In the eye of a mega-drought: Researchers warn US should prepare for 'unprecedented drought conditions' unlike anything in past 1,000 years

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:37 pm

Since the turn of this century, the US south-west has spent more than a decade in drought. Last year was the warmest on record in California, which is in the middle of its driest spell for more than 400 years. But according to a new scientific study, that’s nothing compared to what comes next.

In the paper, published by the journal Science Advances, researchers from Nasa and Columbia and Cornell universities warn that a vast swathe of the US, including the south-west states and the central plains, should prepare for “unprecedented drought conditions” unlike anything in the past 1,000 years.

Within 35 years, the region’s millennia-long natural cycle of droughts and occasional rainfall is likely to bring an end to the relative dampness of the last century. The effects of that drying, the scientists warn, would be exacerbated by man-made climate change.

“Nearly every year is going to be dry toward the end of the 21st century, compared with what we think of as normal conditions now,” said Ben Cook from Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the lead author of the study. “We’re going to have to think about a much drier future in western North America.”

The long-term dry conditions could devastate the region’s agricultural capability, decimating both crops and cattle herds, and sending some food prices sky-rocketing. It would directly affect more than 60 million people from San Diego to San Antonio and from Oakland to Omaha, who depend on increasingly scant water resources and on infrastructure designed during an abnormally moist 20th century.

In the eye of a mega-drought: Researchers warn US should prepare for 'unprecedented drought conditions' unlike anything in past 1,000 years  Drought-3

The scientists said the effects of a mega-drought, which would be especially pronounced in desert cities such as Las Vegas and Phoenix, should be considered a slow-motion natural disaster, of a piece with earthquakes or hurricanes.

Data discovered in tree rings shows that between the ninth and the 14th centuries, the region also endured lengthy periods of intense drought, an era referred to by paleoclimatologists as the “Medieval Climate Anomaly”, which is believed to have hastened the demise of some early civilisations. But decades of dry conditions, beginning in about 2050, could be even worse, the study predicts.

Dr Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-author of the study, said: “We are the first to do this kind of quantitative comparison between the projections and the distant past, and the story is a bit bleak. Even when selecting for the worst mega-drought dominated period, the 21st century projections make the [previous] mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden.”

A mega-drought would lead to major water shortages, which would cause vegetation to dry up, bringing about regular, massive wildfires in Arizona and California. But while the drought in California and its neighbouring states has grabbed recent headlines, the study suggests a far larger area would be hit, encompassing all, or parts, of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/in-the-eye-of-a-megadrought-researchers-warn-us-should-prepare-for-unprecedented-drought-conditions-unlike-anything-in-past-1000-years-10045747.html

Certainly hope they are wrong.

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:41 pm

but they will be too stupid to set up coastal solar desalination plants

(which require only capital "set up costs" and minimal "running costs")

ok so theres pumping costs but they exist already....

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:42 pm

Have to say, have never understood why that isn't done already. Even East Anglia have said they don't have enough water resources. Why not? They are surrounded by the North Sea.

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Post by veya_victaous on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:12 pm

desalination is not a cure all, you still are left with salt rich brine that will destroy pretty much any environment you pump it into.

it is an option and can be used to supplement water sources but if your reliant on it you will soon cause your self a whole host of other issue.

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:17 pm

Don't know if you have ever heard of Maldon Salt Veya, it is prized by Chefs and is brought about by desalination.

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:19 pm

chuck it back into the sea ...it'll sink..... Rolling Eyes

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:45 pm

darknessss wrote:chuck it back into the sea ...it'll sink..... Rolling Eyes
Actually it may be more prudent to dump the wast brine in the Arctic and Antarctic waters to combat the desalination caused by massive sheets of ice melting due to global warming

And if you have ever seen 2012 the disaster movie(not all hyped fiction) you know desalination of the oceans is a bad thing for the northern hemisphere

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Post by veya_victaous on Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:15 pm

darknessss wrote:chuck it back into the sea ...it'll sink..... Rolling Eyes

and kill the sea
The brine generated as a wastewater during desalination is heavier than seawater, so if incorrectly discharged to the ocean would sink to the bottom. In addition, the brine is devoid of dissolved oxygen as a result of the desalination process.
If it is released into calm water it can sink to the bottom as a plume of salty water that can kill organisms on the sea bed from a lack of oxygen.

And Sassy yeah they don't even use a a fraction of what a desalination plant produces.
The salt is usually a waste product from desalination. It is possible to make salt products, such as Epsom salts etc, from the brine, but because the market for these products is small and the price is cheap, it is usually not economic to make products from the brine.
http://www.abc.net.au/science/expert/realexpert/desalination/01.htm

If it were that easy we would be doing it down here it is not we have already fucked up enough areas to know it is not a long term solution Suspect Suspect Suspect Suspect


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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:08 am

What to do with brine water from desalination ......well after a little thought i have solved that problem

i can get rid of as much as you want economically and permanently















Pump it down old oil wells that are no longer viable and even it it leaks the ocean will have time to absorb it safely

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:54 am

korban dallas wrote:What to do with brine water from desalination ......well after a little thought i have solved that problem

i can get rid of as much as you want economically and permanently















Pump it down old oil wells that are no longer viable and even it it leaks the ocean will have time to absorb it safely  

http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/salinity/

probably not that simple, as it will effect both water and salt tables of the land. which can severely fuck up a lot. Salt is poisonous to most life



The native Australian vegetation evolved to be salt-tolerant. Many of the woodland species, for example, have deep roots and a high demand for water. Whilst the system was in balance, the salt stayed put. But when European farming arrived and replaced the natives with crop and pasture plants that have shorter roots and need less water, the inevitable happened. With every fall of rain, unused water "leaks" down to the water table, raising it, and bringing the salt up with it. That process continues today, and the volumes of water and salt are vast.

Under the soils of the Western Australian wheatbelt and some parts of eastern Australia the salt store is so immense, and the movement of sub-surface water so slow, that restoration to fertility of salt-effected land will take generations. Some areas may never recover. According to the CSIRO, even if we replant up to 80% of the native vegetation, some cleared catchments would not see recovery within normal human timescales.

It is a tragic irony that the felling of many billions of trees to make room for the farming that let this nation prosper has caused, in just 150 years, our worst environmental crisis, and destroyed a natural balance that had existed for millenia.

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:20 am

veya_victaous wrote:
korban dallas wrote:What to do with brine water from desalination ......well after a little thought i have solved that problem

i can get rid of as much as you want economically and permanently















Pump it down old oil wells that are no longer viable and even it it leaks the ocean will have time to absorb it safely  

http://www.abc.net.au/science/slab/salinity/

probably not that simple, as it will effect both water and salt tables of the land. which can severely fuck up a lot. Salt is poisonous to most life



The native Australian vegetation evolved to be salt-tolerant. Many of the woodland species, for example, have deep roots and a high demand for water. Whilst the system was in balance, the salt stayed put. But when European farming arrived and replaced the natives with crop and pasture plants that have shorter roots and need less water, the inevitable happened. With every fall of rain, unused water "leaks" down to the water table, raising it, and bringing the salt up with it. That process continues today, and the volumes of water and salt are vast.

Under the soils of the Western Australian wheatbelt and some parts of eastern Australia the salt store is so immense, and the movement of sub-surface water so slow, that restoration to fertility of salt-effected land will take generations. Some areas may never recover. According to the CSIRO, even if we replant up to 80% of the native vegetation, some cleared catchments would not see recovery within normal human timescales.

It is a tragic irony that the felling of many billions of trees to make room for the farming that let this nation prosper has caused, in just 150 years, our worst environmental crisis, and destroyed a natural balance that had existed for millenia.
Not sure that`s true
i am talking about deep sea wells .....that are at sea that are capped because they are no longer able to produce oil

It would have no affect on the land and as these oil wells are deep in the ground under the sea floor so its not going to affect the ecosystem
and unlike a oil leek from one of these wells that would be devastating to the environment
Any brine that escaped would be absorbed naturally back in to the sea water over time instead of large quantity s being discharged

And these wells are well under the water table below sea level in fact so you would not need to worry about contamination of any water table or land it just could not happen

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:18 am

@KD
maybe you might get away with it under sea oil fields.. but I still say potentially massive consequences Massive power requirements and NOT fixing the problem just making a new one for future generations.

