Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Water running out in Atlanta

Treehugger has more about the drought in the southeastern U.S.:


It has been called “the Rodney Dangerfield of natural disasters,” because it gets no respect, compared to floods or hurricanes, but every record in Georgia's history has been broken by the current one. “People pay attention to hurricanes,” [state climatologist] David Stooksbury said. “They pay attention to tornadoes and earthquakes. But a drought will sneak up on you.” Lake Lanier, the main source of water for Atlanta, could be dry in 90 days.

According to the New York Times, Many had hoped that hurricane season, as it has in the past, would bring several soaking storms to the Southeast to replenish reservoirs that are at or near all-time lows. But the longed-for rains never materialized, and now in October, traditionally the driest month, significant rainfall remains out of the picture.

“We’re in a stressful situation now,” Mr. Crisp said, “but come next spring, if we don’t have substantial rainfall this winter, these reservoirs are not going to refill.”


Michael J. Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center notes: “Here’s the fly in the ointment. The vulnerability in the Southeast has changed. Population shifts, increased competition and demand for water has increased, so that’s made this drought worse than it might have been.” ::New York Times

We note also that the climate skeptics are using the mild hurricane season as a way of attacking those fighting climate change. They miss the point that what we have is climate disruption, and that sometimes not having a hurricane is as unusual and disruptive as having one.

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