How Bad is the Texas Drought? “In Austin, They are Praying for a Hurricane”

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"How Bad is the Texas Drought? “In Austin, They are Praying for a Hurricane”"

This is “the worst Texas drought since record-keeping began 116 years ago.”  Drought and wildfires have led the US Department of Agriculture “to declare the entire state of Texas a natural disaster.”  Over 70% of the state was in “exceptional” drought last week, with another 20% in “extreme” drought, and “213 counties in Texas have lost at least 30 percent of their crops or pasture.”

You know a drought is devastating when people are so desperate for relief they start rooting for a catastrophic deluge.  But that’s what NPR reported today:

The word drought doesn’t really capture what’s happening in Texas. The last nine months have been the driest in state history. Instead of rain, spring brought nearly half a million acres of wildfires. And in central Texas, around Austin one of the area’s largest lakes is drying up.

That’s why I prefer Dust-Bowlification. And if drought doesn’t capture what’s happening now, it certainly won’t capture what we face if we don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions sharply (see U.S. southwest could see a 60-year drought this century).  Back to NPR:

Haskell Simon has been farming rice in Matagorda county near the Gulf of Mexico since the 1940s. He says that over the last 15 years the rice planting season has been getting earlier and earlier, because the South Texas climate is getting hotter and hotter….

In Austin, they’re praying for a hurricane, a nice slow moving category one or two, or a tropical storm, that makes its way up to Austin and then stalls out over the Texas hill country.

And the Southwest isn’t the only part of the country that is facing the alternating twin threats of Dust Bowl and deluge, Hell and High Water. (see “Study: Global warming is driving increased frequency of extreme wet or dry summer weather in southeast, so droughts and deluges are likely to get worse“)

NPR quotes farmer Simon about the change, “Typically LCRA [Lower Colorado River Authority] would turn on the irrigation water pumps by April 15th. And now the pumps can be started as early as March the 1st. So something is happening, obviously, there.”

Something is happening.  Obviously.  Too bad NPR — the supposedly liberal (aka science-based) media — can’t be bothered to stick in even one sentence explaining exactly why the South Texas climate is getting hotter and hotter.  Or how we can be quite certain it’s going to get much, much worse.

What’s surprising about that crucial omission is NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center just released its final State of the Climate in 2010 report, and their climate experts were pretty blunt.  As AFP in its piece, “Experts warn epic weather ravaging US could worsen“:

Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather.The human and economic toll over just the past few months has been staggering: hundreds of people have died, and thousands of homes and millions of acres have been lost at a cost estimated at more than $20 billion.

The piece quoted, Deke Arndt, NOAA’s chief of climate monitoring:

Arndt said this spring’s extreme weather is in line with what is forecast for the future.”In general, but not everywhere, it is expected that the wetter places will get wetter and the drier places will tend to see more prolonged dry periods,” he told AFP.

“We are seeing an increase in the amount (of rain and snow) that comes at once, and the ramifications are that it’s a lot more water to deal with at a time, so you see things like flooding.”

More than 6.8 million acres in the central United States have been swamped after record spring rainfall overwhelmed rivers already swollen from the melting of a heavy winter snow pack….

Meanwhile, the southern United States is dealing with one of the most extreme droughts since the dust bowl of the 1930s, and the dry conditions have led to massive and uncontrollable wildfires.

More than 4.7 million acres have been burned in some 32,000 separate fires so far this year, which is more than twice the annual average over the past decade, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Other climate experts have been equally blunt about what is to come:

… the intensity of future droughts, heat waves, storms and floods is expected to rise drastically if greenhouse gas emissions don’t stabilize soon, said Michael Mann, a scientist at Penn State University.

Note:  AFP means “if greenhouse gas concentrations don’t stabilize soon.”  Stabilizing emissions wouldn’t stop weather from getting more and more extreme throughout the century:

Even a couple degree warming can make a 100-year event a three-year event,” Mann, the head of the university’s earth systems science center, told AFP.

“It has to do with the tail of the bell curve. When you move the bell curve, that area changes dramatically.”