How about people MOVE or Actually implement responsible water restrictions! If California had implement the water restriction Sydney did back in the 90's they wouldn't have this problem
as it was People still get sent fines for NOT watering their lawn? here you are only allowed to water lawns in the late afternoon (when the least will be lost to evaporation) and when dams are low only 2 days a week... and past a certain point (which has been reached since the 90's since we invested more efficient water usage) No watering lawns.
California Made a choice almost a quarter century ago! Green Lawns Now and no drinking water in the future... they are just reaping what they sowed.

there modelling suggesting it will effect so many other a states is liable to be faulty. it is very light on detail and full of unfounded conclusions.. and it is also a terribly written article framing the most extreme case as probably in stead of possibly.

Climate change is real but this is fear mongering, if they were serious then it's too late already.... what we do now will effect next century what we have already done will drive the events of this century..

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:50 pm

Lone Wolf wrote:Laughing   A DESAL' plant to provide about 15% of Sydney city's annual needs (~ 5 million people..) costs over $2 BILLION to build, the water costs over FIVE times as much to produce when compared to trapping, storing and transporting good ol' rainwater ~ AND the salt-laden 'brine' that would be dumped back into the sea would then sterilise an area of roughly 20 square kilometres of ocean floor...

* AND NO, Victor : Brine doesn't "sink" straight away - the salt is in solution, and with brine being lighter than water it actually floats until the heavy salts dissipate through the surrounds, contaminating everything around the outfall pipe ~ and in turn killing off all of those seagrasses, seaweeds, molluscs and other wee l'il beasties that normally help to filter and condition those seabeds..


bull shit.......plain and simple...brine is denser than water....and its density increases according to its salinity..so cncentrated brine will "sink in sea water. FGS where did you get your "degree" from...a christmas cracker??? why do you think ships have "plimsol lines" ? so they know when to put their gym kit on???
and YOU have the brass nerve to wank your gob off at me.....


THERE ARE SIX "Municipal" sized desal' plant sites in Oz ~ in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Brisbane ~ of which only two are operational, Sydney and Brisbane have been "mothballed" since construction, and two (Darwin and Melbourne) were canceled before construction began..

THERE are also dozens of much smaller desal' units around the country, being used for industrial and military applications, and during natural disasters ~ but all up, 'desalination' will be lucky to provide 1 or 2% of our annual needs !

* AND, despite sassy's odd and unfounded fantasies about producing marketable quantities of salts from the desal' plants ~ there really ISN'T a big enough commercial market for such more expensive sources when much cheaper natural sources (e.g. The Dead Sea, Siberia, Mexico, Bonneville, Lake Eyre..) can easily supply the worlds annual needs..

NORTH AMERICA doesn't need any major new desal' plants ~ as there is NO actual 'genuine' shortage of water on their continent !!!
WHAT they DO need to do over there, is to stop the chronic wasteful habits that has Americans as the world's heaviest consumers of H2O; and to get rid of all that willful contamination - industrial, agricultural and urban runoffs in the main..
   drunken

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:16 pm

yeah it actually sinks straight away if just dumped it, pretty much suffocating all life very quickly completely destroying the ecosystem as all the micro-organism that make the bottom of the food chain are gone.
Which is why it is generally dispersed allowing to sink gradually.. but that still fucks stuff up through the process that wolf said.

the part in blue is fairly true.
they are still very wasteful and don't protect most of their freshwater sources


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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:37 pm

Lone Wolf wrote:Laughing   A DESAL' plant to provide about 15% of Sydney city's annual needs (~ 5 million people..) costs over $2 BILLION to build, the water costs over FIVE times as much to produce when compared to trapping, storing and transporting good ol' rainwater ~ AND the salt-laden 'brine' that would be dumped back into the sea would then sterilise an area of roughly 20 square kilometres of ocean floor...

