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Archive for Monday, July 16, 2012

US drought grows to cover widest area since 1956

July 16, 2012

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— The drought gripping the United States is the widest since 1956, according to new data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fifty-five percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought by the end of June, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said in its monthly State of the Climate drought report. That's the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought.

This summer, 80 percent of the U.S. is abnormally dry, and the report said the drought expanded in the West, Great Plains and Midwest last month with the 14th warmest and 10th driest June on record.

The nation's corn and soybean belt has been especially hard hit over the past three months, the report said. That region has experienced its seventh warmest and 10th driest April-to-June period.

"Topsoil has dried out and crops, pastures and rangeland have deteriorated at a rate rarely seen in the last 18 years," the report said.

The report is based on a data set going back to 1895 called the Palmer Drought Index, which feeds into the widely watched and more detailed U.S. Drought Monitor. It reported last week that 61 percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to exceptional drought. However, the weekly Drought Monitor goes back only 12 years, so climatologists use the Palmer Drought Index for comparing droughts before 2000.

In southern Illinois' Effingham County, Kenny Brummer is facing a double whammy — the drought has savaged the 800 acres of corn he grows for his 400 head of cattle and some 30,000 hogs, leaving him scrambling to find the couple of hundred thousand bushels of feed he'll need.

"Where am I going to get that from? You have concerns about it every morning when you wake up," Brummer, 59, said Monday. "The drought is bad, but that's just half of the problem on this farm."


AP reporter Jim Suhr contributed to this story from Waltonville, Ill.

Comments

Chris Golledge 1 year, 9 months ago

There is a bit more in-depth discussion of the topic here, complete with arguments from both sides here, if anyone is interested. The site backs claims with actual research papers, for the most part, and the site is moderated to reduce the nonsensical chatter.

Short summary, this is a high dice roll in the context of playing with dice loaded to roll higher.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/An-American-Heatwave-The-United-States-Glimpses-its-Hot-Future.html

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BABBOY 1 year, 9 months ago

Wow. Too many geeks with too much time on their hands. Did you read the geek that started every sentence with the word: “Fact.” Please someone please punch that guy in the face. And do it really hard so he does not do it again.

Here is my two cents. For about a million years religious nuts and conservative blowhards have doubted the scientists. Every flipping time the nuts and blowhards are proven wrong.

I mean at one time people insisted the world was flat. Then, the same yammering morons insisted the Earth was center of the universe and even threw scientist into jail for suggesting that the earth was just one of many planters circling stars in the Universe. In the Fifties, people actually doubted we could break the sound barrier or put a man on the moon. I see the people who doubt evolution or global warming in same crazed or insane light as those lunatics.

In other words, I think I will listen to scientists that actually review scientific data and test theories verses some over some little nut that repeats the word “Fact” over and over repeating BS he found playing on internet from sources that spin half truths promote their political agenda.

Hey, whatever, I mean normally the nut saying global warming is the same nut that disagrees with me on every other issue. So, there is some BS strange consistency in that regard…..

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

Japan is having terrible floods. AGW is not just about warming, it's about climate extremes. A few winters back we had multiple blizzards. The last two summers have been scorchingly hot. Are these just weather patterns or part of larger change in the overall climate? It's really impossible to tell from such a small sample size, but these are the exact weather patterns that scientists have said would be the harbingers of global climate change.

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CWGOKU 1 year, 9 months ago

Britain is having their coldest and wettest year ever. Depends on where you are. I wish it would rain here!

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CWGOKU 1 year, 9 months ago

Go check out Britains weather then check back here.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 9 months ago

Suggest calling the oil slurpping U.S. Senator James Mountain Inhofe of Oklahoma and ask him how his state (Oklahoma) is doing with the drought the past 3 years. Onhofe is so clouded by big oil and conservative religious nonsense that he has become the primary refuter of Climate Change or Global Warming or whatever. Unfortunalely, he has enough clout in the Senate through his leadership and seniority that nothing gets done. What a tool.

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CWGOKU 1 year, 9 months ago

It has nothing to do with Global Warming

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 9 months ago

Here is a list of Kansas water authority links. More numerous, than one could imagine. Then, there is the charge to land grant institutions like K State to research agricultural challenges in Kansas. Yes, the governor should be paying attention. Managing a drought requires more than individual efforts.

http://www.kwo.org/Links/links.htm

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tbaker 1 year, 9 months ago

Fact: The earth’s climate has constantly gone through periods of warming and cooling. The latest scientific data suggests that we may actually be entering a period of global cooling.

Fact: CO2 is likely not the major cause of the global warming trend over the last one hundred sixty years we have been able to take reasonably accurate measurements of so-called global average temperature. Even if carbon dioxide was the cause, there isn’t much we could do about it. Manmade CO2 accounts for a very tiny percentage of atmospheric CO2. (<.04%). There is a much stronger correlation between solar output and global temperatures.

