Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/23/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The expected break in California's drought is less likely to come.

Bad news for California is about to get worse. The state, wracked with drought, is eagerly anticipating the formation of a strong El Nino event in the Pacific, which would bring significant rainfall to the region. However, the El Nino may not develop as strongly as first predicted.

A sign intended to build public support for water rights for farmers now has a new significance.

A sign intended to build public support for water rights for farmers now has a new significance.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/23/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: California, heatwave, drought, weather, severe, el nino


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most Californians are now facing the first, overdue residential water restrictions of the three year-drought that has already devastated the state. Food prices have skyrocketed in the state as well as prices on beef and dairy which are widely produced there and require at least a modicum of rainfall to produce.

Wells are plunging to record levels, then running dry as underwater supplies are slurped faster than nature can replace them. Mountain snow, which fills reservoirs, powers hydroelectric facilities and sustains agriculture is virtually all gone and there is too little left to get through another year.

Farmers have been paying attention and left their fields fallow, selling their water instead of crops.

These problems have serious impacts for the state's residents. Tourism, especially along the ski slopes, continues to suffer leaving many seasonal workers out of a job. Without reservoirs behind hydroelectric facilities, electricity production is falling off, threatening the very hot state with the potential of choosing to import electricity or suffer rolling blackouts.

Without water for crops, many fields lie fallow and agricultural workers are without jobs and income. Food prices have spiked.

The dry fields also create another problem, especially in the state's massive San Joaquin central valley - dust storms. The state has not experienced towering dust storms in nearly 40 years, but such storms can rip up topsoil and ruin fields, damage property and even kill. These storms are likely in the fall when temperatures in the Great Basin can drop and storms approach the Pacific Northwest, creating powerful pressure gradients that fuel winds channeled down the valley.

In fact, giver the macro-meteorological conditions, such a storm can almost be expected.

Californians have been in a state of denial about the drought for some time. Droughts of a few years duration aren't unheard of, but longer droughts are rare although they have happened historically.

A satellite image of California in July 2011.

A satellite image of California in July 2011.



The same image of California from June 24.

The same image of California from June 24.


Through the spring, Californians have been eagerly following the story of the formation of a powerful El Nino in the Pacific. The warming surface waters are bad for much of the world, fueling extreme weather, but they do benefit California which is uniquely situated to receive most of the rainfall from such events.

Now it seems the El Nino may be weak to moderate at best, despite its initial extreme temperatures. Scientists seem to think much of the heat from the event has already been discharged into the atmosphere. That heat has caused both May and June to be the hottest months on the planet in modern record.

However, July may be back down to more typical temperatures and the saving rains from the moderate El Nino that remains will not be enough to help California because there is another weather feature in the way - a powerful ridge of high pressure off the coast which has been blocking storms from the state, pushing them farther north than normal.

This blocking ridge of high pressure, which has remained in place for over two years, shows no sign of weakening or moving as it normally would. This ridge is also responsible for the dip in the weakening jet stream over the central USA, a phenomenon that is making the West hotter and the East colder.

Despite these significant climate abnormalities, Americans, more than any other nation in the world remain skeptical of climate change. According to a survey by Global Trends, just 54 percent think climate change is caused by humans, a slim majority. A few more agree that we are likely to see disaster if we do not reduce our emissions of greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane.

The high number of skeptics has a lot to do with conservative dogma, a systematic campaign of doubt fueled by corporate interests, and yes, even a hint of Protestant theology.

In China where climate change is already being widely experienced, such as during smog events in major cities such as Beijing, 93 percent of the population agrees with that climate change is being caused by humans. It makes sense, since Chinese factories are major culprits.

But the United States stands in contrast to all other nations, separated by several percentage points from England, the next-most skeptical country.

These statistics come at a time when world meteorological data proves that the planet has just endured its hottest May and June in modern history, a full 1.3 degrees higher than the 20th century average. According to NOAA climate monitoring researcher, Derek Arndt "We're living in the steroid era of the climate system. While one-twentieth of a degree doesn't sound like much, in temperature records it's like winning a horse race by several lengths."