For more on that, see “NOAA: Monster crop-destroying Russian heat wave to be once-in-a-decade event by 2060s (or sooner).”

Scientific American has a three part series on this subject which is worth reading.  From Part 1, “Storm Warnings: Extreme Weather Is a Product of Climate Change“:

“Our figures indicate a trend towards an increase in extreme weather events that can only be fully explained by climate change,” says Peter Höppe, head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research/Corporate Climate Center: “It’s as if the weather machine had changed up a gear.”

The second line of evidence comes from a nascent branch of science called climate attribution. The idea is to examine individual events like a detective investigating a crime, searching for telltale fingerprints of climate change. Those fingerprints are showing up—in the autumn floods of 2000 in England and Wales that were the worst on record, in the 2003 European heat wave that caused 14,000 deaths in France, in Hurricane Katrina—and, yes, probably even in Nashville. This doesn’t mean that the storms or hot spells wouldn’t have happened at all without climate change, but as scientists like Trenberth say, they wouldn’t have been as severe if humankind hadn’t already altered the planet’s climate.

From Part 2, “Global Warming and the Science of Extreme Weather: How rising temperatures change weather and produce fiercer, more frequent storms”:

Until recently scientists had only been able to say that more extreme weather is “consistent” with climate change caused by greenhouse gases that humans are emitting into the atmosphere. Now, however, they can begin to say that the odds of having extreme weather have increased because of human-caused atmospheric changes—and that many individual events would not have happened in the same way without global warming. The reason: The signal of climate change is finally emerging from the “noise”—the huge amount of natural variability in weather.

Scientists compare the normal variation in weather with rolls of the dice. Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere loads the dice, increasing odds of such extreme weather events. It’s not just that the weather dice are altered, however. As Steve Sherwood, co-director of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia, puts it, “it is more like painting an extra spot on each face of one of the dice, so that it goes from 2 to 7 instead of 1 to 6. This increases the odds of rolling 11 or 12, but also makes it possible to roll 13.”

Why? Basic physics is at work: The planet has already warmed roughly 1 degree Celsius since preindustrial times, thanks to CO2and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. And for every 1-degree C (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in temperature, the amount of moisture that the atmosphere can contain rises by 7 percent, explains Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the U.K. Met Office’s Hadley Center for Climate Change. “That’s quite dramatic,” he says. In some places, the increase has been much larger. Data gathered by Gene Takle, professor of meteorology at Iowa State University in Ames, show a 13 percent rise in summer moisture over the past 50 years in the state capital, Des Moines.

Droughts, too, will increase:

On a warmer planet, however, the dry air will travel farther north and south from the equator before it descends, climate models predict, making areas like the U.S. Southwest and the Mediterranean even drier. Such an expanded Hadley cell would also divert storms farther north. Are the models right? Richard Seager of Columbia University’s Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory has been looking for a climate change–induced drying trend in the Southwest, “and there seems to be some tentative evidence that it is beginning to happen,” he says. “It gives us confidence in the models.” In fact, other studies show that the Hadley cells have not only expanded, they’ve expanded more than the models predicted.

Such a change in atmospheric circulation could explain both the current 11-year drought in the Southwest and Minnesota’s status as the number one U.S. state for tornadoes last year. On October 26, 2010, the Minneapolis area even experienced record low pressure in what Paul Douglas, founder and CEO of WeatherNation in Minnesota, dubbed a “landicane”—a hurricanelike storm that swept across the country. “I thought the windows of my home would blow in,” Douglas recalls. “I’ve chased tornados and flown into hurricanes but never experienced anything like this before.” Yet it makes sense in the context of climate change, he adds. “Every day, every week, another piece of the puzzle falls into place,” he says. “More extreme weather seems to have become the rule, not just in the U.S. but in Europe and Asia.”

For more, see “Two seminal Nature papers join growing body of evidence that human emissions fuel extreme weather, flooding that harm humans and the environment.”

 

Below are the earlier comments from the Facebook commenting system:

Prokaryotes

Stop using Facebook: Unfriend Coal.
http://www.youtube.com/wat​ch?v=QPty-ZLbJt0&feature=s​hare

June 29 at 5:35pm

Peter S. Mizla

Could this entire region become a dust bowl as early as 2021? The way the climate is now beginning to react to C02 levels this high- and what is in the pipeline its very possible. Is it me- or we accelerating quicker then the climate models had predicted a few years ago?

