Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:00 AM
hatrack (38,286 posts)
US Drought Continues, Spreading Now To SE: Total Costs May Hit $150 Billion - Climate Central
The tenacious U.S. drought that continues to hamper American agricultural output and put water supplies and Mississippi River commerce at risk worsened during the past week, particularly in the Southeast, according to figures released on Thursday. The new U.S. Drought Monitor shows that all categories of drought increased across the country between Nov. 20-27, with the largest increase occurring in an area from Alabama northeastward to Virginia.
The Northern Plains continue to be the hardest hit states, where Wyoming and Nebraska recorded their driest January-to-October period on record. Four other states ranked among their top 10 driest January-to-October periods on record, as well. In addition, some locations within these states may set all-time records for dryness during November, with little to no precipitation falling at all this month.
This particular drought, which began in 2011 and expanded dramatically starting in March of this year, likely was triggered by natural climate variability. In particular, the pattern of sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans during this period tends to favor North American droughts, according to climate researchers. However, the drought was likely intensified by global warming-related heat waves during the spring and summer, with more than 15,000 temperature records broken or tied during March 2012 alone. The warm temperatures helped further dry plants and soils.
The drought is affecting the agricultural sector, with 54 percent of the nationís pasture and rangeland rated in poor to very poor condition as of Oct. 31, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA reported that several states in the West and Plains had 80 percent or more of their pasture and rangeland rated poor to very poor, with nearly all of Nebraskaís pasture and rangeland in the worst category. The winter wheat crop has been hampered by the continued dry conditions, with 65 percent of the winter wheat crop located drought areas. In South Dakota, 61 percent of the winter wheat crop was rated to be in poor to very poor condition. The drought is also threatening commerce on the Mississippi River, as the Army Corps of Engineers is considering plans to deepen some parts of the River in order to keep barge traffic moving, despite a dramatic drop in water levels.
6 replies, 737 views
US Drought Continues, Spreading Now To SE: Total Costs May Hit $150 Billion - Climate Central (Original post)
|phantom power||Dec 2012||#1|
|Speck Tater||Dec 2012||#2|
Response to hatrack (Original post)
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:28 PM
NoOneMan (4,795 posts)
3. Droughts must be boring
It you look at damage costs vs media coverage, its all one can conclude. I guess you can put a news anchor in a rubber suit in a hurricane and turn a segment into an action movie, but you can't put him in a dirt field for any length of time and entertain people.
Response to NoOneMan (Reply #3)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:50 AM
Nihil (12,814 posts)
5. Bury six of them up to their necks, broadcast 24x7 coverage and call it a "reality show" ...
Bet you'd get excellent viewing figures for the first two series, especially if you allowed the
public to vote for the punishment du jour ...
(Damn ... maybe I'd better copyright that and submit it to a network?)
Response to hatrack (Original post)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:25 AM
AtheistCrusader (27,921 posts)
4. That's 150bn in economic destruction. 1/4 the cost of TARP blowing around
on dusty farm fields.
Only difference, that TARP mostly paid for itself. This won't.
And the small farmers are in the worst position to weather it.
Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #4)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:47 PM
NickB79 (12,051 posts)
6. Wait until they close the Mississippi to barges due to lack of water
Then you're looking at many billions more on top of that.
And that's saying nothing about next year's now near-guaranteed crop damage from the drought.