drought

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Cave Clues Point to Parched Mideast for 10K Years

Iranian stalagmites indicate rain isn't coming anytime soon

(Newser) - For anyone holding hope that the dry conditions in the Middle East are but a temporary drought, two cave stalagmites taken from Iran tell a long history of the region's precipitation and give a grim prognosis: not much rain for the next 10,000 years. Thanks to their chemical... More »

Simple Trick May Help Plants Survive Drought

The effect was seen in rice, wheat, corn, and more

(Newser) - As the climate warms, scientists are conducting experiments around the world to try to boost drought resistance in a wide range of crops. But a study out of the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan is especially promising because the key ingredient helping a wide range of crops... More »

'Uninvited Guest' Is Killing a Southwest Reservoir

Climate change is decreasing water levels in Lake Powell: Rebecca Solnit

(Newser) - More than 50 years ago, Glen Canyon, straddling Arizona and Utah, became flooded with water after the creation of the Glen Canyon Dam led to the formation of the Lake Powell reservoir. But even though the Sierra Club wrote the canyon's obituary in 1963, Rebecca Solnit reveals in the... More »

California's Biggest Reservoir Just Hit a Happy Milestone

Gates of Shasta Dam opened for first time in nearly 20 years

(Newser) - For the first in almost two decades, water spilled from the top of Shasta Dam in California this week—another sign that the state's long drought is all but over. With Lake Shasta, California's largest reservoir, at 93% capacity, officials opened Shasta Dam's topmost gates one at... More »

An End to California's 5-Year Drought? It's on Mother Nature

If storms keep raining precipitation down, Cali could be sitting pretty

(Newser) - Sorry, Lena Horne, but stormy weather may be just what California's been looking for. The Golden State has been getting bombarded with precipitation—rain, snow, hail, sleet—making even Los Angeles feel "more like London than Southern California," the Los Angeles Times notes. But for a parched... More »

This State's 102M Dead Trees 'Should Be Concerning for Everyone'

California's wildfires are getting more common and more dangerous

(Newser) - In drought-stricken California, 36 million trees have died since May, the Los Angeles Times reports. They're part of 62 million trees that have died in the state since 2016 and 102 million trees that have died over the past six years. "It's not beyond the pale to... More »

Brewers Are Scrambling to Get Pumpkin for Fall Beers

Blame it on the weather

(Newser) - No, the predicted Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015 didn't actually live up to its name, as Fortune reported last November. But that's in part because the companies that can pumpkins didn't hold onto reserves for the following year's crop—that would, of course, be this year'... More »

Scrapping Lawns in LA Would Change City's Temps

How much depends on what lawns are replaced with

(Newser) - The typical California home's biggest area of water usage is beyond its four walls: its outdoor landscaping . So in the face of drought, tens of thousands of Los Angeles homeowners made a change last summer, reports the Times , swapping their grass for artificial turf, gravel, or drought-tolerant shrubs. And... More »

Corona Brewery Accused of Draining Mexico of Water

Mexican mayor accuses US firm of sucking all the water from local wells

(Newser) - Americans love Mexican beer. The US imports more beer from its neighbor to the south than all other importers put together, and Corona is the country's fifth best-selling beer, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2015. But the mayor of the municipality of Zaragoza just south of the US... More »

What Drought? Still-Parched California Lifts Water Limits

The power to conserve now shifts to the hands of local communities instead of the state

(Newser) - It used to be you'd be heavily fined if you turned on your water too much or for an unapproved reason in parched California. Now many of those restrictions are about to be dismissed, with a reversal of the state mandate for a 25% drop in city water use,... More »

Daytime Cooking Banned During Deadly Indian Heatwave

Fires, mostly from cooking, have killed dozens

(Newser) - Faced with deadly fires during a blistering weeks-long heatwave, one Indian state has made the "unprecedented" move of banning daytime cooking, the Guardian reports. "After a review of fire incidents, we've seen that most of them were caused by cooking fires," a senior disaster management official... More »

Saudi Arabia Is Snapping Up US Farmland

Farmers worry about 'exporting water'

(Newser) - In Southwestern states, including Arizona and California, the Saudis are making hay while the sun shines, and local farmers aren't happy about it. Last week, a Saudi company bought 1,790 acres of farmland in Blythe, Calif., the Saudi Gazette reports, adding to the amount of farmland bought by... More »

Droughts Could Be Even Worse for Trees Than We Thought

And the effects can last for years, study says

(Newser) - The ability of Earth's forests to stand up to droughts may be worse than previously believed. The Washington Post reports that many current scientific models assume trees recover immediately following a drought. But Princeton's William Anderegg demonstrated droughts actually have "legacy effects" on trees in a study... More »

Drought Drops Key Calif. Lake Near 'Dead Zone'

Folsom Lake is less than 15% full with little relief in the forecast

(Newser) - It was already one of the most iconic visuals of California's historic drought, and things have only gotten worse. Gizmodo reports few people—even in California—were aware of the severity of the ongoing drought when it was officially declared in 2012. That changed in 2014 when before and... More »

Study: We're Using Our Groundwater Too Quickly

Only a small fraction is renewable within a lifetime

(Newser) - "We're using our groundwater resources too fast—faster than they're being renewed," Dr. Tom Gleeson says in a University of Victoria press release . Gleeson, along with fellow researchers, published the most accurate map of Earth's groundwater supply to date on Monday in Nature Geoscience. The... More »

400-Year-Old Church Emerges in Reservoir

The Temple of Santiago gets a breath of air

(Newser) - Huh, this wasn't there last year—a 16th-century church emerging from the waters of a Mexican reservoir. But it actually makes sense, because drought has caused the water level to fall 82 feet in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, revealing a church that was flooded during construction of a dam nearly... More »

California Lawmaker Considers Buying Alaska's Water

'An opportunity to think outside the box'

(Newser) - Apparently taking a cue from Captain James. T. Kirk himself, one California politician is looking into the possibility of shipping 9 billion gallons of water from Alaska to the increasingly dry state, USA Today reports. Rep. Janice Hahn held an exploratory meeting last week with Terry Trapp, the CEO of... More »

California's Drought: Listen, and You Can Hear It

Researcher finds that sounds of wildlife have dropped over the years

(Newser) - It's easy to look around the West and see startling signs of the region's drought. Trickier, but perhaps just as startling, is to hear signs of that same drought. Researcher Bernie Krause has made it possible thanks to decades of recordings at California's Sugarloaf Ridge State Park,... More »

Mountains Reveal Worst Water News in 500 Years

Study says the snowmelt has hit a dismal low

(Newser) - As if California doesn't have enough water problems . Now scientists say the Sierra Nevada snowpack—which gives the state nearly a third of its surface water—is at a shocking 500-year low, the Guardian reports. That means California, now in its fourth year of drought, can't rely as... More »

We Can't Eat America's No. 1 Crop

We grow three times more grass than even corn

(Newser) - Corn might be the United States' No. 1 food crop, but it doesn't hold a candle to the amount of grass being grown by accidental farmers around the country. In a look at America's "most useless crop," io9 surfaces decade-old research from NASA's Earth Observatory... More »

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