All posts tagged: Drought

Time Magazine Interview on California Fires

I was recently interviewed by Time Magazine on the 2017 California wildfire season.  The combination of high precipitation in the winter promoting much fine fuel growth, the long period since last significant rainfall and the high summer temperatures being experiences in Southern California have produced a dangerous situation.  The main unknown in the equation is the frequency and timing of ignition sources. Let’s hope for the best. Read the Time article here – http://time.com/4838989/california-drought-wildfire-fire-season/ Advertisements

International Press Coverage on Drought Study

Wow! Our drought study – MacDonald, G. M., Moser, K.A., Bloom, A. M., Potito, A.P., Porinchu, D.F., Holmquist, J.R., Hughes, J. and Kremenetski, K.V. 2016. Prolonged California aridity linked to climate warming and Pacific sea surface temperature. Nature.Com/Sci. Rep. 6, 33325;  http://www.nature.com/articles/srep33325 – garnered international press coverage in print, online, television and radio. It was really quite something.  The headlines and stories were a bit more sensational than our rather conservative wording in the actual article.  That being said – it is good idea at this time to consider that California and the West is likely to be more arid in the coming decades, from higher temperatures and evaporation rates if nothing else, and we should some serious thinking and planning. Hopefully this media attention will help get people thinking about these challenges in California and the Southwest.  The thing that worries me is that although we might be able to develop engineering and conservation strategies for the water applied to our farms and cities, we will not be able to irrigate the vast areas …

New Study on Drought by MacDonald Lab

I was the lead author on a new study of California drought based on using lake sediment records from the Sierra Nevada to look at how past climate warming has impacted the Pacific Ocean and California hydroclimate. This work took many years and was a real team effort between the MacDonald Lab’s graduate students and post-docs and Professor Katrina Moser and her team from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Just like the stock market, past performance does not predict the future, but it can provide insights into what might occur with continued warming.   The article was published in Nature.com/Scientific Reports and is freely available to read and download at the Nature.com site – MacDonald, G. M., Moser, K.A., Bloom, A. M., Potito, A.P., Porinchu, D.F., Holmquist, J.R., Hughes, J. and Kremenetski, K.V. 2016. Prolonged California aridity linked to climate warming and Pacific sea surface temperature. Nature.Com/Sci. Rep. 6, 33325; http://www.nature.com/articles/srep33325 Below is the Abstract for the article – Abstract California has experienced a dry 21st century capped by severe drought from 2012 through …

AAG Presidential Column – Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century

Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century Glen M. MacDonald August 5, 2016 Geographies of Bread and Water in the 21st Century2016-08-15T11:14:18+00:00 Featured News, President’s Column, Recent News 0 Comments Geography is a big discipline, both in terms of its global purview and the wide spectrum of scholarly perspectives geographers bring to bear. We should not be shy about applying ourselves to some of the biggest and most complex problems facing the world. What could be a more critical problem then providing bread and water to support the planet’s population now and in the year 2050 when over 9 million people will depend on the finite resources of the earth for sustenance? This past month the United Nations held a High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and issued its first tracking report on global sustainable development. U.N. officials noted that today approximately 800 million people suffer from hunger and 2 billion face challenges of water scarcity. Of course, the challenges of food and water scarcity are not homogenously distributed across a “flat earth.” …

KQED Article on Lake Mead and California’s Water

I was recently interviewed for a Water Deeply  article on what the falling levels of Lake Mead might mean to California in terms of water.  Clearly not a good situation in store for us here in Southern California if present trends continue. Here is the KQED Public Broadcasting Link  – http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/06/21/what-lake-meads-record-low-means-for-california/  

The Fremont Indians – Prehistoric Retreat of Agriculture in the American West

Scattered among the canyons, mesas and lake shorelines of northern Utah and adjacent areas of Colorado, Nevada and southern Idaho can be found evidence of an ancient agricultural people who inhabited and farmed the region for centuries before the arrival of Europeans – and then mysteriously disappeared. These native farmers, who raised crops such as corn (maize), squash and beans are referred to as the Fremont People by archaeologists. Exactly who they were and which native North American linguistic group they belonged to remains a mystery. They certainly did not refer to themselves as Fremonts – this name comes from the Fremont River region of Utah and is a modern designation applied to these lost people. From roughly AD 700 to AD 1300 the Fremont held sway over a large portion of the intermountain west. To their south were the Anasazi farmers of the Southwest. Elsewhere around the Fremont lived a number of different hunting and gathering cultures. Evidence of their presence can be seen in the ruins of stone and adobe villages and towers …