Fact: There is not a scientific consensus that man is the primary cause of global warming. A group of over 140 scientists and researchers recently gathered at the IPCC to sign a declaration stating that there is no convincing evidence to suggest that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity cause climate change and called upon world leaders to abandon all efforts to reduce emissions. Over 31,000 scientists have signed a petition stating that there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of greenhouse gases activity is causing global warming.

Fact: There is no scientific proof that proposed global warming “solutions” will have any impact upon the climate. These proposed “solutions” rely upon extremely intrusive government controls designed to reduce our energy consumption, thereby significantly increasing the cost of energy and the price of nearly all goods and services produced within our economy, as businesses pass these costs onto consumers. History is rife with examples of Federal Government programs failing.

Fact: Seventh grade physics shows that CO2's molecular weight makes it very heavy. It can't rise high enough to cause the greenhouse effect. Yes, there is a greenhouse effect, but it's mostly caused by water vapor (the stuff clouds are made out of) because H2O is much lighter than CO2.

Fact: College freshman statistics will show you that the error rate in temperature samples used to calculate the so-called global average temperature is greater than the claimed temperature rise.

Fact: Glaciers in Greenland have recently been shown to be getting thicker, not thinner. Same with Antarctic ice, which is never mentioned by warming alarmists.

Fact: Sunspot activity is in a cycle in which it reduces warming radiation from the sun. This is actually causing a cooling cycle right now.

Fact: Back in the 70’s, the same government-connected scientists and insiders were trying to scare us with the coming ice age. Remember that?

Fact: Volcanoes and the ocean are by FAR larger sources of CO2 and other "greenhouse" gases. Many, many, many multiples of the amounts we exhaust.

Fact: NASA and IPCC scientists were actually caught faking "warming" data, and concealing information that contradicts the popular dogma from the alarmists. If "Global Warming" is true, why fudge figures?

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verity 1 year, 9 months ago

To those declaring that the current hot summer and drought has nothing to do with global warming---I will repeat something we used to say when I was a child---who died and made you God? You can question whether it does, but you don't know that for a fact.

Maybe we can't do anything about it, but to take the fingers in the ears approach rather than trying to use our brains will mean that the time may well have passed that we can do something about it. If you've studied history and the natural sciences, you know that it doesn't take much to tip the balance of earth's climate and it can happen very fast.

Farming practices current in the thirties made the situation worse. The farmers learned from that. There is a cyclic effect and once cropland has turned to desert, it's hard, if not impossible, to reverse the effects.

Also, insurance doesn't fix everything for the farmer. We will see more of the family farms going out of business---and, yes, there are still family farms even though they may have incorporated.

Doesn't matter how much money you have when there's no food to buy.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

Why do I keep seeing the ghosts of the Joads?

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Curtis Lange 1 year, 9 months ago

This summer has nothing to do with "global warming." :rolls eyes at the alarmists:

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Liberal 1 year, 9 months ago

I would never argue there is not climate change, I have seen the concretions in Rock City Kansas that were left by Glaciers that passed this way. Those pesky humans however were burning to many fires releasing carbon into the air and the darn glaciers melted....It is said it could have been mammoth farts that contributed resulting in their own demise.

Merrill the US has reduced emissions and yet the climate still changes, So what if we have a zero carbon footprint, we would be like an undeveloped country no cars or industry no emissions. But what about the new industrial world? How are you going to stop 1.34 Billion Chinese from getting electricity, cars, jobs in industry etc....

You give people to much credit.

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gorilla10 1 year, 9 months ago

You're not cool if you don't have yellow grass!! Sure global warming plays its part in this weather but the country has seen worse people. Many, many years ago before global warming was even a factor. In the last couple of years we have seen a big time winter with record snowfall, last winter with record high temps and basically no snow, and hot dry summers setting record highs with little rain, as well as severe weatherall over the place. There were even big time floods up north last summer causing flooding around here on the Missouri river. This is what happens people. No year is ever the same.....

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mikekt 1 year, 9 months ago

Do we have anyone in the US Congress or in Topeka that could examine why the Corp Of Engineers is drawing down upstream Kansas River reservoirs, in the face of a worsening drought, to keep navigation going on the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers, when the Mississippi is already too low at Vicksburg, for navigational purposes ?!

Who's great idea is this ?

Is this the same crew that caused massive prolonged flooding along the Missouri River last year, due to not calling what was happening ?

If this drought lasts for a while, that upstream water will be sorely missed everywhere east of those reservoirs, including cities along the Mo. & Miss. Rivers!

I suppose that if the Kansas River dries up at Topeka, maybe somebody from state government will take notice & investigate after the fact?

