Members of the Mississippi River Commission, which advises the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on managing the river, met one of it stops in Caruthersville, Mo. on Monday during its annual low water inspection tour. "The unofficial 28 day forecast is for no rain and if that happens, we will be approaching the water levels, the historic water levels of 1988 which means problems up and down the river system,"said R.D. James with the Mississippi River Commission. "If we go below the water stages of 1988, I don't think there'll be enough dredges available even if we had the money to maintain the harbors and the channel from Cairo to the Gulf. It'd be tragic."
In The Lede blog in the New York Times discusssing the Mississippi River Commission's tour, John Schwartz subtley points out how factors beyond drought may be affecting river levels: "Brig. Gen. Margaret W. Burcham, a member of the commission, said that on this year’s trip, gas drillers in North Dakota have expressed their need to use enormous quantities of water from the upper Mississippi for fracking [emphasis ours], but farmers farther downstream want that water for irrigation; while others want the water in the river so they can get their good to market on barges."
The low water levels in the river are bringing a drinking water crisis to the New Orleans area. The low level coupled with the higher density of salt water is allowing water from the Gulf to travel upward affecting water supplies. To stop this, a $5.8 million underwater sill is being created by making a dam from sediment from further up the river.
This blog has become a place where I post articles that I find related to global warming - causes and effects, as well as a few other topics - related or not.
Jellyfish are like poster-boys of global warming changes - jellyfish are one species of animal that are doing very well. The increased acidity of the oceans, warmer waters, the decrease in predators as fish and other wildlife decline have all favored jellyfish. They seem to thrive on the fertilizers that people have been washing into the seas. Most animals do not.
I also like to post discoveries - especially discoveries that are being made out in space as people are able to see farther and farther galaxies and nebulas and supernovas. Even though I don't think that people will ever go live any of those places - I just like knowing that they are out there. It's part of keeping in mind that the earth and it's inhabitants are such a small part of what is going on in the universe.
I have another blog with posts on art and artists - it's called M'S IMPRESSIONS.