Arguably one of the most debated topics of recent years is climate change. For a very long time it was referred to strictly as global warming. But as that became more and more confusing and temperature prediction models around warming did not match what was actually happening, scientists realized we didn’t know as much about what was happening to the earth as we thought.
So climate change entered as the new word, and although we can’t predict what is happening as much as some have hoped, we can be clear that there are drastic changes happening to our planet. The question becomes, how much is manmade and how much is part of a natural cycle.
Discussion over this is important simply because we have the opportunity to look back at what our history and scientific record shows us about how earth has changed for hundreds of thousands of years. We can use that data to begin the discussion around how we may need to adapt going into the future. But if we get stuck simply blaming one another for how things are caused and applying tax to pull more money out of the pockets of the people and ignore what this change is really telling us, we could head towards some difficult times.
The good news is, many understand this and are working towards helping others to understand this as well. One of the individuals is Gregg Braden who has written a book called Deep Truth which dives deeply into this topic.
You can also read all about the cyclic changes we are experiencing right now that can help shed light on what’s really going on and causing climate change so we can more effectively move forward. A Time Of Climate Extremes
In all, the rainfall totals from around Northern California over the past 14 days are staggering with certain areas receiving nearly 2 feet of rain according to SFGate.
Downtown San Francisco has received 5.53 inches of rain since Jan. 1. The last time the city has seen a number higher than this was 1982 when 7.53 inches fell between Jan. 1 and Jan. 11. During last year’s El Niño year, S.F. had received close to three inches by this date.
More impressive numbers: The coastal range mountains outside Guerneville, where roads and homes went underwater when the Russian River flooded, has received some 21 inches of rain since Jan. 4.
In Downieville, where the Yuba River gushed with a heavy flow all week, some 23 inches of rain were recorded in the past seven days.
And as bad as the flooding has been in parts of Northern California, it would have undoubtedly been even worse but for the the ability to divert some of the excess water into previously depleted reservoirs scattered throughout the state.
“The super soakings have filled reservoirs that were mere mud puddles, their cracked lake beds once exposed at the height of the drought that plagued the state for five-plus years and still persists in many regions, especially in Southern California.
The reservoirs in Northern California have gained some million acres of storage in the past seven days, Michael Anderson, a climatologist with the California Department of Water Resources estimates. And total surface storage for the state is roughly 97 percent of average, with the the total storage for the largest reservoirs being at 111 percent of normal.
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Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, gained a bit more than 620,000 acre-feet in the first 10 days of January alone.
“That is almost 18 percent of its capacity,” Anderson said. “Since Oroville was about 750,000 acre-feet below its storage limits during flood season (a consequence of the drought), they can keep all that water for future use and largely offset storage impacts from the drought.” – SFGate.
Meanwhile, the transformation of the state’s reservoirs, in just a matter of weeks, is astonishing.
What a difference a year makes with most reservoirs now near capacity….
…versus ~30% of capacity last year. Why This Matters
As discussed above, this matters for a number of reasons. We can’t understand what’s truly going on in our world if we aren’t looking at the data correctly and if we bring politics into the equation too much.
As Gregg Braden states:
“…for example, that although we don’t know precisely why the climate is changing, the simple fact is that it is — and this change is threatening civilization as we know it. Coastlines are disappearing; great cities of the world are being destroyed by extreme weather; entire peoples and ways of life are vanishing; and the ability to grow food in the Northern Hemisphere, where the bulk of the world’s population lives, is diminishing quickly.
Deep truths give us the sound scientific reasons to think differently than we did when we made the choices that led us to the crises we’re now facing. For the Copenhagen Climate Summit, thinking differently would entail a shift away from seeing the world as a single pie with finite slices, where some must lose their portions in order for others to benefit … to realizing that we can make many pies, and even new ones of different flavors, to meet the needs of our entire global family.”
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