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El Niño in the newz. Again.


1 PW
Jul 9, 2013
Ummm.. Started out in Victoria BC Canada, then sta
Bring it, California, Colorado, and the Desert SW are thirsty. Sorry Aussies, we know you hate it. But we burn out when we don't get at least a weak nino.
Whatever is different about this year is already happening here in central Texas. After years of drought and record heat, we've now had the coolest, wettest spring in a long time.

Adding energy (heat) to a chaotic system is like that. It supports more and better chaos.
Alan B said:
We really need the water.

Hehe... Correction maybe? "Cheap/clean" water eg "rain". See "desalination"? (Also Roman "viaducts".)
I'm not sure what they're trying to get at in those articles. Nothing was "Called back in March." the prediction was always for a fairly weak winter/spring. The summer morning overcast is bigger than usual, but I don't understand why it suddenly clears - the sky doesn't normally turn completely blue so quickly.

Forget Roman viaducts, NOBODY has the water network California has. When they got started William Mulholland knew nothing about dams, canals, etc., in a little over a decade he was world renown, I don't remember the statistics but he'd built or advised the construction of more than half of all dams in existence, etc. When one of his dams did collapse because it was built on an undetectable at the time ancient landslide, the ambitious prosecutor struggled bringing charges because any expert that knew anything at that time had learned it from Mulholland.

The next step in our water is to save the rain. There's a storm drain half a mile from my house where I see just how much runoff is sent out to sea. I can't imagine that wouldn't be enough to solve our problems. But collecting it isn't as easy as people assume.

I hear Texas was spared a lot more flooding because the lakes and reservoirs were so low that they didn't overflow. I wonder what one of those '7 inches in 7 hours' storms we have from time to time here would accomplish.
Dauntless said:
When they got started William Mulholland knew nothing about dams, canals, etc., in a little over a decade he was world renown, I don't remember the statistics but he'd built or advised the construction of more than half of all dams in existence, etc.

THANKS for the mention re William Mulholland! (Great read:)
on the extreme weather thread i posted up dr jeff's opinion that this will be the strongest el nino ever and he was talking about the possibility of a hurricane making it all the way up from the gulf of california.

this will be very destructive. the freeway bridge washed out is just the beginning of many similar catastrophic events along the coast and inland to phoenix too.
We could really use that right now in northern California. Things here are super-dry. My lawn is almost completely dead and there are a lot of trees around that have died. Great fuel for some wildfires.
"El Niño 2015 could rival strongest events on record: NOAA"

The latest update from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center on the status of El Niño was released on Thursday, and forecasters are doubling down on the persistence of this event, and predicting big things for when it reaches its peak in the months to come.


Hate what it does to Australia, then they get the dought, fires, etc.

But after a decade of drought and fires, the western USA will enjoy an El Nino that comes at the right time to pack the Sierras and Colorado with snow.
Last time the lakes on the Rio Grande got full, it was the epic string of El Nino's of the 80's. It was great to be a skier then too, Taos was 300 inches, now days if you ski Taos its 50 inches of snow.

Sorry Australia, but it's our turn for some rain now.
California is a desert. It has green lawns and golf courses because of irrigation. At the time (post WWII), the greening of California was heralded as a tribute to mans ability to conquer anything with modern technology.

After the initial spurt of water collection and distribution networks being built (dams/viaducts/etc), there was a more cheap water available than was being used. So...what did Californias do with that surplus? they designed and built as though there would always be more water than they would ever need. The population grew, the cities expanded, and then...whever someone pointed out that it would be "wise" to restrict water use to a sustainable level...they were squelched. "Let the next administration deal with that"

I saw beautiful "Xeriscape" landscaping in Las Vegas, Phoenix, St george...much more than just gravel and cactus. I saw golf courses withe grass on only the tee, and also the green (next to the hole). That means the golfers have to walk through grounds that look like wild and dry scrub-brush. It can be done. All done with drip irrigation at the stem (under cloth and gravel).



And farming? it is true that growing crops need water more than the population needs golf courses, but even farmers are guilty. Its cheaper to install a "center pivot" irrigation system that pulls from the aquifer and sprays water into the air over the crops. The problem is that; this type of system suffers from a LOT of evaporation losses. All of the methods that feed water at the ground level are more cumbersome, labor intensive, and expensive.


And also, just what crops should California grow? If water is low one year, almond and walnut trees still have to be watered, or they die. Corn and soybeans (on the other hand) could be delayed a year until reservoirs are back to normal. Nestle is taking water from California and running it through a filter and putting it in plastic bottles...why don't they get water from Washington or Canada? Billions of acre-feet worth of water just flow out to the ocean there, but Nestle just pumps it out of Californias ground...in the middle of a drought. (political donations to key power-brokers?).

If there are a lot of rains this fall, it will just be a band-aid on a broken arm. The top of the white rock on the top left of this pic is where the water level is supposed to be. Also, the lower the water level is at hoover dam, the more coal they have to burn at the Page/AZ reservation to make up for the lack of hydro-electric...

In the Tularosa Basin most farmers rely on groundwater for crops so drip irrigation is a necessity to save money for irrigation. Pistachios and winegrapes thrive here as do Pecan trees (heavy water users). Many farmers are not encouraged or rewarded for saving water.

Includes a quote from Marc Levy (political scientist at Columbia University, watching the El Niño event closely). As the deputy director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network:
“In 1997 there were about 5.9 billion people in the world. Today it is 7.3 billion, and that growth has been concentrated in countries that have weak abilities to cope with climate stress,” said Levy. “Real food prices are about 65-70 percent higher today than they were in 1997-98, meaning that shocks to food prices triggered by crop production problems will create greater hardship on societies than before. And, as a result of globalization and changes in government policy, our global grain reserves have shrunk by about 35 percent since 1997-98, making it harder to respond quickly to a large global food crisis.”