June 29 at 6:06pm

Joseph Romm

Well, they still will get the periodic tropical storm, I think.

June 29 at 7:07pm

Gisser Martin

… which will make things worse, washing away the dried up soil.

June 30 at 6:42am

Ben Carew

We thought the Murray Darling basin here in Australia was a dust bowl in around 2005. Then a record El Nina came late last year and broke the drought by flooding everything causing billions in damages. I was in this storm. It felt like unnatural rain

June 30 at 8:22am

hapamoku

typos:

“Other climate experts have been equally blunt about what is to co[me:]”.

“Stabilizing emissions wouldn’t stop weather from getting more and more extreme [sez ‘route’ should be ‘throughout’] the century[:]”.

June 29 at 6:27pm

Joseph Romm

thx!

June 29 at 7:06pm

huggins.jeff

ExxonMobil is Headquartered in Texas — including Rex Tillerson and the Gang.

Texans who are bothered by the drought — and what’s to come — probably ought to start paying attention to science and making loud calls on ExxonMobil to change course and get responsible. Of course, the leaders at ExxonMobil, who are all wealthy many times over, will jump ship from Texas (and their children will too) as it gets more and more uncomfortable. So real, responsible Texans who genuinely love the state will be left all alone holding the very hot, dry, and unpredictable “bag” when the effects of climate change increase — and they won’t have anyone to blame except themselves. If I lived within 300 miles of ExxonMobil’s headquarters, I’d be protesting there tomorrow.

Good luck.

Jeff

June 29 at 6:46pm

Dan Luke

A striking data point from Houston:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hg​x/?n=climate_hou_top10_may

Note that all record coldest Mays occurred before 1980; all record warmest Mays.
occurred after 1990.

June 29 at 7:02pm

Paul Magnus

This is the sort of talk we need… not may be, could have might have, cant prove that….etc. Always state the positive action…

“It’s very likely that large-scale changes in climate, such as increased moisture in the atmosphere and warming temperatures, have influenced – and will continue to influence – many different types of extreme events such as heavy rainfall, flooding, heatwaves and droughts.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/​environment/news/article.c​fm?c_id=39&objectid=107353​44

June 29 at 7:09pm

Paul Magnus

Deke Arndt, chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at NCDC, noted the higher-than-average temperatures for every month since early 1985.

June 29 at 8:19pm

Paul Magnus

“Meanwhile, a separate report from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado said the Earth was getting thicker around the middle due to ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.”

June 29 at 8:33pm

Paul Magnus

We are going to have to be extremely luck to come through this considering the new research which shows that our ghg emissions have risen the equivalent of the PETM increase.

But the PETM occurred over a window of 20,000 yrs and our’s are happening over a centurie or two.

When you look at that graphed one can not help being startled, to put it mildly.

There’s an article with this in SA….

The Last Great Global Warming.
Surprising new evidence suggests the pace of Earth’s most abrupt prehistoric warm-up paled in comparison with what we face today. The episode has lessons for our future.
http://www.scientificameri​can.com/article.cfm?id=the​-last-great-global-warming

June 29 at 7:14pm

Paul Magnus The Last Great Global Warming.
Surprising new evidence suggests the pace of Earth’s most abrupt prehistoric warm-up paled in comparison with what we face today. The episode has lessons for our future.
http://www.scientificameri​can.com/article.cfm?id=the​-last-great-global-warming

June 29 at 7:15pm

Paul Magnus

“Even a couple degree warming can make a 100-year event a three-year event,” Mann, the head of the university’s earth systems science center, told AFP.

And 1000 yr events every?

June 29 at 9:00pm

Thomas Jamison

Yes, but according to the deniers, plants grow great when the CO2 is higher, so I’m sure that all the Texas farmers are seeing bumper crops this year! Yea CO2!

June 29 at 9:27pm

Prokaryotes

Coal Execs Kept Two Sets of Records.

