Snowpack Packed

April 27, 2017

Gray-cloudy and a bit chilly this early Thursday on California’s north coast — supposedly the first in a string of ‘Dry Weather‘ day-conditions for the next week to 10 days.
About time…

After the deluge (Climate Central): ‘According to the NASA Earth Observatory, this year’s end-of-winter snow water equivalent — a measure of snowpack health taken each April 1 —  was greater than the total snow water equivalent measurements taken from 2013-16 in the Tuolumne River Basin.’

(Illustration: ‘Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay,’ by F.H. Varley, found here).

California drought? What California drought? Snowpack for the Tuolumne Basin, a super supplier of water for the Central Valley and the Bay Area, including parts in between, as of the first of this month stood at 1.2 million-acre feet — ‘enough snow to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, almost 1,600 times.’

Yet in the ‘happy-the-drought-is-over’ feeling, the long stretch of dry will leave a mark — via the Mercury News yesterday:

California’s brutal five-year drought did more than lead to water shortages and dead lawns.
It increased electricity bills statewide by $2.45 billion and boosted levels of smog and greenhouse gases, according to a new study released Wednesday.
A big drop-off in hydroelectric power.
With little rain or snow between 2012 and 2016, cheap, clean power from dozens of large dams around California was scarce, and cities and utilities had to use more electricity from natural-gas-fired power plants, which is more expensive and pollutes more.
“The drought has cost us in ways we didn’t necessarily anticipate or think about. It cost us economically and environmentally,” said Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based nonprofit group that researches water issues, and author of the report.

Overall cost in higher power bills, $2.45 billion over five years, works out to be about $12 per person in California per year, or $60 during the entire drought.

An oddball climate change item — although T-Rump might think the Chinese invented climate, real-rich are starting to quiver a little.
Via Forbes this morning:

New research from the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) reveals that 60-percent of the world’s 500 biggest asset owners (AOs), representing assets under management of $27 trillion, now recognise the financial risks of climate change and the opportunities that are created by the transition to a low carbon economy.
That figure, revealed in AODP’s fifth Global Climate Index, is not just startling in itself, but it is an 18-percent increase on the figure last year.

Note the word, ‘opportunities,’ appears central…

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