July 30, 2012

Super Dry Ain’t Super Fly

Well maybe this humungous drought is an indication of what scientists were talking about when they said our climate was going to drastically change due to our massive CO2 emissions! The government has declared one-third of the country’s counties federal disaster areas – even my home town of Detroit, Michigan is considered in a “severe” drought – hang in there guys! This is one of the most widespread droughts the US has ever experienced as it’s impacting 80 percent of the country. The last time it was this bad was over half a century ago in 1956. Here is a handy drought map to help you see the severity of the situation. What this means in plain and simple terms is that a huge number of crops have been burned by dry heat or aren’t growing as well as they should, so farmers are reaping less which means produce prices are going to skyrocket. Not great news when we’re just starting to come out of our economic depression, huh?! The drought is also drying up bodies of water left and right – here’s a picture of one particularly bone-dry lake:

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen anything quite so dry, especially not something that was once a lake!  Another pretty scary effect of this seemingly endless drought is the trend of wildfires in Missouri, a state that doesn’t often find itself on fire.  There have already been 117 wildfires in Missouri’s Mark Twain National forest which is considered a record-breaking number.  There was even a case of a hay stack spontaneously catching on fire…I mean, seriously?!

One of the things that’s really crazy about this is how fast it happened. Click on this map for a really striking GIF that shows how fast the drought came on this year. The article also has lots about what the climatologists think about the whole thing.

So what can we do about all this dryness besides put on extra moisturizer??  Sadly not much.  It’s looking like the high pressure system that’s squatting on our Nation’s breadbasket isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  People living in the worst drought-affected areas are encouraged to water their lawns very sparingly, take shorter showers, and if at all possible, keep slip and slide parties to once a week.  No seriously though, don’t do that last one. How are you or your community responding to the drought? Let us know in the comments!

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