Monday, October 10, 2005

RAIN FORESTS DRY UP/TEMPERATE ONES FLOOD

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Mayan King captures another warrior. This magnificent art comes from deep inside the jungles, abandoned cities rediscovered. When this king carved out his little empire, the Mayan people cut down the rain forests and turned them into Kansas. As their numbers climbed, the forest rapidly retreated. At the same historical time frame, kings in the rainforests of Cambodia and Vietnam did the exact same thing, reducing the forest canopy to near zero and changing a vast swath of nature, causing droughts in their own regions.

And increasing rain elsewhere.

The Mayan had a population crash that was stupendous. The survivors watched the jungles reassert itself and in all the jungle kingdoms, gone, the vines and trees wrapped their powerful roots around the stone monuments to humanity and the dark canopy hid it all from prying eyes as monkeys and colorful birds flew or swung through the branches, shrieking and singing.

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Grieving woman stands next to deforested flood plain.

From Yahoo:
Guatemalan officials said they would abandon communities buried by landslides and declare them mass graveyards as reports of devastation trickled in from some of the more than 100 communities cut off from the outside world after killer mudslides.

Guatemala's death toll from torrential rains last week associated with Hurricane Stan stood at 652; 384 were missing.

The worst-hit communities will be abandoned and declared graveyards, officials said, after they stopped most efforts to dig out increasingly decomposed bodies.

"Panabaj will no longer exist," said Mayor Diego Esquina, referring to the Mayan hamlet on the shores of Lake Atitlan covered by a half-mile wide mudflow as much as 15 to 20 feet thick. "We are asking that it be declared a cemetery. We are tired, we no longer know where to dig."
This is from a tropical storm! Like the poor in New Orleans, most people will be tossed into or left in mass graves. In New Orleans, all the bodies haven't been found yet and no one is looking or even faintly interested in dead bodies. The deaths of the powerful and rich have always been celebrated and lavish and the poor are ignored, dust to dust.

From Reuters:
Water levels along Peru's stretch of the Amazon river have fallen to 35-year lows following a series of recent hurricanes along U.S. and Mexican coasts and years of deforestation in the Amazon jungle, Peru's National Meteorological Service, SENAMHI, said.

According to studies at Peru's main Amazon jungle town, Iquitos, water volumes in October have fallen to 423,700 cubic feet a second from a normal average of 882,866 cubic feet a second, SENAMHI told daily newspaper Peru.21 on Friday.

Due to a public holiday in Peru on Friday, SENAMHI was not available for comment.

"Water levels in the Amazon river (in Peru) have reached a 35-year low in the past few days ... it's causing problems with river transport," said Juan Arboleda, a scientist at SENAMHI.

Iquitos is a major port on the Amazon and river travel is the main form of regional transport.

"Because of the hurricanes in the northern hemisphere, it hasn't rained in the jungle since August. The high rate of deforestation is also having an effect," said climate specialist Ena Jaimes at SENAMHI.

Many scientists believe hurricanes thousands of miles away affect weather in the Amazon because rising air in the north Atlantic, which fuels the storms, causes the air above the Amazon to descend, preventing cloud formation and rainfall.
I decided to google "hurricanes reduce rain in Amazon" because I suspected this was happening. Of course, some scientists can be found who think there is no connection but then, they are paid to lie. Lying for pay is normal, not abnormal. Indeed, people telling the truth are killed all the time, our military specializes in killing truth seekers!

But lying is a well paid occupation, always has been. This is why systems collapse and the liars stand in the ruins wailing, "No one ever expected jets to fly into the World Trade Center!" See? Lying is a terrific job.
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Note the huge gully the rain formed. When rain hits tall forest canopy, the many layers of leaves reduces the force of the rain hitting the ground. When the canopy is reduced by 50%, much more rain pushes down the remaining leaves and like a faucet turned on, it slams into the ground barely impeaded. During the floods here the other day, I saved my road by simply scoring the surface with my bootheel every few yards. Immediately, the falling rain carved these tiny grooves into small streamlets. My discharge pipes were congested and water broiled out of the exaust ends into catchment pools which filled up. I built these pools to prevent running water from gouging out the mountainside until they are all rock and not greenery.

