[ RadSafe ] USA Drought
Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Tue Aug 25 11:42:47 CDT 2015
Here in Washington it is dry on the West Side, and worse on the East. Over 700,000 acre (over 2800 sq. km) is burnt or burning. A number of towns have been evacuated, though none have burnt, yet.
The reservoirs in the Cascade Mountains are empty, or nearly so, and the Columbia is so warm salmon and sturgeon are dying. Even the salmon that make it up river aren't going into the tributaries to spawn, because the water is too warm.
If we don't have a wet winter next year will be really, really bad.
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Dan McCarn
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2015 11:06 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] USA Drought
We in New Mexico have had significant moisture both from early spring and summer rains and then monsoon rains. While it would take several years at this rate to recharge the lakes in New Mexico, and more than that to recharge aquifers, at least most of the state has received enough rain to break the current years-long drought.
What concerns me the most is that California seems unable to restrict groundwater withdrawals from aquifers so that irreversible loss of porosity is now occurring at an advancing rate.
From a year ago:
In the Southern Colorado San Luis Valley, I estimated that at least 1 million acre-feet (1,268.3 x 10^6 M^3) was being withdrawn from the aquifer to produce the crops that are reported by the State of Colorado and this does not include locally used crops, failed crops or over-watering. Data on well withdrawals were kept secret as they are in California, and that has significantly affected the middle reach of the Rio Grande river.
Historically, much of the perennial flow entering the Rio Grande was from springs near the New Mexico / Colorado border recharged from the upper reach of the Rio Grande. Heavy ground water use for over 100 years has depleted these springs making the Rio Grande an ephemeral stream which periodically dries-up. Changing weather patterns will amplify this effect.
McCarn, Dan W. (2004): Scoping Calculations: Natural and anthropogenic multi-pathway risks associated with naturally occurring uranium mineralization in aquifers; *IAEA-TECDOC-1396 <http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1396_web.pdf>*,
See Table III, page 303.
Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home – New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com
On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 12:25 AM, S L Gawarecki <slgawarecki at gmail.com>
> There is plenty of moisture available in the atmosphere whether
> icecaps are freezing or not (and they are currently melting). The
> California drought is a result of at least a couple of problems.
> 1. Changing storm tracks - in recent years a persistent high pressure
> system has developed in the Gulf of Alaska (normally under the
> influence of
> the Aleutian Low), which has diverted the jet stream, and this causes
> Pacific cyclones to bear northwards away from California then dip
> southwards in the mid-continent. Coincidentally, the Gulf of Alaska has
> warmed as much as 5 degrees above its normal seasonal averages.
> 2. Winter temperatures in the Sierra Nevada are warmer, so that rain is
> increasing in proportion to snow. Snow pack is what feeds the reservoirs
> into late summer, and consequently the water distribution systems.
> Climatologists are hopeful that a strong El Nino predicted for this
> year will restore normal storm tracks and bring more rain to
> California. I say "prepare for mudslide season."
> *Susan Gawarecki*
> ph: 865-494-0102
> cell: 865-604-3724
> SLGawarecki at gmail.com
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