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July 2012 Climate Summary from Environment UA on Vimeo.

The July 2012 climate summary for Arizona and New Mexico

(A Summary of drought news, predictions gleaned from the internet this morning)

Are Recent Extremes and Global Warming Related?

"It has been a hot 2012. The year has experienced the warmest January–June period on record in the U.S., and more than 25,000 maximum daily temperatures were eclipsed between January 1 and July 18. These extreme conditions are a continuation from last year—2011 earned the moniker “the year of billion-dollar disasters,” which included devastating drought in the Southwest. The recent extreme conditions across the country have many people inquiring if these events relate to global warming. Until recently, scientists said it is not possible to attribute a single event to climate change. Now, however, it is widely accepted that linking individual events to climate change is tenable.

"While not every event is linked to climate change, long-term warming has played a part in some instances. A compilation of analyses, the first edition of what is to be an annual report, helps answer if human actions contributed to select extreme events. The report, “Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective,” analyzed six events, including the drought that besieged the southern tier of the U.S. in 2011. According to the report, conditions that led to the Texas portion of this drought are now distinctly more probable than they were 40–50 years ago because of recent global warming. As for the extreme heat this year, we’ll have to wait until next July’s report for an answer."

Read the report at:

Climate change effects, potential mitigation in Northeast forests subject of Forest Service

A new report by U.S. and Canadian scientists analyzes decades of research and concludes that the climate of the Northeast has changed and is likely to change more. The report outlines the effects of climate change on multiple aspects of forests in the northeastern corner of the United States and eastern Canada and concludes with recommendations on adaptive and mitigating strategies for dealing with future effects.

Read more at: (Report August 15, 2012 )

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 8/16/12

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, dated August 14, indicates that some drought-affected areas of the United States have begun to turn the corner with respect to the historic drought of 2012.  During the seven-day period ending August 14, conterminous U.S. drought coverage fell to 61.8%, down from a July 24 peak of 63.9%.  Continental U.S. coverage of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4), the two worst drought categories, dipped to 23.7%, less than one-half of a percentage point below last week’s peak.  However, U.S. exceptional drought (D4) coverage actually rose in the last week, from 4.2 to 6.3%, on the strength of worsening conditions in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.  In fact, Missouri leads the nation—according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service—in very poor to poor ratings for pastures (98% VP to P), corn (84%), and soybeans (75%).
NOAA Monthly Climate Webinar: August 2012
Experts look back at July, make predictions for the next three months, and review the drought impacts in the Midwest

Don’t Waste The Drought, (NY Times OpEd, 8/16/2012)

WE’RE in the worst drought in the United States since the 1950s, and we’re wasting it.

 For decades, Americans have typically handled drought the same way. We are asked to limit lawn-watering and car-washing, to fully load dishwashers and washing machines before running them, to turn off the tap while brushing our teeth. When the rain comes, we all go back to our old water habits.

But just as the oil crisis of the 1970s spurred advances in fuel efficiency, so should the Drought of 2012 inspire efforts to reduce water consumption.

Drought and Health CDC

The health implications of drought are numerous and far reaching. Some drought-related health effects are experienced in the short-term and can be directly observed and measured. However, the slow rise or chronic nature of drought can result in longer term, indirect health implications that are not always easy to anticipate or monitor.
Indiana Drought Watch

This map (from USGS's National Drought Watch Web site) shows the 7-day average streamflow conditions in hydrologic units. Thus, the map shows conditions adjusted for this time of the year. The colors represent 7-day average streamflow percentiles for the day of the year. USGS sites having at least 30 years of record are used. The data used to produce this map are provisional and have not been reviewed or edited. They may be subject to significant change.

The Dark Side of No Till; A Kansas Farmer's Ag Blog

Like they say, there's good points and bad points about everything. And no till is no different.

But in years like this when nature provides a severe stress test, the myth rapidly fades away--that no till is the perfect way to farm. A friend of mine who is heavily into no till once observed that when you go to no till, you simply trade one set of problems for another.  And this year, we're getting to see the dark side of no till.

Back in the early '70s, I remember conversations with USDA researchers at the Akron Experiment Station in northeast Colorado.  At that time,  they had already started benchmark studies with various no till programs and rotations.

Drought Reinforcing Drought in the U.S. Southern Plains

Faces of Climate Action: Stories about making a difference

Anyone can make a difference. The smallest voice can be heard; the most unlikely of sources can make an impact on the world. We are sharing the stories and images of real people who are working tirelessly with EDF to reduce the impact of climate change.

Summer of Solidarity

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 07:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Backyard Science.

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