Because of global warming, I am slowly terracing and building catchment ponds, across fields that didn't need this for three hundred years. This is because of the flood/drought cycle we seem to be entering.

From the Times Online:
While variable water levels are characteristic of the Amazon river ecosystem, the increasingly extreme fluctuations are of great concern. Low water levels are wreaking havoc on the shipping industry in the region. In Iquitos, a city in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon which is only accessisble by plane or boat, ships and barges are having difficulty navigating the river, resulting in serious shipping delays. Currently, the 600 km Iquitos-Pucallpa route on the Amazon and Ucayali river takes around 25 days for a 500-barrel barge, instead of the usual 4 to 6 during normal low water conditions. At the confluence of the Itaya and the Amazon, downstream from Iquitos, river depths have fallen from the normal 49 feet (15 meters) to as shallow as 3 feet (80 cm) in places. Recently, low river levels prevented a Peruvian cargo liner which operates between Houston, Texas and Iquitos from even making it into Peruvian waters. The vessel had to drop anchors 1000 km downstream in Brazil and its cargo transfered to smaller barges.

Local officials are blaming deforestation of the upper reaches of the Amazon in the Andes for the fall in river levels. Forest clearing impacts rainfall by disrupting the local water cycle. Under normal conditions, forests add to local humidity through transpiration -- the process by which plants release water through their leaves. Moisture is transpired and evaporated into the atmosphere where it contributes to the formation of rain clouds. Scientists estimate that 50-80% of the moisture in the central and western Amazon remains in the ecosystem water cycle. However, when forests are cut, as is the case in Peru, less moisture is evapotranspired into the atmosphere, resulting in the formation of fewer rainclouds and less rainfall.
And this has been called "the lungs of the earth" though it is also the sponge of the earth! And simultaneous cutting of the African, South American, Asian and Pacific jungles...which has happened in the past, mind you, will effect all of us, very severely. Climatic change due to human intervention has been an ongoing enterprise for the last 100,000 years.

From Boston.com:
Rain-swollen rivers and streams disgorged floodwater yesterday into dozens of New England cities and towns, causing widespread damage and displacement in New Hampshire, where National Guard troops kept order and evacuees fled to shelters.

Southwestern New Hampshire took the brunt of the flooding. In Keene, 4 to 6 feet of water submerged a third of the city, forcing nearly 1,000 people to evacuate their homes. In Alstead, floodwaters flowed over a dam early in the day in a nearly 5-foot-high torrent that damaged more than a dozen bridges spanning Route 123, isolating the town, authorities said.

In Unity, rescue workers found two young people dead in a car under several feet of water, only the car's tires and undercarriage above the surface. Rescue workers yesterday were also investigating several other reports of missing people.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch declared a state of emergency and dispatched 500 National Guard members to hard-hit areas, including 100 to Keene. ''This is the worst damage they've seen from flooding in 25 years in New Hampshire," he said.

Sean Weeks, 19, was incredulous at the sight outside his house in Hinsdale, N.H., before he fled: ''I looked out my window and all I could see, straight down, was water, right up against the building . . . I saw all this New Orleans stuff happening and I was thinking, 'This can't happen to me,' then bada-bing, bada-boom, it just happened."

Rivers and streams in Western Massachusetts and eastern Vermont rose to ominous levels, prompting hundreds to seek precautionary shelter but in the end causing only minor flooding.
I was scared that the violent river that used to be a tiny mountain stream was going to sweep us away the other night! We are so fortunate, floods can happen very suddenly. Especially in mountains and New Hampshire is mountainous.

I have noticed this year that dead Americans don't make top headlines anymore. The habits of concealing them in the war casualties figures has cascaded into regular reporting. If dead soldiers habitually are banished to paragraph 23 on page 14 below the fold, so are other inconvenient deaths like those poor people in New Hampshire. What does rate a top billing on the front page of the NYT is this story! From the NYT:
It seems harsh to say that bad news for polar bears is good for Pat Broe. Mr. Broe, a Denver entrepreneur, is no more to blame than anyone else for a meltdown at the top of the world that threatens Arctic mammals and ancient traditions and lends credibility to dark visions of global warming.
What the fuck?