The aftermath of the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster at the Massey Energy site in Raleigh County, West Virginia that killed 29 miners took a new twist and turn late yesterday. Federal investigators revealed that Massey kept two sets of records — one for federal safety regulators, and one internal-only book of records that had the real information on the company’s safety and health problems. Between faking safety examinations, obstructing investigations, and labeling the Upper Big Branch tragedy a natural disaster, this piece of news is one more thing on Massey’s long list of insidious and contemptible behavior.

Update: Since this news came out, Ken Ward, Jr. of Coal Tattoo late this afternoon reported that Massey’s inconsistent record keeping was more than likely a result of sloppy record transferring rather than nefarious and purposeful conduct. He goes on to write, “The issue here, then, is this: Were mine examinations at Upper Big Branch inadequate, so that hazards were not identified, recorded and fixed? Or perhaps were hazards ignored, and the records falsified? Falsifying the books is a felony, and the most serious criminal violation currently on the books under federal mine safety law.”

http://sierraclub.typepad.​com/compass/2011/06/massey​-coal-record-books.html

What a coincidence Koch Brothers and the Massey CEO are big friends! Time to put this criminals behind bars!

June 29 at 9:28pm

Richard Brenne

This post is especially interesting because so many sources come into play. As usual Joe here at CP does by far the best job of understanding and synthesizing all of this, including the science, the scientists, the media, the energy, politics and policy side of climate change and all energy issues. His work is absolutely unique and invaluable.

Mira Oberman’s article in the AFP is basically good (especially by most wire or newspaper standards) with at least one glitch (and by the way, is AFP the New Jersey mobster version of the AP, as in “Associated F-ing Press”?) when she dusts off the tired old saw “While it’s not possible to tie a specific weather event or pattern to climate change…” that should come with its own tetanus shot. Climate is the pattern of weather, and every weather event and especially pattern that fits into the trend of global warming needs to be considered as such.

Like many journalists, Oberman is competent but kind of red-lining her understanding of climate change and in statements like the one above it shows. If I were managing editor of anything like AFP I’d require every editor and reporter working on climate change to spend an hour every day here at CP.

June 30 at 1:36am

Richard Brenne

John Carey’s Scientific American stories are maybe the best in the mainstream media about the climate change – extreme weather connection although they’re years behind Joe and CP, but at least not decades or centuries (Svante who?) behind as so much of the lamestream media is. John’s overall understanding is very good and with one exception he got the right quotes from the right sources saying the right things, if a little science-speaky and caveat-laden as usual in places. Any of the most expert scientists asked if there’s a link between global warming and extreme weather would ideally start with a “Hell yes!”

Kevin Trenberth’s almost there, and his accuracy and understanding far outweighed that of NOAA’s Martin Hoerling’s black swan quote in Carey’s second story – what’s a scientist doing saying that they are certain a heat wave had no relation to global warming? The only black swan is that a working atmospheric scientist would say such a thing. Trenberth’s repudiation of Hoerling’s statement showed the strength of character we each need to repudiate nonsensical statements, something Joe Romm has done more than anyone. (For the record, it’s only Hoerling’s one quote I’m disputing – I’m sure he’s done much good and valuable work.)

It was the conflict-seeking journalist, not accuracy-seeking scientist (or science writer, who can have much of the understanding of scientists) in Carey that included this unnecessary controversy. As a journalist I’d have asked myself who seemed the more knowledgeable, consistent-with-all-the-sc​ience source and gone with Trenberth as a primary source and found others I also found credible and left Hoerling’s quote out of the story where it belonged. More and more I’m finding that Trenberth’s scientific analysis, clarity of thought and candor often outweigh all the other quoted scientists put together when discussing the global warming – extreme weather connection. There are plenty of places for good scientific disagreement, but whether global warming is influencing heat waves like the one in Russia isn’t one of them.

Also notice the comments after Carey’s Scientific American story and how Soccerdad, geojellyroll, butchrusso, Bonzo666 and pokerplyer (after the first story) and geojellyroll, nicpet and donone101 (after the second) lead the way as if waiting for the comments to open with their sand-in-the-gears-of-under​standing troll comments that they were quite possibly paid to make. If so, I hope they spend their money wisely in hell.

