How’s the weather, America? July 18 edition
It’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: Let’s Make Jokes About the Horrible Weather In Lieu of Weeping! Current summary: droughty.
The drought is still no joke.
We outlined the impacts of the drought earlier this week: the impact on food prices, the record temperatures, the ongoing dryness. The Week relayed some of the numbers around the drought, including that Indianapolis hadn’t had a drop of rain from June 1 to July 16, breaking a record that stood since 1908.
The news for crops (and, therefore, crop prices) continues to worsen. From the aptly named SoberLook.com, here’s how the corn crop looks:
And here, via Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal, the state of the nation’s soybean crop. In Missouri, only 10 percent is in good or excellent condition.
This bodes extremely poorly for food prices — and prices of a whole lot of other things. Naturally, the USDA is taking a bold stand on what this means about the climate:
USDA Sec Vilsack on whether climate change is causing droughts: “I’m not a scientist so I’m not going to opine as to the cause of this.”
— Amy Harder (@Amy_NJ) July 18, 2012
Ha ha. Did you expect otherwise?
Death Valley hit 107 degrees as a low.
As relayed by our colleagues at the Grist List, Death Valley’s low temperature yesterday was a balmy 107 degrees. It’s starting to sound like a bad place to camp!
Extremes in the southwest mean instability.
In some places, drought and heat aren’t as worrisome as their opposite. The Guardian tells the story of a Native American pueblo in Santa Clara, N.M., that lives in fear of even a small amount of rain.
An inch or so of rain could damage or wash away the first three homes on the edge of the pueblo. A monster storm could unleash a flood that would take out the administration building where Dasheno and other tribe officials sit poring over their flood maps.
According to their computer projections, a flood of that size could also wipe out the school, a daycare center for the elderly, and about 300 homes. Dasheno knows the country needs rain after a season of drought and wildfires, but it’s a direct danger to his people.
The reason Santa Clara is so susceptible? Last year’s wildfires.
It’s been a year now since the Las Conchas fire blew through the Santa Clara canyon, burning up 80% of the tribe’s remaining land, or about 24 square miles. At the time it was the worst fire in New Mexico’s recorded history.
Then came the floods. Landscapes scorched by wildfire, stripped of the trees, brush and soil that ordinarily retain moisture, turned into flash flood zones.
Drought leads to wildfire leads to fear of rain. You should read the whole story. It’s a remarkable and alarming look at how those who are already struggling can be devastated by shifts in the climate.
The East Coast is hot again, still, forever.
This is an intentional segue meant to expose me as selfish and a crybaby.
It’s hot here! New York City is experiencing its fourth heat wave of the year.
Temperatures in New York City have reached 90 seven times this month and 12 times since June 1, according to Weather Service records. The July average going back to 1870 is 6.1 and the annual average is 14.9, Weather Service records show.
I know, you don’t care/empathize. Well, 8 million city residents care! So do people in places like “Washington, D.C.,” which is south of here near a swamp.
It’s also hot in Alaska!
Such as it is.
Your requisite adorable animal capper.
As always, here’s a lighter touch to close on.
But to stay true to the gist of the post, imagine that the dog is climate change and we are all the kitty. Seems playful, but we’re undoubtedly going to be torn apart.
Update: It has been brought to our attention that today is July 18th, not the 17th as originally noted in the title. We regret the error and will assume complete responsibility for anyone whose schedule was impacted by our oversight. If, for example, you have every July 17 off and always check Gristmill first thing in the morning and forgot that you had yesterday off and therefore didn’t go into work — we will buy you a coffee.