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July, 2015 was the hottest month on the planet ever recorded in human history.

Climate change – any questions?

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Release the Balls!!

The drought in California is getting worse and so are the water use regulations. Given that California and the west coast in general are known for coming up with new and innovative ways of doing things, it’s not surprising that they have come up with ‘Shade Balls’. They are round black polyethylene balls that float of the surface of the L.A.’s reservoirs. Their effect is to reduce evaporation, decrease algae growth and help reduce contamination from dust and wildlife. The cost is 39 cents each and the city of Los Angeles is releasing them into reservoirs. They are hollow with water inside so the wind won’t blow them off the reservoirs.

So far 96 million shade balls have been dumped into reservoirs around LA with the expectation that 300 million gallons of water a  year will be saved. I’m not sure if this will be part of a solution to California’s water crisis or it falls under the category of ‘Stupid Things Humans Do’.

So, now that California’s got balls we’ll just have to wait and see if they work.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/los-angeles-reservoir-shade-balls_55ca5a1ce4b0923c12be743d?utm_hp_ref=science&ir=Science&section=science&kvcommref=mostpopular

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The new beach fronts

We all know that climate change is causing the sea level to rise. But, given that our coasts are very crowded across the world what will happen? The article link below provides some interesting information for people to consider – there are graphics for those who don’t like to read. Remember that social changes, people moving, will happen much faster than the water rising. Here in Oregon we have been seeing ‘Water Refuges’ from California fleeing the drought for the last 18 months.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/10/opinions/sutter-climate-sea-level-facts/index.html#

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The empty table

When it comes to the effects of climate change we seem to be focused primarily on one aspect of it – lack of freshwater. There are other items to consider like the food that is produced using freshwater.

With droughts, flooding and variability in not only in seasonal rainfall but freezing temperatures we are seeing decreases in the production of food and fodder crops. Farmers don’t know what to plant when. It’s predicted that the average decrease will be about two percent per decade. This is a global conservative estimate with larger regional decreases forecast.

Many of the world’s major crops have been developed from selective breeding programs to fit into a specific region with a fixed periodicity of rainfall and temperature. Global production estimates are based environmental homeostasis.

The current UN panel on climate quarterly report deals with this issue.

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