* AND NO, Victor : Brine doesn't "sink" straight away - the salt is in solution, and with brine being lighter than water it actually floats until the heavy salts dissipate through the surrounds, contaminating everything around the outfall pipe ~ and in turn killing off all of those seagrasses, seaweeds, molluscs and other wee l'il beasties that normally help to filter and condition those seabeds..

THERE ARE SIX "Municipal" sized desal' plant sites in Oz ~ in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Brisbane ~ of which only two are operational, Sydney and Brisbane have been "mothballed" since construction, and two (Darwin and Melbourne) were canceled before construction began..

THERE are also dozens of much smaller desal' units around the country, being used for industrial and military applications, and during natural disasters ~ but all up, 'desalination' will be lucky to provide 1 or 2% of our annual needs !

* AND, despite sassy's odd and unfounded fantasies about producing marketable quantities of salts from the desal' plants ~ there really ISN'T a big enough commercial market for such more expensive sources when much cheaper natural sources (e.g. The Dead Sea, Siberia, Mexico, Bonneville, Lake Eyre..) can easily supply the worlds annual needs..

NORTH AMERICA doesn't need any major new desal' plants ~ as there is NO actual 'genuine' shortage of water on their continent !!!
WHAT they DO need to do over there, is to stop the chronic wasteful habits that has Americans as the world's heaviest consumers of H2O; and to get rid of all that willful contamination - industrial, agricultural and urban runoffs in the main..
   drunken
brine can be used to de-ice or reduce freezing temperatures on roads Brine is also a common fluid used in large refrigeration installations,also the  electrolysis of brine is a large-scale process used to manufacture chlorine from salt. Two other useful chemicals are obtained during the process, sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen (H2).

Also saltcrete is a mixture of cement with salts and brine great for making roads and paths apparently  
so they are plenty of commercial uses LW

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:44 pm

Brinicle' ice finger of death filmed in Antarctic


Dr Mark Brandon Polar oceanographer, The Open University

Freezing sea water doesn't make ice like the stuff you grow in your freezer. Instead of a solid dense lump, it is more like a seawater-soaked sponge with a tiny network of brine channels within it.

In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath.

The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle.

Brinicles are found in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, but it has to be relatively calm for them to grow as long as the ones the Frozen Planet team observed.




http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/15835017

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Post by Ben Reilly on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:52 pm

I think restrictions are the answer, I've done a fair amount of journalism on this subject in Texas, and the thing that water-supply experts always want to tell me off the record, and never want to be on the record about, is that water is too cheap. If it cost more, we wouldn't let it run down the sink or tub for minutes on end; we'd turn off the faucet when we didn't need water.

I still remember my dad shaving, he'd let the tap run the entire time, even when he wasn't rinsing the razor. I know a lot of people who keep the tap running while brushing their teeth.

We also need to stop using potable water in toilets, that's crazy.

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:21 pm

Ben_Reilly wrote:I think restrictions are the answer, I've done a fair amount of journalism on this subject in Texas, and the thing that water-supply experts always want to tell me off the record, and never want to be on the record about, is that water is too cheap. If it cost more, we wouldn't let it run down the sink or tub for minutes on end; we'd turn off the faucet when we didn't need water.

I still remember my dad shaving, he'd let the tap run the entire time, even when he wasn't rinsing the razor. I know a lot of people who keep the tap running while brushing their teeth.

We also need to stop using potable water in toilets, that's crazy.

that's right, here through out the 90's there were advertising campaigns to change peoples behaviours.. including all those things and taking shorter showers, putting buckets in the shower to catch the excess waste water that you can then use on the garden. mandated lo-flo toilets, new suburbs have 'grey-water' systems for toilets and gardening..
whole bunch of things have reduced the water consumption to a point where we have built a desalination plant that is not used. it's construction started the same time we started trying to save water, ended up Sydney needs far less water than previously thought if we don't waste it Smile

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:32 pm

@KD
And the few De-sal planet already in existence ALREADY produce vastly more than the world uses and have to dump most of it as a waste by product.
there is no economic use for the brine, as there is already huge amounts already being produced.

