The temperature continues to rise across the Western US and Canada smashing previous records in places where snow is not unexpected in June. The Mercury later today will break more records with temperatures hitting 47.1 deg C, (117 deg F) along the US Canadian border.
Temperatures previously unknown to Canada and parts of the US-North West are making life extremely unpleasant for millions of people as an intense, prolonged, record-breaking, huge high-pressure zone that has settled over California up to Canada's Arctic territories and stretching inland through Idaho.Earthwindmap showing the massive high-pressure system stuck over the US and Canadian West.
However, the record-busting heatwave is just the tip of the iceberg.
After one of the coldest May's on record on both sides of the Atlantic, the heatwaves and wildfires came back early to the US. Massive wildfires returned, also alarmingly early this summer in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah and Montana. The last three summers have seen record-breaking wildfire seasons in the US with each season beginning earlier and ending later.
The fires in the South West were not been helped by an intense and record-breaking early heatwave that continued to roast the American West. According to AccuWeather, the high temperature in Death Valley, California, on Wednesday, 16th of June, was 126 degrees,(52.deg C) with an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 129. Death Valley is the record-holder for the highest air temperature ever recorded on Earth, a sizzling 134 degrees Fahrenheit, (57 deg C) in 1913. A high temperature of 126 degrees would be within 10 degrees of that world record.
But Death Valley was hardly the only location experiencing searing heat, and many others have stamped new marks in the weather history books. Forecasters say this current heatwave won't just be remembered for its intensity, but also for its duration.
All this heat of course is dehydrating the already drought infected, tinder-dry vegetation which is a ticking time-bomb for the unavoidable wildfires which will arrive sooner than later in the coming weeks.
California’s drinking water crisis
As well as increased heatwaves and having to deal with 100-plus deg F temperatures more often, record-breaking wildfires starting earlier and ending later in the season the South West is having to deal with an unprecedented water crisis. With California's rivers running low after two consecutive dry winters, state officials and local water agencies have pumped out a steady stream of drought declarations and calls for water conservation in recent weeks. It's clear the Golden State is in a drought and it could escalate to a crisis, but, you may be wondering, just how bad is it?
A series of bar graphs from the California Department of Water Resources compare the accumulated natural flow at state reservoir locations this water year with that of the same timeframe in the 2014 and 2015 water years.
California Data Exchange Center/Department of Water Resources.
Last week a friend sent me some important information regarding the seriousness of the South West drought.
These two articles describe the seriousness of the Southwest drought.
Quick summary......Colorado River supplies water to "Upper basin" and "Lower Basin". More water is taken out vs what is provided from snow melt up further on the Cascade mountains. There has been a diminished snow pack for the last 16-20 years. There are many legal issues regarding states water rights from the Colorado River.The water levels of Lake Mead, part of the Colorado River, located at the Hoover Dam has dropped to 1070 feet above sea level. It is purposed that there is a 20 feet loss of water per year, with 6' loss of water due to evaporation. At 1050 the lake is considered to be " inactive pool" meaning there is not enough water volume to produce energy or enough water resulting in water cuts. At 895 it is considered a "dead pool". Las Vegas has spent millions to have a " third straw" basically sucking up the sludge from the very bottom of Lake Mead. You can check out satellite images of before and after Colorado River. It went from a deep blue river to brown mud. Also there are graphs where the river is in a "v" shape. The lower the river/lake is, the quicker it will lose water or the ability to produce hydroelectricity. Six states and Mexico will be in big trouble soon for 40 million people, including Los Angeles, San Diego and other major cities, with water cuts, water shortages and decreased hydroelectricity. Hoover dam has already lost 25*/* production.I figure maybe 1 year to 1 1/2 years and then that's it.I hope to move out of Joshua Tree, California before than. Today 108*F. The heat waves surely do not help the river and water situation.Take care and be safe,Juliet
The punishing drought in the U.S. West is drying up waterways, sparking wildfires and leaving farmers scrambling for water a rattlesnake infection and now a plague of voracious grasshoppers. Federal agriculture officials are launching what could become their largest grasshopper-killing campaign since the 1980s amid an outbreak of the drought-loving insects that cattle ranchers fear will strip bare public and private rangelands.
In central Montana’s Phillips County, more than 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the nearest town, Frank Wiederrick said large numbers of grasshoppers started showing up on prairie surrounding his ranch in recent days. Already they’re beginning to denude trees around his house. “They’re everywhere,” Wiederrick said. “Drought and grasshoppers go together and they are cleaning us out.” Grasshoppers thrive in warm, dry weather, and populations already were up last year, setting the stage for an even bigger outbreak in 2021.
Such outbreaks will become more common as climate change shifts rainfall patterns, scientists said. To blunt the grasshoppers’ economic damage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week began aerial spraying of the pesticide diflubenzuron to kill grasshopper nymphs before they develop into adults. Approximately 3,000 square miles (7,700 square kilometres) in Montana are expected to be sprayed, roughly twice the size of Rhode Island.
Agriculture officials had seen this year’s infestation coming after a 2020 survey found dense concentrations of adult grasshoppers across about 55,000 square miles (141,000 square kilometres) in the West. A 2021 grasshopper “hazard map below” shows densities of at least 15 insects per square yard (meter) in large areas of Montana, Wyoming and Oregon and portions of Idaho, Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.Click on the image to enlarge; Credit USDA
Left unaddressed, federal officials said the agricultural damage from grasshoppers could become so severe it could drive up beef and crop prices. The program’s scale has alarmed environmentalists who say widespread spraying will kill numerous insects, including spiders and other grasshopper predators as well as struggling species such as monarch butterflies.
They’re also concerned the pesticides could ruin organic farms adjacent to spray zones. “We’re talking about natural areas being sprayed, this is not cropland,” said Sharon Selvaggio, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist now with the Xerces Society, a conservation group focused on insects. Government officials say they will spray pesticides in low concentrations and reduce the area treated by alternately spraying a strip of rangeland, then skipping the next strip.
“The toxicity is more than enough to kill bees,” she said. “This is not adequate protection.” Organic farmers are divided on spraying. Some are concerned about losing their organic certification for years if they inadvertently get pesticides on their crops, while others are willing to tolerate spraying out of deference to their neighbours’ problems, said Jamie Ryan Lockman, director of Organic Montana.
Farmers can collect insurance on damaged crops, whereas ranchers have no recourse when the grasshoppers remove vegetation from public lands. “They are competing against our food supplies,” said Manoukian. A typical infestation can remove 20% of forage from the range and have a $900 million impact, according to a 2012 University of Wyoming study cited by federal officials. At his ranch, not far from the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Frank Wiederrick is preparing to sell up to 70% of his cows this summer because he fears they won’t have enough feed.
The federal government’s grasshopper program dates to the 1930s when infestations covered millions of acres (hectares) in 17 western states. After locally-led efforts failed, Congress put the agriculture department in charge of controlling the insects on federal rangeland. The last outbreak on a scale comparable to this year lasted from 1986 to 1988. Almost 20 million acres (8 million hectares) were treated with 1.3 million gallons (5 million litres) of malathion, according to researchers.
This inadequacy has suddenly become increasingly evident around the world recently, long after Britain's record-breaking winter of 1962-63 many countries, some rich and some not are being hit by extreme weather events, rendering their countries, or parts of their countries, unlivable and it's getting worse very quickly.
We didn’t know it at the time of course but the winter of 1962-63 gave the Brits and the rest of the world just a tiny glimpse into future extreme weather events around the world. How could we have known then? In just 60 years time our whole world would be in danger of a sixth extinction event?
Not only are we now facing the prospect of losing crops, plants, animals and marine life, the very food we need to survive, but also, insects, bees and butterflies, the small but equally important species which pollinate flowers, fruit and crops. Our home, the actual planet itself is in danger of dying. Human greed and neglect have brought the entire planet to its knees in just a short time, the actual collapse started around 60 years ago, in fact, just five years before Britain's record-breaking winter. We didn’t know it then ("NASA" did have an idea back then), "climate change" had arrived, “baby steps at first,” but, natural disasters, volcanic activity, major earthquakes, floods, droughts, extreme weather events along with other extreme anomalies suddenly started increasing, while soil, plants, animals and microorganisms suddenly began decreasing. Very gradually, and very quietly our ecosystem here on Earth began to crumble and now just 60 years later we as a people have an inevitable breakdown of the very life support system which is keeping nearly 8 billion people alive.
It is much worse than we are led to believe!
