If you thought this summer was warm, so did everybody else, from USA Today:
While the USA sweated through one of its warmest summers on record, so, too, did the rest of the globe.
“Considering global land surfaces only, June – Aug. 2012 was record warm, at 1.85 degrees above average.”
Only the summers of 1998 and 2010 were warmer. Records go back to 1880.
The report also states the United States is in a drought, as is eastern Russia and India. There is a possibility the record heat is due to the transition from the cold water of La Niña to the warm water of El Niño, but we are in our 330th month of higher than average temperatures.
It’s been a brutal summer…in the upper Colorado River basin. The drought that’s spanned the nation for months has wrung out the Rocky Mountain region where much of the West’s water is produced. Residents of northwestern Colorado are watching gardens fail, crops wither, forest fire threats grow, reservoirs shrivel and businesses founder as water restrictions tighten for both farms and cities.
It’s causing billions of dollars in damage, but not receiving much media attention. I’m only aware of it through a conversation with a farmer at the farmers market. He said we are all hoping for a wet fall and winter, or things could get really bad.
The 2011-12 rainy season — which ran from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 — has come to an end with less than impressive numbers, according to figures compiled by the National Weather Service. None of the six key sights where the weather service records long term precipitation reported above average rainfall.
San Diego – 8.03″ (avg. – 10.34″)
Orange County – 6.32″ (avg. – 13.33″)
Riverside – 5.53″ (avg. – 12.04″)
Los Angeles – 8.69″ (avg. – 14.93″)
The season that starts today could be different. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center says that an El Nino appears to be developing in the eastern equatorial Pacific. If the periodic climate change system continues to strengthen, it could lead to above average rainfall this winter in Southern California.
All across America you can find beautiful front lawns with green grass and sprinklers. Even in places where water is scarce, like Southern California and Arizona. Those areas import water at a great expense and in some cases dry up the source.
In response, many living in these areas have developed new ideas about front lawns. There are many plants that require a fraction of the water that grass does, and can still be as green. Or, in some cases provide a variety of colors, shapes, and designs.
Most of these plants are called drought resistant, meaning they don’t want to be watered. I have a few of them growing in pots and they wilt when I water them. So far, the occasional rain that comes has satisfied their needs.
Here are a few photos of these new types of lawns: