation’s crops. Underground, the region’s lifeblood – water …

Water Connects the San Luis Valley, which is once again the target of a water export proposal which threatens our communities and way of life

Our economy, culture and community are connected to agriculture. The some 1,600 farms and ranches in the Valley are the region’s economic engine. With less than 7″ of precipitation annually, the Valley’s crops require irrigation to grow.   Exporting water out of the basin to the Front Range would mean less water for irrigated agriculture. A plan being proposed by Renewable Water Resources will remove …

Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains dust levels stir concerns

Science Magazine, October 2020, doi:10.1126/science.abf3504 Recent studies are showing how climate change is drying out the region. Greenhouse gases are making heat waves like those in the 1930s far more likely, according to a study published in May in Nature Climate Change. And in an April study in Science, researchers suggested much of the western United States is on the brink of a prolonged …

A scoping review of drought impacts on health and society in North America

Published: 21 September 2020 Margaret Sugg, et al. Climatic Change (2020) Drought is a highly destructive natural hazard with wide-ranging impacts on water security, agriculture, energy, and human health. Unlike most natural hazards, droughts can develop anywhere, evolve rapidly within a month or slowly over a season, and span months to decades without a clear beginning or end. Few studies investigate the direct …

Nearly all of Colorado is under some drought status – 20 years into megadrought in the West

Also see: https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2020/04/16/climate-driven-megadrought-emerging-western-u-s/ – April 20th, 2020 The Colorado Sun | evan@coloradosun.com Colorado currently is one of the drier parts of the country, and although conditions have improved in recent weeks, the long-term outlook for the state is relatively grim.  Much of Colorado continues to suffer through extreme drought, and nearly all of the state is experiencing drought, according to the …

The heat waves that powered the Dust Bowl are now more than twice as likely to happen again MICHAEL D’ESTRIES May 27, 2020 A dust storm approaches Stratford, Texas, in 1935. (Photo: NOAA George E. Marsh Album [public domain]/Wikimedia Commons) They were called “black blizzards” and “black rollers,” towering billows of dust rising thousands of feet high that became ominous symbols of …

Climate change threatens Colorado river and the water supply for 40 million people The Weather Channel | Jan Wesner Childs Climate change has dramatically decreased natural flow in the Colorado River, jeopardizing the water supply for some 40 million people and millions of acres of farmland, according to new research from the USGS. The decline is expected to continue unless …