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Satellite Photos Highlight Extreme California Drought

The state looks dramatically different from 2013 to 2014
Jan. 17, 2014

New satellite images of California reveal just how abnormally dry the state is for this time of year. The two images were taken on the same day, one year apart, yet the difference is glaring. The stark contrast in snow and water levels is evident in the amount of white snow and greenery visible in the 2013 shot that is noticeably absent in 2014.

Precipitation is currently less than 20 percent of normal in the state, and the forecast isn't improving any time soon.

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday. According to Brown, the state is "facing perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept 100 years ago."

On Jan. 15, 2014, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials designated portions of 11 states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma and California, as primary disaster areas because severe drought is likely to cause financial strain on farmers in those regions.

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It is not an Act of God, but rather an Act of Gaia. Some, cynically or not, might still find comfort in the one point on Climate Change no one disputes, to wit, that "no single extreme weather event is sufficient to prove Climate Change is real". But patterns linking groupings of extreme whether events are increasingly becoming apparent and new negative feedback loops identified by scientists around the Globe. This winter has yielded an abundance of such patterns as a warmer Pacific Ocean strengthened the East-West trade winds of the Jet Stream, causing it to veer South and bringing in the extremely cold temperatures across the US. The stronger Jet Stream continues its journey and crosses the North Atlantic, lashing powerful, damaging storms with high winds and intense rain, soaking South East England, and inundating large areas of Britain. Now, a deluge in California, in the middle of one of the worst droughts. I don´t know if the California storms may be linked to other recent extreme weather events around the world. Let the scientists continue their efforts and hopefully we will soon know. In the meantime, it is safe to agree with 97% of them who keep warning us that Climate Change is here, and that we´d better get our act together.

March 01 2014 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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