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Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:27 PM

'Megadrought' threatens U.S. Southwest, Plains in decades to come, says study

The U.S. Southwest and Central Plains regions are likely to be scorched by a decades-long "megadrought" in the second half of this century if climate change continues unabated, scientists from NASA and Cornell and Columbia universities have warned.

In a study published by the journal Science Advances this week, the researchers forecast that future drought risk in the area is likely to exceed even the driest conditions experienced during extensive Medieval-era periods that have been dubbed "megadroughts."

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There is an 80 per cent chance of an extended drought between 2050 and 2099 unless aggressive steps are taken to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the article predicted.

"Ultimately, the consistency of our results suggests an exceptionally high risk of a multidecadal megadrought ... (and) a level of aridity exceeding even the persistent megadroughts that characterized the Medieval era," the scientists wrote.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/megadrought-threatens-u-s-southwest-plains-in-decades-to-come-says-study-1.2957793

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Reply 'Megadrought' threatens U.S. Southwest, Plains in decades to come, says study (Original post)
MindMover Feb 2015 OP
GreatGazoo Feb 2015 #1
OKIsItJustMe Feb 2015 #2
DreamGypsy Feb 2015 #3
nationalize the fed Feb 2015 #4
NickB79 Feb 2015 #5
Bigmack Feb 2015 #6
NickB79 Feb 2015 #7

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 09:33 PM

1. this is driving up the price of farmland in other areas of the country

farming will always migrate to the lowest cost -- so areas that have available water will pick up production from those that don't. De-sal is too pricey so the mega-farms will migrate to the areas that are never mentioned in these gloom and doom articles.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 11:56 PM

3. Back to the future: It Blowed Away...

... a classic from Pete Seeger, and a warning to those looking for bargain properties in the drought areas.




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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 12:34 AM

4. It's almost as if people in Canada and the US have no idea of what others are doing around the world

Desalination: Existing facilities and facilities under construction

Estimates vary widely between 15,000-20,000 desalination plants producing more than 20,000 m3/day of clean pure drinkable water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination#Existing_facilities_and_facilities_under_construction

There doesn't need to be a drought. But since the US is spending >$10 MILLION DOLLARS PER HOUR ON WARS AND "HOMELAND SECURITY" there is no money for anything else.

Very very sad.



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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 02:18 AM

5. Kinda hard to build a desal. plant in Oklahoma

Or North Texas.

Or New Mexico.

Or Kansas.

Or Arizona.

Or Nevada.

Desalination plants are for municipal water needs. Anyone who thinks we could build enough desal. capacity to irrigate farmland enough to offset a megadrought has no clue how much water a normal farm requires.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 04:21 PM

6. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES nt

 

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 04:37 PM

7. This article gives water requirements for popular foods

It's pretty stunning, actually: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/food-water-footprint_n_5952862.html

If we TRULY wanted to prepare for a coming megadrought, the PROPER course of action isn't to try to keep farming the Southwest and South-central Plains. It would be to return those lands to native grasses that have adaptations to dealing with such droughts, and MAYBE use the land for light grazing.

Industrial agriculture on the Great Plains has been one huge mistake since we took plows to the prairie a century ago.

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