July 30, 2012

Get used to this summer? A century of drought?

Per LiveScience.com, that's the gist of a new study.

I hope not, but it seems plausible. Between additional warming releasing carbon dioxide and methane from Arctic tundra, and drought right now killing off plants, especially in lower middle latitudes, feedback loops could exacerbate droughts in areas already starting to have them.

And, the many, many damned lakes in those areas will evaporate and shrink rapidly, between lessened rainfall and higher heat. Especially the shallower lakes.

Basically, anywhere in the U.S. west of the 96th meridian and south of the 41st parallel or so (that's the rough coordinates for Lincoln, Neb. is certainly got some likelihood of longer-term "iffiness" on good farming and ranching climate. Anywhere west of about the 98th merdian and south of the 39th parallel (Ellsworth, Kan.) is very likely to face "iffinessness" and somewhat likely to face at least semiregular drought, I'll venture.

And anybody west of the 100th meridian and south of the 37th parallel (Meade, Kan., just south of Dodge City) is more than likely to be facing drought, if this is all true.

The first point is in the heart of America's corn belt. The second is in the heart of the wheat belt. The third is in the heart of America's irrigated farming (on the Plains) belt and the cattle belt.

Food for thought, pun intended.

That not to mention water supplies for 6.5 million people in metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth, 1 million in metro Austin, 2 million in metro San Antonio, etc.

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