June 30 at 1:40am

Richard Brenne

NPR is as hopeless, hapless and helpless as always when not putting extreme weather events into a climate change context, as if breathlessly reporting every individual case of pneumonia with no mention of the AIDS epidemic causing them.

The other mainstream media outlets have coal, oil, gas, utility, car and other fossil fueled corporations as their primary sponsors, so what’s NPR’s excuse? It would be like Consumer Reports taking no advertising only to never say anything remotely negative about any product or company and so flushing consumers down the toilet like most everyone else does – what would be the point?

If you want my pledge, make one yourself to put stories in their proper context, especially drought, heat waves, flooding and all other extreme weather in the context of climate change.

June 30 at 1:43am

Richard Brenne

I’ve just read the summary of NOAA’s 2010 weather analysis and while I trust their accumulation of data more than anyone’s, in their 8-page summary I found their analysis, conclusions and context lacking in the first several pages (improving toward the end), as if they thought they were NPR.

Expert CP commenter and meteorologist Ed Hummel has been educating me about how the rapid warming of the Arctic relative to the tropics has often meant that instead of vigorous and lateral west to east trajectory, the jet stream can often meander more north to south, creating blocking patterns like the one over Russia that created 63 days of above-average temperatures, including 33 days over 85 degrees, much above their average highs.

NOAA should incorporate what Kevin has said about Russia and Pakistan being linked, including the dipping of the jet stream into the Arabian Sea’s record SSTs and the blocking of the jet stream into a fire hose (times millions) of moisture aimed at Pakistan’s mountains that fueled their floods. They should also incorporate Ed’s analysis of a pattern developing where we’re seeing more of these blocking events, something Senior Meteorologist at the Weather Channel Stu Ostro has also been seeing in his most-conscientious study over many years of 500 milibar events that can cause these blocking patterns.

So there’s much good and much to agree about among each of these outlets but with these small errors (AFP, one quote in Scientific American) or large omissions (NPR) all anyone has to do is get on Joe’s Climate Progress Express and ride it to the Consensus Knowledge of the best experts. Really, there’s no excuse not to.

June 30 at 1:47am

Prokaryotes

Russia’s Wildfire Damage is Triple Last Year’s, Ministry Says http://www.bloomberg.com/n​ews/2011-06-08/russia-s-wi​ldfire-damage-is-triple-la​st-year-s-ministry-says.ht​ml

June 30 at 2:35am

Richard Brenne

Triple? Wow! Seems like story-fatigue is keeping the media from reporting this (“Russian wildfires? That’s like, so last year.”). Thankfully we have you, Prokaryotes, to find more useful links than anyone on any website anywhere. Thanks!

June 30 at 3:45am

Richard Brenne

Also Surfcow commenting on the Bloomberg story said that since Rick Perry’s day of prayer for rain didn’t work, maybe he and those like him should consider a day of thought, since there’s a first time for everything.

June 30 at 3:49am

Jack Lucero Fleck

I believe Oklahoma is suffering the same drought as Texas. Is there no one in Oklahoma who can defeat Senator Inhofe–the King of denial?

June 30 at 1:37am

Julia Kuglen

From http://www.weather.gov/wat​er/textprods/view.php?wfo=​hgx&prod=DGT:

“THE CITY OF HOUSTON HAS ENTERED UNCHARTED TERRITORY. HOUSTON HAS
ENDURED FOUR CONSECUTIVE MONTHS WITH LESS THAN AN INCH OF RAIN.
TALLIED IN EACH MONTH. THE CITY OF HOUSTON HAS NEVER RECORDED THREE.
CONSECUTIVE MONTHS WITH LESS THAN AN INCH OF RAIN…LET ALONE FOUR.
CONSECUTIVE MONTHS. SINCE JANUARY 26TH…THE CITY OF HOUSTON HAS.
RECEIVED 2.05 INCHES OF RAIN AND HOBBY AIRPORT HAS RECEIVED EVEN.
LESS…A PALTRY 1.41 INCHES OF RAIN. HOBBY AIRPORT HAS ONLY RECORDED.
ONE DAY WITH MEASURABLE RAIN OUT OF THE LAST 92 DAYS (0.19 INCHES ON.
MAY 12TH). OTHERWISE…THE FEW RAIN EVENTS THAT HAVE CLIPPED THE.
AIRPORT HAVE ONLY DROPPED TRACE AMOUNTS OF RAINFALL. THE NWS OFFICE.
IN LEAGUE CITY HAS REPORTED SIX DAYS OF RAIN SINCE MARCH 15TH WITH A.
DISCOURAGING 92 DAY RAINFALL TALLY OF 0.36 INCHES.