In March 2021, the American government-run National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) released their monthly national report on the American weather which had just recorded its coldest February in more than 30 years and the record-breaking freeze which caused many parts of the country, especially Texas of all places, to become, "unlivable!" February 2021 was a brutally cold month for Texans: It brought the coldest air since December 1989 to much of the state. Several locations across central Texas — including Austin and Waco — broke records for the longest streak of below-freezing temperatures. Every county in Texas was under a “Winter Storm Warning” in mid-February and experienced wind chill values below zero as far south as the Rio Grande River and northeastern Mexico. The Texan infrastructure just like Britain’s 63 years earlier was brought to its knees. At one point eight million Texans were boiling their water to make it safe to drink, others were reduced to drinking a “yellow, foul-tasting sludge” from their taps, while platoons of plumbers and engineers struggled to repair the damage done to countless homes and businesses by the cruel winter storm. Nearly as many were without electricity for almost a week. Many Texans faced food shortages as grocery stores tried to stay stocked, huge crowds descended on food pantries already under stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic which continued to threaten a state where, according to NBC News data, almost 50,000 people had died of Covid-19 and 2.6 million people had been infected. At the height of the storm 1,445, public water systems reported service disruptions due to the cold, affecting 14.4 million Texans across 190 counties. Also, while power had been restored in much of Texas after the state's power grid buckled in the face of the historically low temperatures, many people were also hit with massive electricity bills because scarce power means higher prices in the state's market-based system. Millions of Texans were already suffering from a pretty deep recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ironically the US had just recovered from “unlivable” weather events in September and October 2020: Historic, record-breaking wildfires had burned across the entire Western coast and unprecedented tropical activity churned up the Atlantic causing a record-bustin’ hurricane season, along with large swathes of the country struggling with record heat waves. What’s more, the first nine months of 2020 brought a record-tying 16 billion-dollar worth of weather disasters to the nation, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Seven of those events — western wildfires, a Western/Central U.S. drought and heatwave, Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Laura, the Midwest derecho and Hurricane Isaias and the February cold-snap — all occurred in just a seven month period after June 2020.
What happened to the UK in 1962/63 was a precursor as to what we are beginning to see in certain areas of the world. Vast areas are now becoming impossible to live in due to climate change and extreme weather events. Many of the areas have for years been heavily populated but are now, at least for certain parts of the year,
At the beginning of 2020, the entire eastern coastline of Australia, a vast area covering millions of square miles, was engulfed by flames, 3 billion animals were killed or injured, almost 25% of temperate forestry was lost as was 60% of the Australian summer crop production. Many people died, thousands of houses and businesses were lost as drought, unprecedented heat and tinder-dry conditions sparked the biggest wildfire season by a country mile for the Aussie people. A normal severe wildfire season in Australia would normally destroy 2% of temperate forestry, this one burned 25%! We are not prepared for what is coming. Let me repeat that: “We are not prepared for what is coming.”
“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
An expected mass displacement has begun and will increase dramatically as this decade unfolds. A new report on the 16 of March 2021 claimed more than 12 million people have been internally displaced around the world in the last six months, mainly due to climate and weather-related disasters. In just 6 months, 12.6 million people, more than two million a month and more than the entire population of Belgium have been displaced around the world, beginning a trend that will dominate the ‘20s. In just “23 days” during January 2021 Indonesia suffered an incredible "185 disasters" including two major earthquakes, “seven volcano eruptions” along with a further 3 showing activity, as well as deadly tornadoes, landslides and floods killing and injuring thousands and displacing many more. Indonesia’s neighbour the Philippines was battered by Typhoon Goni, the world’s most ferocious storm last year. Three storms battered the Philippines in as many weeks, leaving over 3 million people destitute. These figures released by the Red Cross show just how desperate life is becoming for many people around the world thanks to increasing extreme weather events and other natural disasters. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg as to what awaits our unsuspecting world in the decade to come. In many ways Covid-19 is complicating matters concerning humanitarian support, however, the virus itself will become another reason for mass displacement as millions of people become jobless and homeless. Many sceptics reading this post will claim these disasters have always happened around the world! And so they have but... never on this scale before and they are increasing in size and regularity.
Indeed, our world is in a state of collapse, an implosion on a scale unimaginable just a few years ago, the carnage which is about to be unleashed has been sneakily growing under our noses and is now inevitable. It is now well known among experts and many once doubting sceptics that without a doubt if we continue on our current path (which we will) we will lose our home and everything in it. It is now an undeniable fact, mankind’s environment is collapsing just as fast as its society. Planet Earth’s resources are dwindling at an alarming rate. Animals, plants, fossil fuels, minerals, water, air and soil are all diminishing at an unsustainable speed while the world’s population is increasing. We will shortly have a situation where nearly 8 billion people will be trapped on a dying planet with no food to feed them.
