The Moment is Here: Dramatic Video of Drought and Dryness

August 21, 2021

From BBC above, Vice News below.

7 Responses to “The Moment is Here: Dramatic Video of Drought and Dryness”

  1. jimbills Says:

    There are three potential major stories here not discussed broadly.

    Firstly, if levels in Lake Oroville become too low, the California delta is at risk of becoming backflowed with brine – which would have a devastating effect on agriculture and city water long-term:

    “The prospect of salt water intrusion — a kind of tug of war between the tide pushing in from San Francisco Bay and the freshwater flowing through the watershed into the delta and out toward the bay — looms large over drought discussions in the delta.

    Without sufficient delta outflow, the sloshing tides can bring seawater further into the delta, threatening the delicate balance at this key nexus of California’s water system. In a worst-case scenario, where salinity intrudes too far into the delta and reaches the pumps, it could endanger the water supply for 25 million Californians and the irrigation supply for 3 million acres of agriculture, according to Ekdahl. Officials are concerned with retaining enough water to maintain sufficient delta outflows if next year is also dry.”

    Lake Oroville is one of the main backstops to prevent this from happening.

    In other words, if next year is also dry, this situation could be enormous news, as it would have a significant impact on food prices globally.

    Secondly, California is at major risk of permanently losing its river fish, including salmon:

    • jimbills Says:

      Thirdly, as some farmers can currently only use a tiny fraction of the water from sources like Oroville (and thousands can’t use any), they are going to resort to greater and greater groundwater extraction. This contributes to land subsidence, damaging infrastructure, causing future water losses, and increasing the risk of brine flooding:

      • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

        And buggaring the aquifer.

        • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

          There’s a geologic term isostatic rebound (more commonly referred to as glacial rebound) where the →crust← slowly responds over hundreds of years to a geologically “rapid” removal of mass like the withdrawal of ice sheets. So much water has been drawn from California aquifers that geologists have measured isostatic rebound behavior in the crust well below the central valley.

          (Note that this is different from the subsidence of the porous sedimentary layers that overlie the crust, which happens at a much faster rate and at a much smaller regional scale.)

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Salt water intrusion upriver has been a problem with dammed rivers reducing total flow and it will become a greater problem with

      – local relative sea-level rise
      – droughts further reducing river output

  2. indy222 Says:

    These are all disasters that the IPCC has told us might happen but much later. It’s another example of the IPCC’s political tinkering with what the journal science has been telling us. They continue to be dragged kicking and screaming towards reality from their pro-growth, Hope-ium induced delusionary state. A stance that the policy people have insisted upon for the entire 30 years of the IPCC’s existence.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Ironically, I think a rapid conversion away from reliance on fossil fuels would have led to good economic growth. The problem is that the people who made money off the old system spent money (on politicians and disinformation campaigns) to prevent the transition.

      Independent of CO2, I think the world population is much better off without regularly breathing the products of combustion. Saves on society’s medical cost, at the minimum.

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