Maybe Topeka will call out, their for hire I.T. Dept.; i.e. "Idiot Techs @ 3M", to check it out ?

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toe 1 year, 9 months ago

This drought should reduce carbon emissions (no transportation need for crops), water erosion, and chemical use. It's a win win win for government regulation. Might even reduce population in time.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Below are 10 reasons for strong action to promote clean energy and curb climate change.

  1. Helping Avoid the Runaway Costs of Climate Change /
  2. Creating Jobs /
  3. Competing Internationally /
  4. Improving Public Health /
  5. Saving Households and Businesses Money /
  6. Enhancing National and Global Security /
  7. Providing Benefits to Farmers /
  8. Delivering Benefits to Low-income Households /
  9. Preserving Vital Ecosystems and Species /
  10. Conserving Water Resources and Clean Water /

Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/Benfits_of_Action_Fact_Sheet.html

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Big Picture Solutions

solutions to global warmingWho can reduce global warming emissions? We can—together. Our individual efforts are important, but the biggest impact on climate change will come from large-scale changes—well-reasoned international policies; thoughtful, systematic efforts to reduce polluting fossil fuel energy sources and unsound land use practices; and steady progress toward a green, sustainable future.

By enlisting the support of policy makers and calling on industry to reduce pollution, we can have a measurable impact now—and a profound impact in the long run. With your support, UCS finds practical big-picture solutions to avert the worst consequences of global warming.

In the articles listed below, learn about legislative efforts and proven, realistic programs and policies to reduce global warming emissions and transition to a clean energy economy.

BASICS: BIG PICTURE SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL WARMING

* Steps the EPA Must Take to Reduce Global Warming Emissions
* The Clean Air Act
* Regulating Toxic Pollutants from Power Plants under the Clean Air Act
* UCS at the Climate Talks in Durban
* Cutting Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen oxides (NOx) from Power Plants under the Clean Air Act
* Attack on the Clean Air Act
* Report from the Cancún Climate Conference
* Post-Election 2010: Next Steps for Climate
* International Deployment of Clean Technologies: A Smart Investment for the United States
* Investing in Clean Technology is Investing in Green Jobs
* Clean Technology Brings Significant Global Security Benefits
* Watch UCS at Copenhagen
* California and Western States Global Warming 101
* Top 10 Benefits of Climate Action
* Global Warming Crossroads: Choosing the Sensible Path to a Clean Energy Economy
* Common Sense on Climate Change: Practical Solutions to Global Warming

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Realize Climate Change is here.

The Earth is warming and human activity is the primary cause. Climate disruptions put our food and water supply at risk, endanger our health, jeopardize our national security, and threaten other basic human needs. Some impacts—such as record high temperatures, melting glaciers, and severe flooding and droughts—are already becoming increasingly common across the country and around the world. So far, our national leaders are failing to act quickly to reduce heat-trapping emissions.

However, there is much we can do to protect the health and economic well-being of current and future generations from the consequences of the heat-trapping emissions caused when we burn coal, oil, and gas to generate electricity, drive our cars, and fuel our businesses.

Our country is at a crossroads: the United States can act responsibly and seize the opportunity to lead by developing new, innovative solutions, as well as immediately putting to use the many practical solutions we have at our disposal today; or we can choose to do nothing and deal with severe consequences later. At UCS we believe the choice is clear. It is time to push forward toward a brighter, cleaner future.

  • Evidence Check: Which Extreme Weather Events Are More Linked with Climate Change – Heat Waves or Hurricanes?, Brenda Ekwurzel

Highlights

  • Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living

What is Global Warming? When CO2 and other heat-trapping emissions are released into the air, they act like a blanket, holding heat in our atmosphere and warming the planet. Overloading our atmosphere with carbon has far-reaching effects for people everywhere.

Learn more: Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

It's not getting any better. Check the forecast. Ridiculous weather this year.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 9 months ago

This scares me. It seems like so many things are going bad at once.
Read Dune to see how the Fremen dealth with this problem. The Grapes Of Wrath still makes me cry when I read it. I will read Egan's book and I thank you for telling us about it. Joe, why do you think it is that people never seem to learn from those that have gone before? Even if Steinbecks book is fiction it is still true.

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Lathrup 1 year, 9 months ago

Here Naysayers. No global warming eh? Have another plate of dust. And here's some damp mug we scraped from the bottom of the pond to wash it down.

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Joe Hyde 1 year, 9 months ago

ATTENTION KMart Shoppers: The book "The Worst Hard Time", by Timothy Egan -- a National Book Award Winner -- makes for interesting bedtime reading for people curious what daily life can be like when the land upon which you live physically disintregrates under conditions of extended drought and relentless dust storms.

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hyperinflate 1 year, 9 months ago

Move along. Nothing to see here. Keep 'er moving. That's a good people.

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