July 15 News: Ongoing Drought In New Mexico Turns Rio Grande Into ‘Rio Sand’

Severe drought in New Mexico has led to the shortest irrigation period in the lower Rio Grande Valley’s history, and has inspired one local paper to coin a new name for the river: The “Rio Sand.” [Discover Magazine]

Continuing profound drought has left New Mexico so severely parched that the irrigation season along the lower Rio Grande Valley has ended just a month and a half after it started, making it the shortest on record.

Elephant Butte Reservoir, now down to 3 percent of capacity, is supposed to provide irrigation water to south-central New Mexico and west Texas. But it won’t be doing that at least for the rest of this summer.

If relief doesn’t come in the form of monsoon rains…and winter snows in the upper part of the basin, farmers in southern New Mexico and Texas will have no water to grow their crops next summer. The waterbank is simply depleted.

The drought in New Mexico is also threatening the livelihood of some ranchers. [The Taos News]

July 16th is the likely date for Gina McCarthy’s confirmation vote in the Senate. [Bloomberg BNA]

New research suggests that for each degree celsius (1.8 degree fahrenheit) of global warming, sea levels could rise 2.3 meters (7.5 feet). [Reuters]

A federal appeals court decision on Friday could mean EPA will move soon to issue a decision on carbon rules on biomass power plants — how much of the energy produced by burning trees and agricultural waste is truly renewable? [Wall Street Journal (subs. req’d)]

Japan is facing an extremely hot summer, with 2,600 people being hospitalized for heat stroke in the first seven days of July. [Deutsche Welle]

Last week’s vote over solar requirements in Georgia split Tea Partiers in the state, with some calling for more solar as an expansion of consumer choice and others — mostly those associated with Americans for Prosperity — rejecting the idea. [Grist]

The cost of solar has plummeted due to technological advancements. [SolarLove]

New York City has a plan to prepare itself for extreme weather and sea level rise, but it remains to be seen whether or not Hurricane Sandy will be enough of an impetus to force the city to follow through on that plan. [Washington Post]

Experts still don’t know the full extent of heavy metal contamination caused by Exxon’s Arkansas pipeline spill in March. [InsideClimate News]

Many of the British government leaders pushing increased use of fracking for shale oil and gas in the country used to work in the oil and gas industry. [Independent]

U.S. sales of hybrid and electric cars continue to rise as their prices come down. [Gas2]

Sand dunes, sea grasses and coral reefs play a critical role in protecting U.S. shorelines from sea level rise and extreme weather and must be protected, according to a new study. [USA Today]

Oil and gas companies have violated Colorado’s air quality rules 73 times in just the first three months of this year. [Energy Collective]

Here are five reasons why Australia’s new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shouldn’t abandon the country’s price on carbon in place of a cap-and-trade system. [Renew Economy]

Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at a rate of 300 billion metric tons per year, according to one climate satellite. [The Independent]

Air pollution led to the deaths of 1,600 in Hong Kong in the first half of 2013, according to a Clean Air Network study. [Wall Street Journal]

New Yorkers have burned an estimated 50 million calories during the first month of the city’s new bike share program, according to a new report. [PSFK]

27 Responses to July 15 News: Ongoing Drought In New Mexico Turns Rio Grande Into ‘Rio Sand’

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Cornell University and Verdant Power Inc., have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of entering into a long-term relationship centered on research and development of Marine & Hydrokinetic (MHK) technology at the world’s first commercially licensed tidal energy plant in the East River in NYC.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    India floods: More than 5,700 people ‘presumed dead’

  3. prokaryotes says:

    A tough year for natural disasters in Canada
    This summer’s huge fires in Quebec have been caused by what is being called the driest summer in 40 years in the James Bay region. However, other portions of Canada have received record rains that have triggered two of the most damaging floods in Canadian history. The first of these floods hit Calgary, Alberta in mid-June, causing $3.8 billion in damage–the most expensive flood ever to hit Canada, and the second most expensive natural disaster of any kind. And on July 8, Toronto was hit with its heaviest 1-day rainfall on record, with a preliminary damage estimate by an official from the Insurance Bureau of Canada of $600 million, which would make it the 4th costliest flood in Canadian history. Here are the top five most damaging floods in Canada, with the non-bold faced entries taken from EM-DAT (unadjusted for inflation):

    1) $3.8 billion, June 2013, Calgary, Alberta
    2) $0.8 billion, May 2011, St. Andrew, Manitoba
    3) $0.7 billion, July 1996, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, Quebec
    4) $0.6 billion, July 2013, Toronto, Ontario
    5) $0.4 billion, June 2005, Alberta

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Canada’s 2nd Largest Fire on Record Spreading Smoke to Europe

  5. prokaryotes says:

    UK weather: Heatwave could last two months, beating records set by sizzling summer of 1976

    Met Office extends level two health alert, warning dangerously high temperatures could last until August

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Arctic Sea Ice Downfall (about the continued lame attempts to discredit the Science by Steven Goddard)

  7. lizardo says:

    Links to non-sub and non-WSJ (ugh) versions re Court strikes down EPA’s biomass pollution loophole:

    “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit panel found EPA failed to justify its 2011 decision that provided a three-year exemption to its greenhouse gas rules for facilities that burn materials ranging from wood and algae to scrap tires.”

    However: “Dave Tenny, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners, said in an email to Greenwire that the court’s decision should add urgency to EPA’s effort to amend its tailoring rule to reflect “the full carbon benefits of biomass energy.” Such an amendment might permanently exempt the industry from EPA’s CO2 regulations….”

  8. Jacob says:

    Let’s not jump to any conclusions, it’s probably just another liberal/socialist conspiracy.

  9. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Bioenergy plus CCS could reverse global warming.


  10. catman306 says:

    Perhaps the concept of ‘Jet Stream’ needs to be revised now that it has slowed down, meanders where it will, and forms eddies.

    ‘Jet Stream’ is so 20th Century. Any suggestions for what we now have?

  11. catman306 says:

    It reminds me of a fire hose breaking loose:

    Fire Hose Gets Away

  12. Paul Magnus says:

    Cuba climate change and sea level rise

    After Cuban scientists studied the effects of climate change on this island’s 3,500 miles (5,630 kilometers) of coastline, their discoveries were so alarming that officials didn’t share the results with the public to avoid causing panic.

  13. Lore says:

    I wonder what the water bills are like in Santa Fe these days?

  14. BobbyL says:

    Still waiting for answers. “After nine years of close observation, researchers still cannot be sure whether the planet is losing its ice caps at an accelerating rate.”

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s the Rainbow Serpent, and she is pissed off.

  16. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Judging by their success in evacuation when hurricanes approach (no waiting for ‘Invisible Hands’ to do the needful)and surviving the loss of Soviet assistance by moving to mass food gardening, I suspect that the Cubans will simply move their people out of harms way. In the wondrous paradise of the ‘Free World’, however, I suspect that it will be, as usual, ‘Every man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost’.

  17. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Those darned ‘alarmist’ scientists are at it again! Just give us another few decades and we’ll come to a decision. Someone’s been leaned on, of course, just like the IPCC Reports. The ‘precautionary principle’, distorted as it has been by Rightwing Newspeak into the opposite of its original meaning, apparently doesn’t count, not in its original and true meaning.

  18. Merrelyn Emery says:

    An emissions trading scheme is a ‘so-called market to non-deliver an invisible substance to no-one’ (Tony Abbott, our aspiring leader of the Opposition, 15.7.2013). ME

  19. What water bills? In order to issue a water bill, you need to have water to sell.

  20. BobbyL says:

    It is not unusual in science to have wait many years to collect enough data.

  21. Susan Bell says:

    Climate change makes the water cycle more extreme. Higher evaporation rates can make heavy rainstorms heavier, and droughts deeper and longer.

  22. Spec says:

    Tell conservatives that Mexicans can now easily enter the country by running across the dried up Rio Grande and maybe they’ll decide to do something about climate change. ;-)

  23. gomezjunco says:

    Climate change makes the water cycle more extreme. Higher evaporation rates can make heavy rainstorms heavier, and droughts deeper and longer.