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Tue May 12, 2020, 09:13 AM

America's longest river was recently drier than during the Dust Bowl.And it's bound to happen again.

Rising temperatures due to climate change dramatically reduced the snowpack that feeds the Upper Missouri River Basin

For the first decade of the century, the Upper Missouri River Basin was the driest it’s been in 1,200 years, even more parched than during the disastrous Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a new study says.

The drop in water level at the mouth of the Missouri — the country’s longest river — was due to rising temperatures linked to climate change that reduced the amount of snowfall in the Rocky Mountains in Montana and North Dakota, scientists found.

The basin has continued to experience droughts this decade — in 2012, 2013 and 2017 — but their severity in comparison with historic drought is unknown. The “Turn-Of-The-Century Drought” study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused only on the 10 years after 2000.

“In terms of the most severe flow deficits, the driest years of the Turn-Of-The-Century-Drought in the [Upper Missouri River Basin] appear unmatched over the last 1,200 years,” the study said. “Only a single event in the late 13th century rivaled the greatest deficits of this most recent event.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/05/11/missouri-river-drought-climate-change/

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Reply America's longest river was recently drier than during the Dust Bowl.And it's bound to happen again. (Original post)
Zorro May 2020 OP
Squidly May 2020 #1
jberryhill May 2020 #2

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 09:47 AM

1. Im sorry, but Im calling bullshit on this one

I lived on the Missouri river up until a couple years ago, and even since I moved away I have spent a lot of time on it and around it. Let me tell you...it has been nowhere near dry. In the last 10 years alone it has experienced a catastrophic "500 year" flood as well as numerous "100 year" floods one being last spring. All last fall and even into the winter Gavins Point dam, which is the last dam on the river system, had its flood gates open because of the high water up river. This whole story is laughable to anyone who lives along it and knows whats actually happening.

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Response to Squidly (Reply #1)

Tue May 12, 2020, 10:13 AM

2. You seem not to understand what the story is about

 

Nor do you seem to grasp the underlying objective measurements:

https://www.drought.gov/drought/dews/missouri-river-basin

In the Missouri River Basin (MRB), drought is a common climate event. Significant drought events occurred in the 1930s and 1950s that substantially affected water supplies, crops and livestock, energy, transportation of goods, and the ecosystem. More recently, a large-scale drought event occurred in 2012, and was unique in that it followed a devastating flood across the MRB in 2011. Leading up to the drought of 2012, many were expecting a second year of flooding but what followed instead was a devastating drought event. The upper Missouri River Basin was hit again in 2017 with a flash drought that was characterized by a rapid decline in soil moisture, low spring rainfall, along with high temperatures and above-average wind speeds. Agricultural losses alone totaled in excess of $2.6 billion dollars. It was particularly the floods of 2011 and then the extreme and rapidly evolving drought in 2012 that emphasized the need for an early warning system that not only could improve how we anticipate drought events but could also improve collaboration and coordination of data and monitoring networks for floods in the Missouri Basin.

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But, sure, systematic measurements and geological studies spanning hundreds of years are no match for casual random observations and subjective memories.

Science is so stupid.

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