Home » Posts tagged 'megadrought'

Tag Archives: megadrought

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Plunging Crop Supplies Send Prices Soaring And Reignite Food Inflation Fears, WASDE Reports

Plunging Crop Supplies Send Prices Soaring And Reignite Food Inflation Fears, WASDE Reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was released Thursday afternoon and pointed to declining grain supplies that sent grain futures prices higher and will keep food inflation in focus.

The closely watched supply and demand report slashed estimates for corn yields and stockpiles. World inventories for wheat were reported near a five-year low.

Grain and oilseed futures soared to a near-decade high earlier this year but have been in a holding pattern for the last month, awaiting new reports on the outlook for upcoming U.S. harvests. A megadrought and back-to-back heat waves have plagued the corn belt and the U.S. West for much of the summer. 

December corn futures were up more than 2% to $5.7150 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures popped on the report and are now flat at the end of the U.S. cash session, wheat futures rose more than 3%, hitting a fresh eight-year high.

The Bloomberg Grains Index closed up 1% on the report.

Bloomberg outlines the key takeaways from the August WASDE report:

  • DROUGHT BITES: U.S. corn and soybean yields fell below analyst expectations and the declines were largely centered in the drought-stricken northern Plains, where severe drought has withered crops.
  • RUSSIA: So goes Russia’s harvest, so goes the wheat market. A large cut in the harvest means a lot less global wheat supplies and Russia’s wheat-export throne as the world’s top shipper is in doubt with the current forecast in line with exports out of the E.U.
  • WHEAT PEAK: Benchmark Chicago wheat prices hit the highest levels for a most-active contract since 2013. Corn and soybeans each touched multi-week highs but remain below multi-year peaks from earlier in 2021.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lake Oroville Hydro Power Plant Shut Down For First Time Due To Megadrought

Lake Oroville Hydro Power Plant Shut Down For First Time Due To Megadrought

One of California’s most important hydroelectric plants has ceased operations due to falling water levels, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR).

On Wednesday, Lake Oroville fell to a record low of 642-feet above mean sea level. By Thursday, the lake stood at 641-feet above mean sea level. Readers may recall in mid-June, we said if the “640 feet is breached, then officials will likely be forced to close the Edward Hyatt Power Plant for the first time since it opened in 1967.”

Hitting the threshold was enough for DWR to declare the hydroelectric power plant had to cease operations. Lake management officials are in a water preservation emergency amid a megadrought and scorching heat waves.

Karla Nemeth, the director of DRW, said the move to shut down the powerplant follows a “climate-induced drought.”

Shutting down the plant is a move to conserve as much water in Lake Oroville as possible. Water in the lake is pumped into an adjacent hydroelectric energy facility known as the Hyatt power plant, which can power 800,000 homes when operational.

“DWR State Water Project operations managers have taken the Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville offline due to falling lake levels. This is the first time Hyatt Powerplant has gone offline as a result of low lake levels. However, DWR anticipated this moment, and the state has planned for its loss in both water and grid management. We have been in regular communication about the status of Hyatt Powerplant with the California Independent Service Operator (CAISO) and the California Energy Commission and steps have been taken in anticipation of the loss of power generation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bootleg Fire In Oregon Uncontrollably Doubles In Size Amid Megadrought

Bootleg Fire In Oregon Uncontrollably Doubles In Size Amid Megadrought

Large swaths of the Western half of the US experienced triple-digit temperatures this past weekend, with intense heat expected to continue through mid-week. As the West baked, a huge wildfire doubled in size in southern Oregon, continuing to threaten major transmission lines that feed power into northern California.

California and other surrounding states are plagued with a megadrought, continuing heat waves, water shortages, fears of rolling blackouts, and an early fire season that could be one for the record books.

The fire in focus Monday is the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, approximately doubling in size in the last 48 hours to more than 150,000 acres.

The U.S. Forest Service published an incident report from the weekend specifying, “firefighters, emergency managers and other public safety officials faced the fifth day in a row of extreme, intense fire behavior on the Bootleg Fire, as hot, dry, windy weather persists in the area.”

The Bootleg fire began in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near the Sprague River last Tuesday. Nearby residents in Klamath County were told to evacuate because of imminent fire danger.

On Sunday, the wildfire continued to spread and was zero percent contained. Extreme hot temperatures and a megadrought appear to be what fuels the fire.

