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Drought Current Events


California Snow Pack is Low and Why That’s a Problem
April 13, 2014 | Slate.com

California already has drought problems, but mountain snowpacks in the state are really low this spring and that will prevent reservoirs from filling. Since melting snowpack is a major contributor to California’s water there will likely be more water shortages this summer unless more rail falls.

Harvesting Water from Fog
March 25, 2014 | MIT News

“Fog harvesting, as the technique is known, is not a new idea: Systems to make use of this airborne potable water already exist in at least 17 nations. But the new research shows that their efficiency in a mild fog condition can be improved by at least five-fold, making them far more feasible and practical than existing versions.” Quoted from the MIT press release.

Making Drinking Water From a Billboard?
March 18, 2014 | YouTube.com

This video features a demonstration project that produces drinking water from an outdoor advertising sign. Although the volume produced is not impressive, the production occurs in a desert that receives under one inch of rain per year.

Monitoring Basin Water Storage by Satellite
March 13, 2014 | University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling

In response to drought conditions in California the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling has published: Water Storage Changes in California‚Äôs Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins From GRACE. It provides a summary of water conditions based upon data acquired from NASA’s GRACE satellite.

NASA Responds to California Drought
March 4, 2014 | NASA

“The severity of California’s current drought is illustrated in these images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Sacramento.” Quoted from the NASA image release.


Image Credit: California Department of Water Resources

NASA Image
Data for the California Drought from the Grace Satellite
February 11, 2014 | National Geographic

A national geographic article explains how data from NASA’s Grace satellite has been useful for understanding the California drought.

California Communities Cut off from their Primary Water Source?
February 4, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

An article on the San Jose Mercury News website explains how the California State Water Project does not expect to deliver any water this year because of the severe drought. This leaves numerous communities and agricultural areas, some of which normally receive most of their water from the project, left only with local supplies.

Natural Hazards of 2013
February 2, 2014 | USGS

USGS has a short review of how a variety of natural hazards influenced the United States during calendar year 2013.

Drought in California
January 21, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency for his state. Reservoir levels are at extremely low levels and mountain snowpack is only 17% of normal.

Heat Waves in the Southern Hemisphere
January 9, 2014 | NASA

NASA’s Earth Observatory has published maps showing how Australia and Argentina/Chile have suffered from heat waves during 2013.

Watershed Decisions Activity Board and Components
Penn State Image
Watershed Decisions
December 30, 2013 | Penn State

Watershed Decisions” is a hands-on, inquiry based activity from Penn State that helps older youth and adults learn about water quality issues surrounding small watersheds. Designed for use in classrooms, educational programs, youth groups, municipalities, watershed associations and other groups.

Drought in Texas
October 17, 2013 | National Public Radio

National Public Radio has an article with interesting graphics that describe the drought problems in Texas.

Egypt Fears a Dam on the Nile in Ethiopia
October 1, 2013 | National Geographic

Ethiopia is building a hydroelectric dam on the Nile River. Downstream Egypt is concerned about a loss of water through evaporation, infiltration, irrigation and other diversions that could damage their economy and cause a loss of generating capacity at their Aswan hydroelectric project.

Drought in the United States
September 26, 2013 | USGS

Drought is one of the most costly natural disasters. USGS has a two part article that considers the current drought problems in the United States.

Wildfires and Dust Storm in Argentina
September 18, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA Earth Observatory has satellite images of forest fire smoke and dust from a dry saline lake bed being carried by the wind.

Linking Colorado Floods to Wildfires and Climate Change?
September 16, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article that explores possible links between Colorado’s recent flooding problems, recent wildfires and climate change.

Climate Change and Extreme Weather
September 9, 2013 | National Geographic

A National Geographic article titled: Scientists Weigh Climate Change Role in 2012 Weather explores the possibility that human-induced climate change might have contributed to Hurricane Sandy, drought in the Midwest or melting arctic ice.

$60B in Uninsured Weather Losses So Far This Year
July 29, 2013 | Quartz

An article on Quartz reports on the staggering level of uninsured losses that are attributed to weather so far this year.

Related: Even if you have insurance it does not cover many geologic hazards.

Upper Mississippi Near Record Lows
January 31, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“As a result of last year’s drought, stretches of the Upper Mississippi River have approached record lows. These low water levels have jeopardized commercial barge traffic shipping agricultural and energy commodities on the river.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration website.

National Climate Assessment
January 25, 2013 | U.S. Global Change Research Program

“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.” Quoted from the Executive Summary of the Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report

Cold Front Pushing a Dust Storm
January 18, 2013 | NASA's Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has an interesting satellite image of a cold front pushing a dust storm across the border between Colorado and Kansas in early January 2013. Drought in these areas is contributing to recurrent dust storms.

2012: Hottest and Second Most Extreme
January 9, 2013 | NOAA

“2012 was a historic year for extreme weather that included drought, wildfires, hurricanes and storms; however, tornado activity was below average. 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States with the year consisting of a record warm spring, second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn.” Quoted from the NOAA press release.

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