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« Fear the Bear(d) | Main | "Climate is gone.” »

Sierra Daily

Nov 05, 2010

How Low Can It Go?

Sierra's current "Up To Speed" column includes an update about the incredible shrinking Lake Mead:

After 11 years of drought, Lake Mead is at 40 percent of its capacity and dropping. The lake has a 50 percent chance of running dry by 2021.

Mead_tm5_2010223

Now NASA's wonderful Earth Observatory provides a documentary view--from Landsat 5 in the inky darkness of space. If you click through here you'll find this image contrasted with the same area as it appeared in 1985. Notes NASA:

Whether climate change is involved or not, there is also a historical problem at work, as described by the National Park Service: “In 1922, the states of the Colorado River Basin created the Colorado River Compact, governing how the water of the river would be divided between them. They looked at the average flow of the Colorado River over a ten-year time period. Unknowingly, they chose ten years that had a higher annual flow of water. This overabundance caused them to overestimate the amount of water available.”

Might be time to find a new place to berth that party barge.

--Paul Rauber

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