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Water in North America: Past, Present and Future

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Water in North America: Past, Present and Future

  1. 1. WATERIN NORTH AMERICA PAST PRESENT FUTURE Sco St. George University of Minnesota
  2. 2. Water is the driving force of all nature.
  3. 3. “ Water is the driving force of all nature. ” Leonardo da Vinci
  4. 4. Source: Wikipedia User:Jynto
  5. 5. NVERSAL SOLVENSource: r. Vore
  6. 6. PHOTOSYNTHESI Source: S John Davey
  7. 7. GREENHOUSE EFSource: Horia Varlan
  8. 8. ALBEDO EFFECTSource: NASA Goddard Photo and Video
  9. 9. all of Earths water compared to the size of the EarthSource: Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  10. 10. all of Earths water compared to the size of the Earth all fresh water lakes & riversSource: Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  11. 11. GEOGRAPHYMATTERS
  12. 12. P-Eprecipitation evapotranspiration
  13. 13. Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  14. 14. The constant tug-of-war between P and E creates global pa erns in water availabilitySource: Kalberg et al., 2005
  15. 15. TIME &SPACE
  16. 16. Source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  17. 17. Source: vladeb
  18. 18. EXPERIENCE &OBSERVATION
  19. 19. Source: US Department of Agriculture
  20. 20. “THIS COMMUNITY HAS BEEN HERE OVER 20 YEARS AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM.” “I DIDN’T THINK [FLOODING] WAS AN ISSUE.” New York Times, July 30, 2011Source: US Department of Agriculture
  21. 21. Source: MissTessmacher
  22. 22. PRESENT Water as it is
  23. 23. PAST Water as it wasPRESENT Water as it isFUTURE Water as it may be
  24. 24. MinnesotaArizona
  25. 25. WATER AS IT IS
  26. 26. Source: Jezz
  27. 27. win-nipi “murky water” in the CreeSource: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  28. 28. Source: Ron Scho
  29. 29. The Colorado RiverNevada Tourism Relations Authority
  30. 30. The Central Arizona Project is a 336-mile canal that diverts water from the Colorado Riverinto central and southern Arizona.
  31. 31. Source: Chazz Lane
  32. 32. THE COLORADO RIVER COMPACT divides water from the Colorado River among seven western states.
  33. 33. Since 1922, the Colorado River has o en failed to live up to the states’ legal agreement. Compact allocation (16.5 MAF)
  34. 34. In the 1940s, Tucson was a small city with less than 40,000 residents.
  35. 35. Nearly 1 million people now live in the Greater Tucson Metropolitan Area.
  36. 36. “ We’ve never had to worry about our water resources. Our children will not enjoy that luxury. Patricia Mulroy Southern Nevada Water Authority ”
  37. 37. In the summer of 1988, severe drought scorched most of the northern great Plains.
  38. 38. Corn stalk destroyed by severe drought near Round Rock, Texas.Jay Janner
  39. 39. Despite the increase in productivity, you still can’t grow corn without water. bushels of corn per acre 2002 1993 1980 (flood year) 1983 1988Source: USDA
  40. 40. MINNESOTA SAW$1.2 BILLION IN CROP LOSSES DUE TO THE 1988 DROUGHT.
  41. 41. The Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant in Monticello, Minnesotashekleton
  42. 42. The mighty Mississippi in 1988
  43. 43. “ Three li le words achingly familiar on the Western farmers tongue, rule life in the dust bowl of the continent – if it rains. Associated Press ” April 15, 1935
  44. 44. The Red River near Grand Forks in 2009.US Coast Guard, Lt. Brendan Evans
  45. 45. The Red River at Fargo, North Dakota in 1936.Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County
  46. 46. THE US BUREAU OF RECLAMATION ESTIMATES THAT1,200 TRUCKLOADS OF WATER WOULD BE NEEDED IN FARGO EVERY DAY IF A SIMILAR DROUGHT HAPPENED AGAIN.
  47. 47. “ There is nothing magical about the last one hundred years. Dr. Balaji Rajagopalan University of Colorado ”
  48. 48. WATER AS IT WAS
  49. 49. EXPERIENCE &OBSERVATION
  50. 50. “ The hills look like sawdust, really, that colour. Ive never seen it where the grass didnt turn green in the spring before. Jerry Murphy ” Elnora, AlbertaSource: Globe and Mail, 1 July 2009
  51. 51. CLIMATE PROXIES ice cores tree rings lake sediments speleothems corals
  52. 52. “ JACKS A PALEOCLIMATOLOGIST, AND I HAVE ” ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT HES UP TO. The Day A er Tomorrow (2004)