Temperature records for every continent but Antarctica was set, although the United States had only it's 33 hottest June according to official reports. The world's oceans were also very hot, especially in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Whatever is going on, be it climate change, or a serious, long-term weather anomaly, California residents are in more trouble than they realize. The Union's most populous state already struggles to find water for its thirsty population and their food crops. As those supplies diminish, a genuine crisis, particularly for agriculture, may develop.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

DWARF Cows: Are they the answer to farmers' climate change problems? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Summer months bring an intense heat to farmlands and drought stricken parts of the world. The heat from the sun can damage not only crops that need regular water supply, but will also cause sickness, dehydration and death to farm animals. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


San Francisco hit with a stinkier side of the California drought as sewer pipes deteriorate Watch

Image of [Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo]

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The severe drought in California has recently alarmed residents of San Francisco, as its century-old sewer system takes a serious hit. Contrary to the popular belief that the drought might give the sewers a break, as it is expected to facilitate less water, it ... continue reading


Mysterious fireball of space junk flies over the South Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mysterious object lit up in the sky on June 29 in the southeast. The source has since been confirmed as a space junk passing by and reentering our atmosphere. Sightings of the "fireball" were taken to social media, where people tried to guess whether it was a ... continue reading


Californians struggle to find 'normal life' without water Watch

Image of The lack of a sufficient water source in parts of California damages agricultural farmlands

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A normal life remains to be far-fetched for residents in the town of Monson, CA, located 200 miles from the northern part of Los Angeles. Residents in the area have already spent four gruesome months without running water in their homes. The four years of drought ... continue reading


NEW FURRY CRITTER: Hairy-chested crab found trolling at over 7000 feet deep in Antarctic hydrothermal vents identified Watch

Image of The Kiwa tyleri must spend its days in observance of these delicate laws of nature. If they get too close to the vent they will be scalded, but if they stray too far they freeze.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kiwa tyleri is a furry breed of crab that is only found in the hydrothermal vents in Antarctica. The species can only thrive in water that is between 945 and 104 degrees in Antarctica - making it rare indeed. Growing to only two inches in length, the Kiwa ... continue reading


What ALL Americans need to know about the California drought Watch

Image of California grows and exports a majority of the fruits and nuts eaten by the rest of the country, so water shortages there affect food supply everywhere.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The water shortage in California, now dragging into its fourth year is being categorized as "extreme to exceptional drought." Everyone, including all western U.S. states is now expected to conserve - and not just in California. Below are the facts that everyone in the ... continue reading


Scientists discover amazing corals that adapt to climate change Watch

Image of The Coral Reef Southern Red Sea near Safaga Egypt.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have cross-bred corals coming from different latitude with variety of temperatures underwater and found that there are some corals that adapt better in climate change than others. With the rapid decline of coral reefs, experts are hoping that this new ... continue reading


Life on Mars: Are humans one step closer to living on Mars? Watch

Image of Is this the future home for humans?

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the pressing idea that humans have to find suitable life outside Earth in mind, many projects and experiments are being conducted to find a livable environment on Mars. The planet is not yet suitable to live on but a new project suggests that they may have the ... continue reading


Scientists literally could not make heads or tails of bizarre organism of Cambrian age Watch

Image of Researchers have since learned after using sophisticated imaging techniques that at the end the Hallucigenia's head long and slender neck resembling a hose-like tube.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A spiny little organism rightfully called the Hallucigenia sparsa - so hallucinogenic was it in appearance, had scientists scratching their heads, literally unable to make heads or tails of it. Living in the Cambrian age of 508 million years ago, the ... continue reading


Running late? No worries, we get an extra second this month - Find out why Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Earth runs in an inconsistent speed, so to synch it up with the atomic clock, June 30, 2015 will be longer by a second. This extra second, added after midnight, is called a leap second. This is not the first time extra time has been added in order for several ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 21:5, 8-20
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:28-34
28 When he reached the territory of the Gadarenes on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2015 Image

Bl. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter