Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ohio Researcher Discovers Fish Need Water

A study by a Ohio researcher finds that fish populations decline when their rivers dry up.
Fish species native to a major Arizona watershed may lose access to important segments of their habitat by 2050 as surface water flow is reduced by the effects of climate warming, new research suggests.

Most of these fish species, found in the Verde River Basin, are already threatened or endangered. Their survival relies on easy access to various resources throughout the river and its tributary streams. The species include the speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus), roundtail chub (Gila robusta) and Sonora sucker (Catostomus insignis).

A key component of these streams is hydrologic connectivity – a steady flow of surface water throughout the system that enables fish to make use of the entire watershed as needed for eating, spawning and raising offspring.

Models that researchers produced to gauge the effects of climate change on the watershed suggest that by the mid 21st century, the network will experience a 17 percent increase in the frequency of stream drying events and a 27 percent increase in the frequency of zero-flow days.
The finding is, of course, presented in the light of "Climate Change" aka "Global Warming" aka CO2 induced global warming, which is a convenient way to sell the study to a federal government which is desperately seeking to gain control over the economy, using CO2 as the excuse.  But is there really any evidence that the droughts currently plaguing California and the Southwest really all that unusual, and caused by CO2?
This graph should effectively cast doubt on that proposition.  While not disproving the hypothesis that the current drought is caused by CO2 induced warming, it does suggest that well prior to the period of massive human CO2 production, severe droughts were common, and indeed, for vast periods, the rule in the region, and that the current drought is only a short blip in the record by comparison.

The graph should also be a dire warning to anyone living in California, particularly anyone in a position of authority over water supplies. It is clear that California grew into the breadbasket of America in an era of relatively abundant water, a regime not guaranteed by nature, and subject to revocation without advance warning.

California needs to get serious about water.  Stealing it from the Sierras will not work indefinitely as the population and agriculture continue to grow.  However, California has, right on it's left border, one of the largest sources of water on the planet, the Pacific Ocean. They need to invest in desalinization in a big way, and that means also investing in energy in a big way, since population sized desalinization is an energy intensive process.

This also implies that California needs to get over it's allergy to energy development.

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