This summer we gave an account of our personal experience with low water levels in the Great Lakes. To no one’s suprise, the Great Lakes are not the only waterway in North America seriously impacted by low water levels. The Mississippi river, a major industrial artery, is between 15 to 20 feet lower than normal. That is a much greater drop than experienced on the Great Lakes. The reason for the difference: the extreme drought conditions that have hit the US mid-West, and which seem likely to continue for another two – three months.
The situation is so critical to that the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade groups and organizations sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to declare emergency in the region and calling for “immediate assistance in averting an economic catastrophe in the heartland.”
These organizations have opposed government action to fight pollution and climate change. They have not publicly acknowledged a connection between climate change and the mid-West drought conditions. We have seen this sort of disconnect on the part of the American media and public generally in other cases of extreme weather conditions, such as tornados, floods and hurricanes.
The conclusion of many scientists is that global warming will probably lead to more frequent and more intense droughts than usual in North America. According to a group of Iowa scientists “The drought that we are currently experiencing is consistent with an observed warmer climate.”
So we have at least three situations where the US has suffered from extreme weather conditions: Sandy, tornados, the mid-West drought and Texas forest fires (2011). Perhaps these facts will force the public to recognize the obvious: whatever causal connection exists, the expected consequences of increased global warming demand a world-wide reduction in Greenhouse Gases.
(With information from the Care2.com website)