Peter Sinclair has tackled this difficult topic with an excellent video and informative blog post. The blog post is here, and I’ve pasted the video below.
This is a complicated issue. The water problem in California is obviously made worse by increased demands from population growth and expansion of agriculture. Under “normal” (natural) conditions, California and the American Southwest is fairly dry and can undergo extra dry periods. But climate change seems to be playing a role here as well. It appears that recent lack of rain in the region is the result of changes in atmospheric circulation that can be linked to anthropogenic global warming. Warm air also increases evaporation and decreases snow pack. When rain falls it tends more often to be in the form of heavy downpours, and thus, more runoff (not to mention landslides).
Peter also talks about Jacob Sewall’s model, ten years ago, that predicted the current situation as an outcome of reduced ice cover in the Arctic. Over at Significant Figures, Peter Gleick also talks about the California drought: Clarifying the Discussion about California Drought and Climate Change.
Other posts of interest:
- How to get rid of spiders in your house
- Why is your poop green?
- How many cells are there in the human body?
- Is there really a plot hole in Harry Potter Goblet of Fire?
- How long is a human generation?
- Is blog ever really blue?
- How to not get caught plagiarizing
- The origin of the domestic chicken
- What are the three necessary and sufficient conditions of Natural Selection?
- How do I get rid of foot fungus?
- Which is better, Tap Water or Bottled Water?
- Has Global Warming stopped?
Also of interest: In Search of Sungudogo: A novel of adventure and mystery, which is also an alternative history of the Skeptics Movement.