IT IS STILL THE DRIEST OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH JUNE 16TH IN CITY OF.
HOUSTON WEATHER HISTORY. HOBBY AIRPORT IS ALSO ENDURING ITS DRIEST.
PERIOD ON RECORD. COLLEGE STATION REMAINED THE SECOND DRIEST PERIOD.
ON RECORD AND DANEVANG REMAINED THE FIFTH DRIEST PERIOD ON RECORD.
EVEN GALVESTON…WHICH RECEIVED SOME MODERATE RAINFALL TOTALS IN.
DECEMBER AND JANUARY IS ENDURING IT`S SIXTH DRIEST PERIOD ON RECORD.

DRIEST OCTOBER 1 – JUNE 16 (258 DAYS).

COLLEGE CITY OF HOUSTON DANEVANG.
STATION HOUSTON (IAH) HOBBY.

9.15 1925 12.84 2011 16.07 2011 12.22 1918.
9.79 2011 15.05 1917 16.97 1956 12.67 1956.
13.52 1917 16.84 1951 17.66 1971 12.71 1954.
14.84 1951 17.57 1956 18.25 1988 12.80 1963.
15.50 1956 17.75 1996 19.91 2006 12.90 2011+.

+ DANEVANG WAS MISSING DAILY DATA FOR 1906…1917 AND 1925.

RAINFALL DEFICITS BEGAN SHORTLY AFTER HURRICANE IKE IN 2008.
SOUTHEAST TEXAS RAINFALL WAS BELOW NORMAL IN 2009 AND WELL BELOW.
NORMAL IN 2010. THIS DROUGHT HAS BEEN IN THE MAKING FOR SEVERAL.
YEARS.

SITE NORMAL 2009 2010 2011 TOTAL.

DEPARTURE.
HOUSTON 47.84 47.01 42.72 7.07.

-0.83 -5.12 -14.55 -20.50.

HOU HOBBY 53.96 52.65 47.02 5.41.

-1.34 -6.94 -17.11 -25.39.

COL STATION 39.67 38.98 27.78 8.08.

-0.69 -11.89 -10.88 -23.46.

GALVESTON 43.84 37.16 33.14 7.84.

-6.68 -10.70 -9.95 -27.33.

THE LAST FOUR MONTHS HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY DRY. SINCE FEBRUARY
1ST…THE CITY OF HOUSTON (IAH) HAS RECEIVED ONLY 2.02 INCHES OF.
RAIN…HOUSTON HOBBY (HOU) HAS RECEIVED 1.31 INCHES AND DANEVANG.
(WHARTON COUNTY) HAS ONLY RECEIVED 2.38 INCHES OF RAIN. THE TWO
HOUSTON AIRPORTS ARE SO DRY THAT THE SECOND DRIEST PERIOD IS ALMOST.
3.50 INCHES WETTER THAN THIS YEAR (THE DRIEST). GALVESTON HAS HAD.
TWICE THE RAIN AS HOBBY AIRPORT BUT MOST OF THE RAIN FELL ON JUST.
ONE DAY (MARCH 5TH) WITH LESS THAN AN INCH OF RAIN ON THE ISLAND SINCE.
MARCH 5TH. CONDITIONS HAVE IMPROVED A BIT IN THE BRAZOS VALLEY.
COLLEGE STATION HAS RECEIVED 5.09 INCHES OF RAIN SINCE FEBRUARY 1ST.
THIS IS STILL WELL BELOW NORMAL BUT CONSIDERABLY BETTER THAN.
LOCATIONS TO THE SOUTH. THE RAINFALL DEFICIT IN HOUSTON SINCE.
JANUARY 1ST IS NOW 14.55 INCHES AND THE 2011 DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL.
FOR HOBBY AIRPORT IS 17.11 INCHES.”

