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California Drought Threatens to Destabilize Agriculture Markets

The state of California is deep into the third year of a record drought. An excellent map from the University of Nebraska shows that nearly 91% of the state is undergoing "severe to exceptional" drought. Seventeen communities scattered across the state are expected to run out of water by mid-May. Last year was California's driest since it became a state in 1850. This year looks to be the driest in over 400 years, according to climatologists at the University of California Berkeley.

Scientists say more is in store. Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory believes a 20-year drought cycle began in 2000. Scott Stine, a professor of environmental studies at Cal State East Bay, told the San Jose Mercury News, "We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years. We're living in a dream world."

So what's the big deal? As they say, this time it's different. The ongoing California drought provides a disturbing glimpse of future water shortages and their impact on agricultural production and food security.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 3rd, 2014 at 11:45:04 PM EST
Instead of focusing on how to evolve the state's agriculture to more sustainable forms (and more adapted to the climate), the conclusion is sort of predictable: help Big Ag in <insert US state> or the world's hungry masses get it...
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 14th, 2014 at 09:37:06 AM EST
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