Updated April 28th. It is all connected.
And where was Obama? In Malaysia pushing the TPP. Our voices being heard has never been more needed!
California Drought Linked To Global Warming
By SETH BORENSTEIN
WASHINGTON (AP) — While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it's not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought and the polar vortex blamed for a harsh winter that mercifully has just ended in many places.
The Utah State University scientists involved in the study say they hope what they found can help them predict the next big weird winter.
The United States just came out of a two-faced winter — bitter cold and snowy in the Midwest and East, warm and severely dry in the West. The latest U.S. drought monitor says 100 percent of California is in an official drought.
The new study blames an unusual "dipole," a combination of a strong Western high pressure ridge and deep Great Lakes low pressure trough. That dipole is linked to a recently found precursor to El Nino, the world-weather changing phenomenon. And that precursor itself seems amplified by a build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the study says.
It's like a complex game of weather dominos that starts with cold water off China and ends with a devastating drought and memorable winter in the United States, said study author Simon Wang, a Utah State University climate scientist.
Wang was looking at colder water off China as a precursor to an El Nino. The colder water there triggers westerly winds in the tropical Pacific. Those westerly winds persist for several months and eventually push warmed up water and air to the central Pacific where an El Nino forms, Wang said.
An El Nino is a warming of the central Pacific once every few years, from a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. It shakes up climate around the world, changing rain and temperature patterns. Wang saw the precursors and weather event coming months before federal weather officials issued an official El Nino watch last month.
Then Wang noticed the connection between that precursor — cold water off China, Vietnam and Taiwan — and the recent wild winter. He tracked similar combinations of highs and lows in North America. And he found those combination extremes are getting stronger.
Wang based his study, soon to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, on computer simulations, physics and historical data. It is not as detailed and doesn't involve numerous computer model simulations as more formal attribution studies. Still, Wang said his is a proper connection.
Wang compared computer simulations with and without gases from the burning of fossil fuels. When he included carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, he got a scenario over the past few decades that mirrored what has happened, including this past weird winter and other worsening dipole conditions. When he took out the greenhouse gases, the increasing extremes actually went down — not what happened in real life.
"We found a good link and the link is becoming stronger and stronger," Wang said.
End of excerpt
The Explosive Growth Of California's Drought In One Chart
It didn’t seem possible, but California's drought just got worse. On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor released new data that show every single inch of the state is now experiencing some form of drought.End of excerpt
Since mid-March, a sliver of California on its southeastern border was the lone drought holdout for the state. Even then, that section of the state was still considered abnormally dry according to the Drought Monitor. The section finally tipped into drought this week, and for the first time in 15 year-history of the Drought Monitor, the entire state is now in drought.
The growth of the drought is clearly on display in the graphic above. While some form of drought covered much of the state through 2013, this winter led to an explosion of drought across the entire state. Extreme drought covered roughly a quarter of the state in early January 2014. But by mid-January, the percentage of the state in extreme drought jumped to nearly 65 percent as winter rains and snows failed to materialize and hot weather baked the state.
A persistent blocking ridge of high pressure is what kept California hot and dry all winter, which is typically the state’s wet season. What little snow that fell in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which acts as a natural reservoir through spring, declined precipitously in the past 10 days and could create further drought woes for the state. Melting snow can also contribute to tumultuous wildfire seasons by drying out the ground and vegetation that can feed blazes. That’s a daunting prospect for Californian’s and visitors to Yosemite National Park with last year’s Rim Fire still fresh on their minds.
Though parts of the state are receiving rain and snow on Friday, it’s unlikely to dent the drought. And with the rainy season basically done until late fall, the prospects for relief are scarce. That means drought conditions are likely to persist or could even worsen through the summer.
In California drought, big money, many actors, little oversight
This can no longer be just about the money!
As the dots continue to be connected we see the drought getting worse to the point where 100% of California is now in moderate to extreme drought. What will it take? A mass exodus of climate refugees from California as has already happened in Syria due to their current climate change induced drought and civil war? Think it can't happen here?
Humans also aren't the only species at risk:
California drought putting fish, birds and tree species at risk, scientists say
By Edward Ortiz
California’s drought is imperiling tricolored blackbirds, large trees and native fish, with some of the affected species already on the state’s endangered list and others likely headed there because of rapidly declining numbers, scientists say.
“The problems created by the drought are just a harbinger of things to come,” said Peter Moyle, a professor at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, which hosted a daylong Capitol summit Friday on economic and environmental costs of the drought.
“Native fishes and the ecosystems that support them are incredibly vulnerable to drought,” Moyle said. “There are currently 37 species of fish on the endangered species list in California – and there is every sign that that number will increase,” he said.
Eighty percent of those species face extinction by the year 2100 if present trends continue, Moyle said.
Native fish are able to weather natural drought years, but the development of the state’s water system has created the equivalent of perpetual drought conditions for many species, he said.
The state has 47 animal species on its endangered list, another 36 listed as “threatened,” plus six that are candidates for inclusion on one of the lists, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
One species that could end up on the candidate list is the tricolored blackbird, said Robert Meese, of UC Davis’ Department of Environmental Science and Policy.
“The tricolored blackbird may not be on the endangered list yet, but the drought is definitely having an effect,” Meese said. “The birds have not been reproducing.”
Reproduction declines have been noticed since 2007, before the drought, Meese said, but recent counts have shown even steeper declines. A statewide survey of tricolored blackbirds, known for their red shoulder patch with a bright white stripe, was recently concluded and the results are due out in three weeks.
“I suspect that survey will be on the order of 120,000 birds,” Meese said. “That is less than half of what was seen in 2011, and about 75 percent less than what was seen in 2008.”
The day this Earth goes silent with the song of birds we will know it is finished. This is beyond sad and criminal. I believe it is one reason why man continues to be out of balance- because we have forgotten our connection to all other species and that we are just one among millions. Saving water is a matter of survival for ALL LIFE. We are constantly told we need to stop burning fossil fuels, but like spoiled children we continue to do what we know will bring on the silence. This is not just a human crisis and it is arrogant to say that. This is about all species on Earth. Once the chain is broken it is only a matter of time before it all unravels.
Don't be silent.
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