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Accelerating Arctic Melting - Weather Change is Here!

"We're not going to have enough water for what we're doing. Nobody's facing up to it."

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climate change weather patterns predict drought prospect for Southern California

Climate Change Weather Patterns Predict Drought Prospects

WATER is the most critical natural resource for life to flourish. We are seeing a growing emphasis on energy and fuel conservation at the expense of attention to water.

These concerns are all important, but a tremendous amount of energy is expended in pumping water...and reducing that energy use is part of the solution. But there are additional solutions we need to enact to address TODAY's weather patterns from global warming -- it is happening NOW! And water conservation is at the top of the list. This article explains why and how. I hope you will read this truncated summary...and go on to read the complete article on SignOnSanDiego.com. If you have solutions, please actively bring them to my attention. I pledge to do my part in getting the word out. This is important. And your role in water conservation is vital.
Carolyn Allen, Editor

Three years ago, computer forecast models predicted that in 2050, the reduced ice mass would cause climate shifts that would result in a drought in the western United States.

The ice cap is melting far faster than climatologists thought it would.

So much ice has disappeared that the Arctic today looks much like what scientists thought it would in 2050. It's as if the atmosphere hit the fast-forward button.

The predicted climate changes also may have arrived, with much of the West in the midst of the kind of severe drought that geoscientist Jacob Sewall had envisioned for 2050.

Southern California Drought Predictions

Los Angeles just finished its driest year on record, and San Diego had its fourth driest. Over the past eight years, average flow on the Colorado River, one of San Diego County's major sources of water, has been at its lowest level in more than a century. Reservoir levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell have declined sharply.

If the forecast models are correct and the vanishing ice is responsible, this could be the beginning of weather changes that might someday leave the West perpetually parched and strain water resources even further than they are now.

Sewall, an assistant professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech University, said parts of the Southwest could lose nearly 30 percent of their annual rainfall, while the Northwest could gain almost 40 percent.

Sewall admits that drawing conclusions from the unexpectedly accelerated ice melt may be premature, but he believes government leaders, businesses and citizens should be thinking about the consequences now.

"Most people don't want to wait around a decade or more to make sure it's happening," Sewall said. "It's not as if the Southwest isn't already sweating water resources."

One of the biggest impacts of the ice loss envisioned by the forecast models – and the one that most directly affects California – is the creation of a strong high pressure center in the Pacific off the U.S.-Canada border.

That would tend to block storms that might otherwise reach Southern California and the Southwest and sharply reduce annual rainfall. Rain would increase in the Northwest, where Seattle had its wettest month in history in November and Portland's rainfall was well above normal last year.

Sewall said climate change is inevitable, even if no more greenhouses gases were added to the atmosphere.

Barnett, the Scripps researcher, said the West's drought, no matter what its cause, has not received enough attention.

"I don't know why people don't take it more seriously," he said. "We're not going to have enough water for what we're doing. Nobody's facing up to it."

Read the rest of this important "solution" story. First we need to know the problem...then we can solve it. SOURCE: San Diego SignOnSanDiego.com



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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