Friday, April 20, 2007

May Long Term Forecast

Nothing too exciting there, as usual much of the west is above average. The northeast froze while we were cooking.

Anyone who missed it: our military is becoming increasingly concerned about climate change.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming poses a "serious threat to America's national security" and the U.S. likely will be dragged into fights over water and other shortages, top retired military leaders warn in a new report.

Living in the southwest all of my life this isn't very big news to me, it's always been an issue here. Population growth has put ever increasing pressure on our water resources and the decrease in snow cover over the winters has steadily reduced groundwater supply.

So far, so good for well is cranking along just fine for the moment but it's a worry as development continues here. Hoping we can get outta here before the locals take to shooting each other over declining water tables.


RJ Adams said...

It seems banging our heads against a brick wall for years is finally bringing results. Someone is America is sitting up and taking notice. Now if we could just get George Bush to comprehend......unlikely, though, I believe the problem is just too large for his minuscule brain to grasp: "Duh! Lake Superior getting warmer? Geez, that'll be better for the swimmers."

pekka said...

I have raised the issue of the looming water crisis on a few Southern, progressive blogs. It shouldn't be any state secret, that water is the substance that the future wars will be fought over. To my utter amazement, my concerns have created zero intrest, almost as if there is no such thing happening. I am not talking about some hard core denialists but, as I said, otherwise concerned progressives. On particular blogger in Georgia, who I admire, couldn't see my point of wondering why he likes golfing in GREEN desert.

You, Mama, are once again paying attention which amazes me. There seems to be nothing that escapes you. Your head is a damn busy place!

Falling deeper in love with Mama mia!

Not Your Mama said...

Well, Georgia being in the southeast where water has usually been not only plentiful but excessive I think it's harder for some people there to grasp the concept. New Orleans should have given them a clue about subsidence due to groundwater depletion and destruction of wetlands but I noticed not one media reference to the issue. Apparently everyone believes NO was always as far below sea level as it currently is. It wasn't.

In the southwest it hits a lot closer to home when someone loses their well to dropping water tables and has to come up with thousands to have a new, deeper well drilled or when their house sinks due to subsidence.

BadTux said...

Actually, Not Your Momma, parts of New Orleans closest to Lake Pontchartrain always *were* below sea level, with a few exceptions (such as around the UNO campus). The deal is that when the Levee Board got money to build a levee along Lake Ponchartrain and install steam pumps to handle storm water after the city proper got flooded yet again by a hurricane, the greedy land developers on the Levee Board looked at each other, looked at the lake, and decided to build the levee two miles out into the lakebed and drain the lakebed behind it for land to sell! Of course, the land they drained behind the levee was below sea level, but hey, they made land from nothing and got to sell it, they made their money, so what did they care?

That said, there are parts of New Orleans below sea level now that were never below sea level before, and subsidience certainly has something to do with it, but not particularly because of ground water depletion. Rather, when you dry mud out by removing the water from on top of it, what does it do? (DUH!). But New Orleans' pumps are hard-pressed to keep the water table from going above ground level (the natural water table would be about 3 feet below sea level and much of New Orleans is lower than that), much less deplete the ground water to the point where ground water depletion would cause subsidience...

As explained to me by a geologist, the land around New Orleans has always been sinking because there are millions of tons of sediments there and the sediments on top are causing the sediments below to slowly compress. In the past this wasn't a big issue because the Mississippi River was always depositing new sediments on top. Today the Mississippi is levee'ed all the way out to the edge of the Continental Shelf so those sediments are getting shot out into the Gulf of Mexico rather than building land, not to mention that because of dams on the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, only half of the traditional sediment load makes it down to Louisiana in the first place. River channelization, not ground water depletion, is the root cause of New Orleans' problems. (And global warming can't be helping either).