  53. 53. Source: Tim Shanahan, University of Texas at Austin
  54. 54. Source: LACCORE, University of Minnesota
  55. 55. “ RINGS ” IN THE BRANCHES OF SAWED TREES SHOWTHE NUMBER OF YEARS AND, ACCORDING TO THEIR THICKNESS, THE YEARS WHICH WERE MORE OR LESS DRY. Leonardo da Vinci
  56. 56. The Colorado RiverNevada Tourism Relations Authority
  57. 57. Ramp to boat launch on Lake Mead, July 2008tykxman
  58. 58. Source: Dan Griffin
  59. 59. 1,200 years of Colorado River discharge Meko et al., GRL, 2007
  60. 60. “ The tree-ring record shows that droughts lasting decades have routinely gripped western North America. ” Jonathan Overpeck and Bradley Udall
  61. 61. AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Lt. Brendan Evans
  62. 62. “ We do a great deal of sophisticated work in rebuilding [levees], but there can always be a bigger flood. Harry Kitch US Army Corps of Engineers ”
  63. 63. 78St.. George and Nielsen, The Holocene, 2003
  64. 64. “ The forts now stand like a castle of romance in the midst of an ocean of deep contending currents, the water extending ” for at least a mile behind them, and they are thereby only approachable by boats and canoes.”
  65. 65. “ Unlike many “hard sciences”, history cannot lend itself to experimentation. ” Nassim Taleb, Fooled By Randomness
  66. 66. “ But somehow, overall, history is potent enough to deliver, on time, in the medium or long run, most of the possible scenarios, and to eventually bury the bad guy. ” Nassim Taleb, Fooled By Randomness
  67. 67. Source: turn off your computer and go outside
  68. 68. WATER AS IT MAY BE
  69. 69. Stationarity is the idea that natural systems fluctuatewithin an unchanging envelope of variability.
  70. 70. “ The future ain’t what it used to be. Yogi Berra New York Yankees ”
  71. 71. Is it really a good idea to useIDEALIZED MATHEMATICAL MODELS to predict the future behavior of our planet?
  72. 72. More than 30 years ago, climate models predicted that increases in CO2 would cause greatest warming in the Arctic.Source: Manabe and Stouffer, Journal of Geophysical Research (1980).
  73. 73. Three decades later, changes in temperatures across the planet have displayed the very same pa ern.Source: Goddard Institute of Space Studies, NASA
  74. 74. Arctic sea ice reached its smallest extent ever recorded on September 16, 2012.Source: NASA
  75. 75. Source: Benjamin Lehman
  76. 76. Models suggest that further increases in CO2 will make some places we er, while others will become drier.Source: Delworth et al., Journal of Climate (2012)
  77. 77. THE“ WET GET WETTER/DRY GET DRIER ” PATTERN cf. Delworth et al., Journal of Climate (2012)
  78. 78. Will future climate change create a bigger difference in water resources between North and South?Source: Delworth et al., Journal of Climate (2012)
  79. 79. THE GREAT LAKES—ST. LAWRENCE RIVER BASIN WATER RESOURCES COMPACT December 8, 2008There will be a ban on new diversions of water from the Basin.Limited exceptions could be allowed, such as for public water supply purposes incommunities near the Basin, but exceptions would be strictly regulated.
  80. 80. WATERIN NORTH AMERICA PAST PRESENT FUTURE Sco St. George University of Minnesota
  81. 81. AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Lt. Brendan Evans
  82. 82. Source: Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County
  83. 83. Good How we’d like OUR ABILITY TO things to workPREDICT THE FUTURE Poor Short Long LENGTH OF HYDROLOGICAL RECORD
  84. 84. Good How we’d like OUR ABILITY TO things to workPREDICT THE FUTURE Poor Short Long LENGTH OF HYDROLOGICAL RECORD
  85. 85. Unrealistically good OUR ABILITY TOPREDICT THE FUTURE How things actually seem to work Realistically limited Short Long LENGTH OF HYDROLOGICAL RECORD
  86. 86. “THIS COMMUNITY HAS BEEN HERE OVER 20 YEARS AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM.” “I DIDN’T THINK [FLOODING] WAS AN ISSUE.” New York Times, July 30, 2011Source: US Department of Agriculture
  87. 87. 1We need to be realistic about how well we’re able topredict how hydrological systems will behave in the future.
  88. 88. 2Making decisions based on recent history canleave us vulnerable to water-based ‘surprises’.
  89. 89. 3Water resources in other parts of the country aremore vulnerable to climate change, but we stillmight feel its effects indirectly.

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