Untold millions of people are being displaced along with billions of animals as their environment is gobbled up by rich planners and callous businessmen. More animals and an ever-increasing number of humans too are lost every year due to wildfires, drought, heat, cold, floods, disease, neglect, over-farming and natural disasters. Many billions of birds are dying around the world. Billions of fish are being brutally overfarmed and are not being replenished which is causing a knock-on effect in our oceans causing other fish and mammals and migrating seabirds to die of starvation. Crops are failing around the world along with soil erosion due to climate change. Millions of farms are going bust due to Covid-19, pest and disease invasions and extreme weather events. We are beginning to see huge populated areas of the world which are becoming impossible to live in, areas that for years have been heavily populated and teeming with life and vegetation. But now, for certain parts of the year at the very least, have become "unlivable," due mainly to extreme climate events such as wildfires, droughts, flooding and hurricanes.
The population of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, bees and butterflies have seen an incredible decline of almost 70% since 1970. Just stop here and wonder! Can you imagine if 70% of humans had died since 1970? Well, I’m sorry but, it is about to happen to us in the “VERY NEAR” future and I think we are too late, we can’t stop it and it will happen very quickly too, we are seeing it now, our cities are becoming unlivable at least for parts of the year due to extreme weather events and our fragile infrastructure, which cannot cope just when we need it. Have we left it too late to stop the decline? Hard to get your head around it, isn't it?
We have reached a point now where mankind can destroy our planet many times over. The technology explosion has been insane, the first people to fly a plane were the Wright brothers in 1903, just 66 years later we had landed on the moon and just 100 years after that historic flight a spacecraft had visited every planet in our Solar System. A guy called Buckminster Fuller created something called the Knowledge Doubling Curve. He noticed that until 1900 human knowledge had doubled approximately every century but by the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. We are now doubling our knowledge in less than a year but, according to IBM, the tech company, we will soon be doubling our knowledge every 12 hours. And of course, the military is light years ahead of the rest of us.
According to the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, the 2020s are set to be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval, reversing many of the trends of the past 40 years and this report came out before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. Add to this another billion mouths to feed, this decade will carry on producing extreme weather events, whether it be, record heat, cold, rain or droughts and it doesn't need an expert to know we are in for a rough ride, a very rough ride. Merrill Lynch says the era of globalisation from 1981-2016 has ended and is reversing. The bank's analysts expect inflation and interest rates to increase from their current 5,000-year lows. The bank is expecting wealth inequality to fall next decade as voters demand redistribution and taxes rise in what it describes as "the decade of peak". In the 2020s we will have another billion mouths to feed. Add into the mix the Covid-19 disaster and then you suddenly realise we have a huge problem.
2019 was already a disaster for much of the world's farming industry but it will be paled into significance as we approach the halfway mark of a Covid-19 infected 2021. A new report from Bloomberg claims thousands of pigs are rotting on compost heaps as grocers run out of meat. Covid-19 outbreaks at slaughterhouses have led to the largest pig culling effort the U.S. has ever seen. Hundreds of thousands of animals are already backed up, and CoBank estimates 7 million animals may have to be destroyed this quarter alone. That’s about a billion pounds of meat lost to consumers. Some farms in Minnesota are even using chippers -- reminiscent of the 1996 movie “Fargo” -- to grind up carcasses to be spread out for compost. Rendering plants are seeing higher volumes of hogs turned into everything from gelatin to sausage casings. Behind that enormous waste are thousands of farmers, some of whom are holding on in the hope that slaughterhouses get back up and running before animals get too heavy. Others are cutting their losses and culling herds. Pig “depopulation,” to coin an industry euphemism, highlights the disconnect that’s occurring as the pandemic sickens workers trying to churn out food supplies in mega-plants across the U.S.
Back in 2019, a crisis emerged across three continents as extreme weather conditions and disease began to bite the farming industry leaving world banks warning the 2020s would be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval as another billion mouths will need to be fed. This statement, of course, was made well before the coronavirus had jumped from animal to human.
In 2019, Europe was losing 1000 small farms a day, due to a crop decline, leading to price rises. Officials were using the word 'disaster' to describe the widespread crop failures happening all over America and in Asia, pork prices had doubled after more than a quarter of the entire global pig population had been slaughtered due to an outbreak, (also in China) of African swine fever.
Another big factor, destroying crops in 2019 was the weather. In many parts of Europe, Ireland and the UK it began to rain at the end of September 2019 and didn't stop until the end of January 2020. It was even worse for the U.S., which witnessed “unprecedented” crop failures all across the country. The endless rain and horrific flooding during the early months of 2019 resulted in tremendous delays in getting crops planted in many areas, and then snow and bitterly cold temperatures turned the harvest season into a complete and utter nightmare all over the country, resulting in their worst agricultural year in history.