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studiot

Megadrought

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A new study of water conditions in Western US from 800 to 2018 identifies 40 major droughts of which 4 qualify for the title megadrought.

The most severe was 1575 to 1703, showing these last a significant length of time in human terms, importatant as we have been in one since 2000.

The droughts are attributed to normal climatic cycles, but a connection to climate change is also discussed.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52312260

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The pictures look scary. Scientists said that the megadrought has to be related to the La Nina weather phenomenon. Now because of the megadrought, lakes have been shrunk drastically and fire can start easily. I hope there are something that we can do about this.

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4 hours ago, qidran said:

I hope there are something that we can do about this.

We can prepare for the worst, or stop doing shit to the planet, and hope for the best.

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Obviously, the best solution is to take care of the climate properly-- but things can be done.  For example, here in northern Nevada we had a major reservoir go dry (<5% capacity) a couple of years ago.  As a solution a wintertime cloud seeding project was started focused on the mountain systems that feed the local rivers.   By cloud seeding at strategic times, the project built the snow pack to 150% of the historic norm, and the spring runoff has refilled the reservoir without any deleterious flooding.

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8 hours ago, OldChemE said:

Obviously, the best solution is to take care of the climate properly-- but things can be done.  For example, here in northern Nevada we had a major reservoir go dry (<5% capacity) a couple of years ago.  As a solution a wintertime cloud seeding project was started focused on the mountain systems that feed the local rivers.   By cloud seeding at strategic times, the project built the snow pack to 150% of the historic norm, and the spring runoff has refilled the reservoir without any deleterious flooding.

Thank you for that reply and information. +1

I see that if any, the prevailing winds are from the North in the vicinity of 40o N and there is a slight winter maximum to average rainfall.

Since water dropped on your mountains cannot be carried and dropped elsewhere, can you say if there has been any rain shadow effect say to the South or in Utah ?

rain1.thumb.jpg.df1bb920a830d5cd74e5b62a32811d14.jpgwind1.thumb.jpg.8a35e3d34ba80544eb9233d41928cf65.jpg

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Sorry I have been late replying-- I have been away for awhile.  That is a very good question for which I do not know the answer.  I'll try a little research.

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On 6/3/2020 at 7:44 PM, OldChemE said:

the best solution is to take care of the climate properly

We can take care of the environment by not polluting it, but how can we control the climate? If we knew how to do that we could settle on Mars.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, drumbo said:

We can take care of the environment by not polluting it, but how can we control the climate? If we knew how to do that we could settle on Mars.

Good point.  Actually, we are thinking along the same lines.  By 'take care of the climate' I meant controlling CO2 emissions and such-- what you are calling environment (rightly so), because the environment and climate are simply two aspects of the same system.

Studiot - to your question, I have not been able to find any research or data on the effect on areas to the south and east of northern Nevada.  I think we can rightly speculate that dropping more water in Northern Nevada should create a water shadow.  This could have bad effects.  However, with the overall warming we are seeing increased evaporation from the Pacific Ocean.  Interestingly enough, we have been seeing what appears to be more frequent cloud cover in our area, both in the winter and spring.  Historically, our area of Northern Nevada has been in the rain shadow of the Sierra Mountains.  With the increasing north-south amplitude of the jet stream we seem to be getting more moisture passing north of the Sierras, increasing our cloud cover.  Thus, it might be that we can continue to take more of that moisture through seeding operations without causing a net deficit to the south.  This is, of course, very speculative. Only time will tell.

These thoughts are, of course, somewhat contrary to the BBC article.  I'm wondering if this is a time lag issue (time from research to publication).  Our part of Northern Nevada was in a major drought period up until two years ago.  This winter, even the seeding operations I mentioned have not been done as the reservoirs continue to remain in good shape.

PS:  for those who will ask for evidence I will have to admit this is all so new in our area that I have not seen any proper studies.  Its still all presumptive based on personal observations.

Edited by OldChemE

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Thanks for looking.

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