According to NBC News, “the fire interrupted electrical lines that transmit power from Oregon to California. The state lost thousands of megawatts of imported power and struggled to maintain operating reserves as temperatures soared into triple digits in parts of the state.”

Last week, the wildfire prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy supplies.

On Friday, the state’s grid operator, California Independent System Operator (ISO), was very close to triggering rolling blackouts to thwart a collapse of the power grid.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Unprecedented Event” – Pacific Northwest Set To Shatter Heat Records This Weekend 

“Unprecedented Event” – Pacific Northwest Set To Shatter Heat Records This Weekend 

A “historic” heat wave is set to transform the U.S. Pacific Northwest into a furnace this weekend. It has the potential to shatter long-standing temperature records, according to Reuters.

“This will be setting the stage for the beginning of a potential historic heat wave for the Northwest this weekend,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said. Excessive heat warnings are in effect for much of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and northern parts of California. 

“High temperatures will still be 10 to 20 degrees above average and lead into the weekend when numerous record highs are likely,” NWS said. 

“A number of Portland Airport high-temperature records are in jeopardy this weekend. Not only will PDX likely set the warmest temperature for June 26th & June for that matter, but the all time record temperature of 107°F remains in serious jeopardy,” NWS Portland tweeted. 

NWS Portland added: the “extreme heat wave this weekend is expected to break several daily, monthly and possibly all-time records. This is an unprecedented event…have a plan in place to remain cool!”

According to Axios“the heat wave will affect a region where many people lack central air conditioning, raising the likelihood for public health impacts. In addition, power demand is likely to spike at a time when hydropower resources are running relatively low due to drier than average conditions.” 

Heat waves such as this one have been impacting much of the western half of the US this year, sparking a megadrought, fallow lands, and soon-to-be grasshopper plague that may decimate crops further.

Megadrought Could Force California’s Lake Oroville Hydroelectric Power Plant To Shut Down

Megadrought Could Force California’s Lake Oroville Hydroelectric Power Plant To Shut Down

One of California’s most critical hydroelectric plants is at risk of closing for the first time in five decades as water levels continue to sink.

A megadrought and scorching heat, both worsened by La Nina weather effects, have depleted some of the water supply at Northern California’s Lake Oroville. The lake’s current water levels are hoovering around 700 feet above sea level, but if 640 feet is breached, then officials “will likely be forced to close the Edward Hyatt Power Plant for the first time since it opened in 1967,” California Energy Commission spokesperson Lindsay Buckley told CNN.

The lake’s record low is 646 feet, and the state’s Department of Water Resources expects that level to be observed in August.

Earlier this month, at least 130 houseboats were evacuated from the lake as water levels continued to drop. As a result, any lower and boat ramps would be inaccessible.

Further, if the Hyatt plant closes, hydroelectric generation for the state’s grid would be affected. At full capacity, the plant can power up to 800,000 homes.

Lake Oroville Hyatt Powerplant 

“If lake levels fall below those elevations later this summer, DWR [California Department of Water Resources] will, for the first time, cease generation at the Hyatt power plant due to lack of sufficient water to turn the plant’s electrical generation turbines,” said Liza Whitmore, Public Information Officer of DWR’s Oroville Field Division.

Before & After 

2019 Lake Oroville

2021 Lake Oroville

Closure of the plant would mean the state’s power companies would have to source electricity from elsewhere to fill the void.

Lake Oroville is also a natural attraction that sees at least a million visitors visit each year. Without visitors enjoying boat parties, wakeboarding, or relaxing in the sun, the local economy could take a severe hit as it attempts to recover from the virus pandemic.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

One Shocking Chart That Has Farmers Trembling With Fear 

One Shocking Chart That Has Farmers Trembling With Fear 

Readers know by now that the Western US is facing one of the most severe droughts in years. We’ve documented (read here & here) this spring of a “megadrought” sweeping across states like California and Nevada as risks of a second Dust Bowl increase by the day.

But in this note, let’s dive deeper into the drought and how it’s impacting farmers and the potential consequences it could have on crops. Meteorologists at BAMWX have published data on surface soil moisture over 20 years. Surface soil moisture is the water that is in the upper 4 inches and available for various types of plants. They found that the 2021 moisture deficit for early June is the worst it has ever been in two decades.

BAMWX’s Vince Bryan says the moisture deficit in the soil is “a concern” as it may impact plant development. Soil moisture plays a crucial role in agricultural monitoring, drought and flood forecasting, forest fire prediction, and water supply management.