We have been looking for something to do with it other than pump it back into the sea for years already. (CSIRO is the gov't funded research, they invented wifi and a whole bunch of other stuff they are not incompetent)
http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Process-Science-and-Engineering/SaltyWaste.aspx

And even then the economic reality is Lake Eyre makes it economically non-viable (lake Eyre is hundreds of square kilometres of natural salt left from when the inland sea dried up)

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:44 pm

shove it onto an existing salt pan????? and let it evaporate??

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Post by Guest on Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 am

veya_victaous wrote:@KD
And the few De-sal planet already in existence ALREADY produce vastly more than the world uses and have to dump most of it as a waste by product.
there is no economic use for the brine, as there is already huge amounts already being produced.

We have been looking for something to do with it other than pump it back into the sea for years already. (CSIRO is the gov't funded research, they invented wifi and a whole bunch of other stuff they are not incompetent)
http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Divisions/Process-Science-and-Engineering/SaltyWaste.aspx

And even then the economic reality is Lake Eyre makes it economically non-viable (lake Eyre is hundreds of square kilometres of natural salt left from when the inland sea dried up)
excellent link VV

"Using desalination plants’ hyper-saline discharge in solar salt fields could increase production and halve the space required by conventional salt fields"

Dr Hal Aral, has found that rather than discharging the concentrated brine from a desalination plant back into the sea, it could be used as feed in a solar salt field to recover ordinary salt

if any body remembers i suggested this idea this over a year ago

in particularly death valley in America this could have many benefits for America apart from Recovering a number of valuable mineral salts. This should add to the improved economics of the process.'
   sodium chloride
   Epsom salt
   potassium chloride
   magnesium chloride
   bromine
   lithium salts.
also the extra moisture that would be put in the atmosphere could help with the droughts in California but the affects of this would have to be monitored



Also gold, silver. platinum ect exist in small quantity in sea water/brine and it has never been economical to extract it now its a by-product

and as it says
"The concentrated nature of this brine also means the required salt field area could be halved and its productivity increased.
'The economics of this configuration is much improved over a conventional salt field,' Mr Norgate says.


so i guess the markets their and lots of economic use`s

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In the eye of a mega-drought: Researchers warn US should prepare for 'unprecedented drought conditions' unlike anything in past 1,000 years  Empty Re: In the eye of a mega-drought: Researchers warn US should prepare for 'unprecedented drought conditions' unlike anything in past 1,000 years

Post by veya_victaous on Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:21 am

yeah but in the past decade no one has been able break into the market because of high set-up costs, low profit and high competition. productivity could be increase be square metre but that doesn't offset the 9,500 km² of FREE natural existing salt plains that make up JUST Lake Eyre. the entire basin is 1,200,000 km² with multiple salt plain 'lakes'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Eyre_basin
To provide a sense of scale, the Lake Eyre Basin is about the size of France, Germany and Italy combined.
In the eye of a mega-drought: Researchers warn US should prepare for 'unprecedented drought conditions' unlike anything in past 1,000 years  915099-lake-eyre
that report is a 8 years old. since then we have given up because it is uneconomical. it's not that they can never work it is that there is currently alternatives too cheap to for brine use to be competitive.

Best REAL long term solution is grey water systems, Once established they cut the demand for drinking water.. largely because the stop it being wasted in toilets/gardens etc. the purification to grey water level (not safe to drink) is very cheap and if generally considered better for the environment than alternative treatments for sewerage waste.

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Post by veya_victaous on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:51 am

In the eye of a mega-drought: Researchers warn US should prepare for 'unprecedented drought conditions' unlike anything in past 1,000 years  Must-see-imagery-severe-drought

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