Posted on September 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
High temperatures and a lack of rain spread serious drought conditions across Europe this summer.
Study tracks increase in extreme conditions
FRISCO — Scientists taking a close look at the last 50 years — the modern global warming era — found that droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously much more frequently than in the past.
The climate experts at the University of California, Irvine analyzed data gathered from ground sensors and gauges since 1960 and crunched the numbers with a statistical model to track the upswing.
“Heat waves can kill people and crops while worsening air quality, and droughts exacerbate those serious impacts,” said senior author Amir AghaKouchak, assistant professor of civil & environmental engineering. “With these two extremes happening at the same time, the threat is far more significant.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: air quality, climate change, drought, extreme weather, health, heatwaves | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 31, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Latest water skirmish ends with win for fish
Spawning salmon. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — Life has been tough for California’s freshwater fish during the state’s extended drought. But some salmon in the northern part of the state will have a fighting chance after a federal judge last week decided to maintain a key flow program aimed at boosting flows in the Trinity River.
The Trinity is a tributary of the Klamath River, where major salmon runs are currently facing the threat of a major fish kill due to the drought. U.S. Judge Lawrence O’Neill, based on Fresno, California, ruled that the risks from shutting down a federal program to release additional reservoir water to protect the salmon were too great, and the potential benefit to irrigators too uncertain. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, global warming | Tagged: agriculture, California drought, climate change, drought, salmon runs, Trinity River | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 29, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
CRWCD’s annual water seminar features leading national and regional water and climate experts
FRISCO — Colorado this summer may have escaped the severe drought plaguing much of the West — at least for now — but that doesn’t mean the state is immune from regional water woes.
Planners and water users know very well that huge long-term challenges remain for all the states in the Colorado River Basin, and some of those issues will be highlighted during the Colorado River Water Conservation District’s Sept. 10 water seminar in Grand Junction.
Two of the most important women in Western water leadership will be addressing the Colorado River District’s popular Annual Water Seminar in Grand Junction, Colo., that takes place Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Two Rivers Convention Center. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño, Environment, global warming, rivers, water | Tagged: climate, Colorado, Colorado River Water Conservation District, drought, water | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
El Niño projected to bring above average autumn precipitation
Spring and summer rains helped make up for a winter snowfall deficit in Colorado, where statewide precipitation was 98 percent of average 10 months into the 2015 water year. Graph courtesy NRCS.
FRISCO —Serious drought conditions persisted across the far West in July, but Colorado’s wet spring and summer helped boost the state’s water supplies and stream flow forecasts going into the late summer and fall. Only two small slices of the state have experienced abnormally dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: climate, Colorado, Colorado Climate Center, Colorado weather statistics, drought, weather | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
There have been significant die-backs in Colorado aspen forests during recent hot droughts and the stands may never regenerate in some areas because of global warming. @bberwyn photo.
Giant fires, insect outbreaks could be ‘game-changer’ for some forests
FRISCO —Forest Service researchers say “mega-disturbances” like giant wildfires and insect outbreaks are likely to hasten the slow demise of temperate forest ecosystems in the coming decades.
Even without those large-scale events, some forests appear to be transitioning to shrublands and steppe, and big disturbances could speed that process, according to a new study published this month in Science. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, extreme weather, forest fires, Forest health, forests, global warming, pine beetles and wildfires | Tagged: climate change, drought, Forest health, forest regeneration, forests, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
June and July brought record high temperatures and big rainfall deficits in many parts of the European Union
Drought conditions were widespread across Europe during June and July.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The western U.S. isn’t the only part of the world experiencing severe drought this year. Across much of central Europe, extremely warm temperatures and lack of rainfall have combined to create the worst drought conditions since 2003.
Hardest hit have been France, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, northern Italy and northern Spain, according to new information released by the European Drought Observatory. The report includes data from satellite imagery showing that the areas with the largest rainfall deficits also recorded exceptionally high maximum daily temperatures, in some cases reaching record values. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Europe, European drought, European drought observatory, European heat wave, European Joint Research Centre, extreme weather, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Towering flames at the Fork Complex wildfire in California, Photo via Inciweb.
Feds spending $150 million per day and seek firefighting help from Canada, Australia and New Zealand
FRISCO — This year’s wildfire activity in the U.S. has surged to the highest level in 10 years, with the National Interagency Fire Center reporting that about 7.2 million acres have burned so far, and officials said they expect the wildfire season to intensify in the coming weeks.
The drought-stricken far West is hardest hit, with 16 large fires currently burning in Washington, 14 in California and 12 in Oregon. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said federal agencies are currently spending about $150 million per day on fighting fires across the West. Continue reading
Filed under: BLM, climate and weather, climate change, Drought, extreme weather, global warming, US Forest Service, wildfires | Tagged: climate, drought, Forest Service, West, Wildfires | Leave a comment »