Soil moisture observations can alert of impending drought, such as what’s been underway in the Western US this year.

What this means is that soil moisture deficits can dry crops and make them more vulnerable to pests. Even short-term drought can cause damage to crops, mainly during critical stages of crop development, such as after planting or during flowering.

If the drought persists, crop yields could come underestimates this year and result in elevated agricultural prices.

Ranchers Sell Off Cattle And Farmers Idle Hundreds Of Thousands Of Acres As America’s Drought Emergency Escalates

Ranchers Sell Off Cattle And Farmers Idle Hundreds Of Thousands Of Acres As America’s Drought Emergency Escalates

In my entire lifetime, this is the worst that drought conditions have ever been in the western half of the country.  During the past 20 years, the amount of territory in the West considered to be suffering from exceptional drought has never gone higher than 11 percent until now.  Today, that number is sitting at 27 percent.  The term “mega-drought” is being thrown around a lot these days to describe what is happening, but this isn’t just a drought.  This is a true national emergency, and it is really starting to affect our food supply.

Just look at what is happening up in North Dakota.  The vast majority of the state is either in the worst level of drought or the second worst level of drought, and ranchers are auctioning off their cattle by the thousands

“Normally this time of the year, we’re probably looking at 400-600 head and a lot of times would be every other week,” said former auctioneer Ron Torgerson.

On Sunday and Monday, more than 4,200 head of cattle were sold at Rugby Livestock and Auction.

Needless to say, ranchers in North Dakota don’t want to get rid of their cattle, but the drought has pushed prices for hay and corn so high that many of them simply have no choice.

One of those that has already been forced to sell a large number of cattle is rancher David Bohl

As the drought continues, the price of hay and corn has gone way up. It’s more expensive for ranchers to try and supplement feed than it is to sell the cattle.

Bohl has already sold 200 of his head in the last month.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Next on the List of American Catastrophes? A Western Megadrought

Next on the List of American Catastrophes? A Western Megadrought

I’ve written many articles for The Organic Prepper about the coming food shortages. Not just in the United States but all across the world. Food isn’t the only thing that is soon going to be in short supply.

Fresh, clean water appears to be one of the prime shortages facing humanity today. And this problem is only going to get worse in the future. The American West is facing a water crisis not seen since the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl days. Ironic, since we’re also seeing a lot of similarities to the Great Depression, too.

This past year saw drought in the American West deepen

According to research published in the Journal Science, portions of the United States entered the beginning stages of megadrought. From the Columbia University site:

All told, the researchers say that rising temperatures are responsible for about half the pace and severity of the current drought. If this overall warming were subtracted from the equation, the current drought would rank as the 11th worst detected — bad, but nowhere near what it has developed into.

“It doesn’t matter if this is exactly the worst drought ever,” said coauthor Benjamin Cook, who is affiliated with Lamont and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “What matters is that it has been made much worse than it would have been because of climate change.” Since temperatures are projected to keep rising, it is likely the drought will continue for the foreseeable future; or fade briefly only to return, say the researchers.

“Because the background is getting warmer, the dice are increasingly loaded toward longer and more severe droughts,” said Williams. “We may get lucky, and natural variability will bring more precipitation for a while…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Another Reason To Move Away From California: ‘Conditions Are Like A Third-World Country’

Another Reason To Move Away From California: ‘Conditions Are Like A Third-World Country’

As if anyone actually neededanother reason to move out of the crazy state of California, now it is being reported that conditions in some areas of the state “are like a third-world country” due to the multi-year megadrought that has hit the state.  In one California county alone, more than 1,000 wells have gone dry as the groundwater has disappeared.  The state is turning back into a desert, and an increasing number of homes no longer have any water coming out of their taps or showerheads.  So if you weren’t scared away by the wildfires, mudslides, high taxes, crime, gang violence, traffic, insane political correctness, the nightmarish business environment or the constant threat of “the big one” reducing your home to a pile of rubble, perhaps the fact that much of the state could soon be facing Dust Bowl conditions may finally convince you to pack up and leave.  And if you do decide to go, you won’t be alone.  Millions of Californians have fled the state in recent years, and this water crisis could soon spark the greatest migration out of the state that we have ever seen.

Back in 1972, Albert Hammond released a song entitled “It Never Rains In Southern California“, and back then that was considered to be a good thing.

But today, years of very little rain are really starting to take a toll.  In fact, one government official says that conditions in Tulare Country “are like a third-world country”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase