Every six months, or sooner if needed, the Unknowncountry.com Climate Watch section is updated. This update shows something that I consider both sad and ironic. It is that the southwestern US, which is arguably the world center of climate change denial, is experiencing what now appears to be the worst drought ever recorded in the region. Of course, I’m from Texas and have many friends there in all walks of life, including farming and ranching. One rancher I know is going to slaughter his whole herd soon because he cannot water them, and he’s saying that this is happening all over the state. In Austin and San Antonio, temperatures have risen above a hundred for weeks.
I very well remember the last great drought that affected the region. It lasted from 1950 until 1957, but was not as intense as what’s happening now, not by any means. Hopefully, there will be something like a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico (not a hurricane, God forbid) that will dump some water on Texas. It’s less clear where rain might come from farther west, and the soils in the Arizona desert are becoming so dry that they are losing their cohesion, thus the huge dust storms that keep blowing up there.
To me, the most worrisome thing is an unknown: what are water temperatures in the high arctic ocean like? If they rise far enough, methane hydrates locked in the sea floor will release, resulting in the kind of temperature spike that induces sudden climate change. However, there are no recent studies that do more than speculate about what may be happening up there. BUT countries and companies are cheerfully planning for the melt of the arctic and the opening of access to new oil reserves that will result.
To read the new Climate Watch, click here.