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.

3 Comments

  1. Those of us who grew up from
    Those of us who grew up from 1945 – 1960 remember many fierce summers in Texas, Ark and LA. But not with the same strange edge as this drought. Back then there was no parlor conversation about completely running out of water, nor of return to 1930’s dustbowl conditions. In fact the dustbowl had been all but wiped from conversation and convenient memory by the ’50’s.

  2. The tornado that devastated
    The tornado that devastated Joplin, MO, (032311) killing at least 116 people and leveling the town (http://tinyurl.com/3cmrhod) ushered in a year of horrendous weather that now has seen weeks of 100 degree weather all across the nation. The largest iceberg to calve off Greenland since 1962 last August (http://tinyurl.com/43nthcz) has reached Northern Labrador on the west side of the massive island that is suffering ice melt three times faster than mountain glaciers and other ice caps according to scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California (http://tinyurl.com/4m95nol).

    Whitley Strieber was well ahead of the media when he and Art Bell published THE COMING GLOBAL SUPERSTORM, and still remains ahead of the rest. The sun has decided to refrain from the activity of the last solar max, but there are other less understood physics at work in our world’s primary source of energy which Whitley and his guests have alerted us to on Dreamland and Revelations with William Henry to the extent that some solar scientists have speculated that we may in for another Maunder Minimum, but most discount that contending global warming will continue (http://tinyurl.com/3zptxxj)

    I will interject here that I believe Whitley’s warning about the methane release from currently ocean-floor frozen hydrates is the most worrisome factor to accelerate global warming to beyond the tipping point (http://tinyurl.com/3q4n7qw). If you want to explore a little farther, then I recommend this YouTube video that shows a BBC presentation of permafrost methane outgassing in Alaska (http://youtu.be/NVpQnpWS2wU).

  3. Thank you Larry & Whitley fro
    Thank you Larry & Whitley fro these posts. I agree 110% about the cohesion of soil in AZ is responsibile for the huge dust storms in AZ. This week our Hospital ER is jammed with patients with heat issues. I am in center city Phialdelphia, a heat island in itself in addtion to the 100 degrees tempatures combined with the humidity to give us a gasping 110 heat index + the heat effect of the asphalt island. Here is a non- scientific anecdoteof my observations:
    ” When I first moved to Philadelphia from New Orleans ~ 1990, I used to brag to my brother that we really only needed AC for 1.5 weeks in the summer. 20 years later and the AC runs for at least a month and half.
    And yet people are still in denial. Seniors with only fans inside brick (read: ovens) rowhomes. People using their dryers! PECO has issued alerts about power usage in peak hours. Frankly I would not be surprised if the antiquainted power grid failed in the next 3 days. One thing is certain, just like in the days before AC, you do not want to be in the city during any future weather event.

    stay tuned and stay cool

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