Sunday, February 15, 2015

West Coast and Predicted Droughts

NASA is warning that the Western half of the United States will be facing unprecedented Mega droughts before this century is over. The predictions are based on computer models that take into effect population growth, historical weather data, and expected effects of global warming. If NASA’s predictions are even partially correct, then we are facing a severe crisis that will make today’s droughts look like nothing in comparison.

Even if the effects of climate change are reduced, there will be serious consequences as California and neighbouring states endure long periods of drought. This will present major problems as the large population combined with limited water resources will leave only a few possible solutions.

1.       While many of NASA’s predictions are worse case, there is an 80% chance that the State will have at least one Megadrougth period lasting as long as 10 years. How should the State prepare for this situation?

2.       Technology often presents solutions to major problems. Some countries that have limited water resources have invested heavily in desalinization and are able to get freshwater from saltwater. Desalinization plants are very expensive and take many years to construct. Should California proactively invest in desalinization plants? 

3.       While the world is facing many problems today, how realistic is it to expect that countries can come together and find a solution to global warming?

1 comment:

Elena E said...

Regarding technology, our generation has lived through and witnessed enormous development, giant leaps in invention, in a short amount of time. Various methods of conserving water have been put in to action, even in our own school. It is likely that new methods of conserving and reclaiming water will be thought of. Though building desalinization plants seems like a promising idea, not only are the plants expensive to build, but also use up a lot of energy, which has to be taken from a non-renewable energy source. The question is double sided, and one may hope that with time, the technology of these plants could improve to be more cost efficient and energy efficient.