June 30 at 2:18am

Prokaryotes

Guys could we get more coverage to thsi sotry.

Russia’s Wildfire Damage is Triple Last Year’s, Ministry Says http://www.bloomberg.com/n​ews/2011-06-08/russia-s-wi​ldfire-damage-is-triple-la​st-year-s-ministry-says.ht​ml.

June 30 at 2:36am

Prokaryotes

Wildfires have ravaged almost 635,568 hectares (1.57 million acres) of land since Jan. 1, up from about 216,374 hectares in the same period last year, the Emergency Ministry said on its website

June 30 at 2:39am

Peter S. Mizla
Thanks for this info-
THAN

June 30 at 3:53pm

Prokaryotes

Russia

While Bureaucracy Puts Numerous Hurdles in the Way of Volunteer Fire Brigades, Experts Worry That Wildfires Will Rage Again This Year.

06/27/2011

A fire prevention drill organized by Greenpeace last weekend in the Meshera National Park in the Vladimir Region testifies to the Russians’ awareness of a possible repeat of last year’s wildfire scenario. Volunteer firefighters got the chance to put their skills in practice after being trained during the winter and spring. They have been regularly putting out wildfires in Meshera since the middle of June. But while Greenpeace activists describe the current situation with wildfires as significantly worse than last year, the Emergency Ministry claims that everything is under control thanks to timely monitoring measures and a new law on voluntary fire prevention.

Despite rainy weather during most of June, Russians are expecting a hot summer this year, spurring worries about the high likelihood of new wildfires. A poll conducted by the Levada Center found that 63 percent of Russians are seriously troubled by the prospect of wildfires that might affect the country again this year and 25 percent don’t rule out this possibility.

Grigory Kuksin, a Greenpeace officer who is in charge of the organization’s fire prevention project, thinks the situation is very precarious. “It’s much worse than it was last year,” he said. He also believes that the problem is that wildfires are affecting Russia’s distant regions, beyond the Urals in Siberia. “The Sverdlovsk Region, Yakutia (the Sakha Republic), and the Irkutsk Region are unfortunately not the focus of the mass media because they are far away from Moscow,” Kuksin said. “The worst forecasts came true. The country wasn’t ready for the fire hazard last year, and it isn’t ready now.”.
http://russiaprofile.org/c​ulture_living/39577.html

June 30 at 2:38am

Prokaryotes

Worst Drought in 60 Years Hits 10 Million in East Africa http://www.commondreams.or​g/headline/2011/06/28-9.

June 30 at 2:55am

Jakob Wranne

Will try to get someone to report from Tällberg. I did not manage to get there. / J.

June 30 at 4:58am

Bart Laws

Yeah well rice farming in Matagorda Cty., or anywhere in Texas, is insane to begin with. It’s long past time to put a stop to that.

June 30 at 8:18am

Colorado Bob

Torrential Rains Take Heavy Toll.
Two people were killed and one remains missing in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan region after torrential downpours of up to 231 mm on Wednesday.
http://english.chosun.com/​site/data/html_dir/2011/06​/30/2011063000946.html

June 30 at 9:46am

Colorado Bob

Another data point about Houston , last Aug was the hottest month on record there.

June 30 at 1:00pm

Shannon Copeland Rizzo

As the article says, it’s so dry that Lake Travis is drying up – and yet Austin is persisting with the $2billion water treatment facility #4, which is capable of draining 50m-250m gallons a day out of Lake Travis. Where is the opposition to this?

July 1 at 7:50pm

Pablo Navarro

I thought a week of praying was supposed to fix everything.

July 4 at 1:36pm

Melanie Jessup

“the southern United States is dealing with one of the most extreme droughts since the dust bowl of the 1930s” what a sad state things are in now… sigh

July 6 at 9:31pm

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