Mr. Broe is very much to blame and much more than the average human, he is an American capitalist and you can bet, if you examine his past, he supports the rape of Mother Nature and is enthusiastic about it and consumes vast quantities of everything and is against the Kyoto Accords and approves of America polluting the entire planet, killing many living things.

Gads. NYT, you guys are toxic wastes.
Still, the newest study of the Arctic ice cap - finding that it faded this summer to its smallest size ever recorded - is beginning to make Mr. Broe look like a visionary for buying this derelict Hudson Bay port from the Canadian government in 1997. Especially at the price he paid: about $7.

By Mr. Broe's calculations, Churchill could bring in as much as $100 million a year as a port on Arctic shipping lanes shorter by thousands of miles than routes to the south, and traffic would only increase as the retreat of ice in the region clears the way for a longer shipping season.
Shipping what, pray tell? If the world ecosystems collapse there can be and there is a long historic record of this happening before!---Shipping can disappear along with whole civilizations! Humans have recovered and rebuilt after such disasters, it takes a few hundred years to adapt and change, but one thing that will be going away eventually is the mad shipping around of stuff. All we have to do is see America unable to buy anything anymore. Then world shipping will suddenly change, hugely.

Our last frontier of stuff to sell is food. And the Great Plains are very sensitive to the drought/flood cycle. The Southwest deserts were once so wet, rain forests grew there during the Great Ice Ages. Now, it lies dry and hard, the rain comes down with tremendous force in isolated thunderstorms, the desert becomes one big chute channeling all the water away as fast as possible.

This is why more people die in floods in Arizona than in New York.

From a Scottish Green Party Scientist:
Global warming is a result of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere
arising from human activity since the industrial revolution; principally the burning of fossil fuel. In 2000 I embarked upon a journey around the world to see how climate change is affecting us. I began my journey in the UK; York had just suffered severe floods after experiencing the highest rainfall since 1766 and scientists at the University of East Anglia warned of very definite trends towards heavier UK rainfall as part of global warming.

In contrast, there will be less rain in other places, such as Inner Mongolia where desertification is gradually destroying arable land. Entire river systems are disappearing and about 2500 km sq are turned to desert each year, exacerbated by changing climate. Entire villages are depopulated, generating increasing numbers of environmental refugees; this is a silent
catastrophe occurring right now.

In Peru the majority of the population occupy a desert strip below the Andes and their sole water supply is mountain melt water. I went there to check on the glaciers that my father had worked on as a geologist in 1980 and found that several had retreated significantly in just a single generation. This is happening throughout the world; in the Himalayas, Southern Alps,
New Zealand and Scandinavia. In Peru this is a matter of life and death and only a few decades away. When the rivers from the glaciers stop running, people will have no water.
Meanwhile, to keep our economy running, we are pumping water from the ground on the edges of the Great Plains and using it to water crops. When one flies over America, these "round fields" are all over the place, surrounded by dessicated lands. In eastern Washington state, the water has been pumped so low, no farmers can live on their farms, they all live in towns and commute to work because no well is pumpable above 1000'.

LA and Las Vegas and all those massive human habitats that are growing at a tremendous pace depend on snowmelt from the Rockies and other mountains in the West and this is disappearing, too. Summer streams that used to be broad and rippling in my youth are now dry stone runs. The wild salmon is becoming extinct rapidly in the lower 48 states.

The use of coal to run power plants is rapidly increasing. This releases stupendous amounts of CO2 gases as well as other contaminants. 1000' chimneys simply insures that this stuff is spread further afield. There are huge power plants servicing especially the hotter parts of America with electricity in summer because of global warming caused by this same plants are causing people to expand their "bubbles" to live in an artificial environment that mimics...dear, lovely England before global warming!
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From Carrtracks.com

Isn't it funny? As everyone rushes south, they want to live as if in a temperate forest. Meanwhile, we are losing our temperate zones, this feedback/cycle is very bad.

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