Skip to content

The New Dustbowl

November 14, 2009
by

From Mother Jones News

The Central Valley, the thin, fertile band running down the middle of California, has long boasted the world’s richest agricultural economy, reliably producing more than a quarter of the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. But it’s done so in defiance of ecological reality. The 70-year-old irrigation system that has pumped water into the otherwise arid valley is proving increasingly vulnerable to shifting weather patterns. It now appears that waterwise, 20th century California was an anomaly, a relatively wet period in the midst of a historical cycle of severe drought. And the changing climate will only magnify the problem: By the end of the century, scientists predict, Central California could experience temperatures rivaling Death Valley’s and face the loss of 90 percent of the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the region’s main water source. “Business as usual won’t work in the future,” says Eike Luedeling, an expert in plant sciences at the University of California-Davis, whose research shows that higher temperatures will likely decimate the state’s $10 billion fruit and nut industry.

 

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: