Stacy Finz in SFGate: California Drought: Farmers, Ranchers Face Uncertain Future. We’ve had no rain in Santa Barbara since November, I am told, and Winter is the rainy season. There is none in sight. The hills, normally green as Ireland by now, remain brown as July. Fire season is now year-round and the risk of fire is far worse. Falling reservoirs are exposing formerly drowned towns and other curiosities. Ski areas live on artificial snow alone. If this keeps up, water use for all but essentials will be outlawed. Formerly irrigated lawns and gardens will turn to kindling. Among industries, cattle ranching will collapse first, followed by other agricultural sectors.That’s just this year. If the drought persists for another year or two, the consequences for the rest of the economy, and the livings of many people, will be dire. Given the fact of global warming, expect a new normal, at the very least.
Patrick Minnis, Atmospheric Sciences, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia and J.Kirk Ayers, Rabindra Palikonda and Dung Phan, Analytical Services and Materials, Inc., Hampton, Virginia: Contrails, Cirrus Trends, Climate.