The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the “new normal” for most of the coming century, according to a press release from Oregon State University. Here is the rest of the statement by David Stauth at OSU:
Such climatic extremes have increased as a result of global warming, a group of 10 researchers reported today in Nature Geoscience. And as bad as conditions were during the 2000-04 drought, they may eventually be seen as the good old days.
Climate models and precipitation projections indicate this period will actually be closer to the “wet end” of a drier hydroclimate during the last half of the 21st century, scientists said.
Aside from its impact on forests, crops, rivers and water tables, the drought also cut carbon sequestration by an average of 51 percent in a massive region of the western United States, Canada and Mexico, although some areas were hit much harder than others. As vegetation withered, this released more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with the effect of amplifying global warming.
“Climatic extremes such as this will cause more large-scale droughts and forest mortality, and the ability of vegetation to sequester carbon is going to decline,” said Beverly Law, a co-author of the study, professor of global change biology and terrestrial systems science in the College of Forestry at OSU, and former science director of AmeriFlux, an ecosystem observation network.
“During this drought, carbon sequestration from this region was reduced by half,” Law said. “That’s a huge drop. And if global carbon emissions don’t come down, the future will be even worse.”
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, U.S. Department of Energy, and other agencies. The lead author was Christopher Schwalm at Northern Arizona University. Other collaborators were from the University of Colorado, University of California at Berkeley, University of British Columbia, San Diego State University, and other institutions.
It’s not clear whether or not the current drought in theMidwest, now being called one of the worst since the Dust Bowl, is related to these same forces, Law said. This study did not address that, and there are some climate mechanisms in western North America that affect that region more than other parts of the country.
But in the West, this multi-year drought was unlike anything seen in many centuries, based on tree ring data. The last two periods with drought events of similar severity were in the Middle Ages, from 977-981 and 1146-1151. The 2000-04 drought affected precipitation, soil moisture, river levels, crops, forests and grasslands.
Ordinarily, Law said, the land sink in North America is able to sequester the equivalent of about 30 percent of the carbon emitted into the atmosphere by the use of fossil fuels in the same region. However, based on projected changes in precipitation and drought severity, scientists said that this carbon sink, at least in western North America, could disappear by the end of the century.
“Areas that are already dry in the West are expected to get drier,” Law said. “We expect more extremes. And it’s these extreme periods that can really cause ecosystem damage, lead to climate-induced mortality of forests, and may cause some areas to convert from forest into shrublands or grassland.”
During the 2000-04 drought, runoff in the upperColorado River basin was cut in half. Crop productivity in much of the West fell 5 percent. The productivity of forests and grasslands declined, along with snowpacks. Evapotranspiration decreased the most in evergreen needleleaf forests, about 33 percent.
The effects are driven by human-caused increases in temperature, with associated lower soil moisture and decreased runoff in all major water basins of the western U.S., researchers said in the study.
Although regional precipitations patterns are difficult to forecast, researchers in this report said that climate models are underestimating the extent and severity of drought, compared to actual observations. They say the situation will continue to worsen, and that 80 of the 95 years from 2006 to 2100 will have precipitation levels as low as, or lower than, this “turn of the century” drought from 2000-04.
“Towards the latter half of the 21st century the precipitation regime associated with the turn of the century drought will represent an outlier of extreme wetness,” the scientists wrote in this study.
These long-term trends are consistent with a 21st century “megadrought,” they said.
An image of dying forests in the Southwest is available at http://bit.ly/OO9Hsr
I admit, the Eugene Emeralds lost some of their fun for me when they moved to PK Park. I miss Civic; it had that peanuts and CrackerJacks feel that I associate with baseball. Since I associate very little else with baseball, including how to play, this was a rather important element.
But I do give the Ems points for all their promotional efforts. This week it's Grateful Dead night at PK Park.
Ems Host Grateful Dead Night Thursday
Eugene, Ore. - The Eugene Emeralds, Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, will host Grateful Dead Night Thursday at PK Park. The gates for the game, against the Everett AquaSox, will open at 5 p.m. for a performance by Dead Ringers, in advance of the 7:05 p.m. game.
The Emeralds will be wearing custom Jerry Garcia themed Grateful Dead uniform tops (pictured below) to commemorate the themed night.
Springfield’s Kaleidoscope Clothing will be at the game, selling tie dyed shirts and bandanas. Some will be in Emeralds colors. Fans are encouraged to bring in their own items to tie dye.
Like every Thursday home game, it will be Thirsty Thursday. This features discounted domestic beers and soft drinks.
Current University of Oregon and Lane Community College students can buy a ticket to the game for just $5 by showing their valid Student ID at the Ticket Office.
Great tickets are available for this game and remaining home games, online at EmeraldsBaseball.com and at the PK Park Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located 2760 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and open during the week from 9-5.
Yup, that's right, you can drink beer, get tie-dyed stuff, tie-dye stuff yourself and listen to a Dead cover band. But best of all are the special T-shirts the Ems will be wearing, proudly emblazoned with Jerry's face. I want one. Nothing says the Grateful Dead like a baseball player wearing a purply-bluey-red Jerry T-shirt.
On July 19, a downtown officer saw a subject he recognized and who he was aware had violated a restraining order during a recent incident. Two officers contacted the subject and verified that he had violated the order and needed to be arrested. During the arrest, the subject attempted to flee and violently fought with officers. As he was struggling, officers discovered he had an illegal switch blade tucked in the back waistband of his trousers. After the subject was handcuffed and he calmed down somewhat, a search revealed he was in possession of nine individually packaged portions of marijuana and several 20 dollar bills. He was lodged in the Lane County Jail and charged with Violation of a Restraining Order, Resisting Arrest, Escape, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, and Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance. The arresting officer asked that the court consider a 90 day exclusion.
The subject has previously been on probation for Coercion and Assault 4 (felony). He has been arrested locally for Criminal Mischief twice, Violation of Park Rules once, Criminal Trespassing three times, Violation of Restraining Order four times, Assault five times, Coercion once, Delivery of a Controlled Substance twice, Public Indecency once, Physical Harassment twice, Escape once (in addition to the new incident), Interfering with a Police Officer, Identity Theft, and Supplying Contraband - knife (to a correction facility).
The subject is a black male with a Eugene address on W. 10th Avenue
EW film critic and former arts editor Molly Templeton got some love on Jezebel for her response to the New York Times Book Review's How-To Issue, which included 2/8 cover stories from women, which were about cooking and raising kids. I love how Molly explains her objections:
I'm a little puzzled by all the "Julia Child would have been 100 this week" stories I've been reading — did we expect her to live to be a 100? But that aside, she is wierdly fascinating even to someone like me who thinks cooking is putting a little bag of TastyBites in the microwave for 2 minutes. Also, she makes large cuts of meat chic.
Find more information at www.womenspaceinc.org
Thanks to Hugh Massingill for recording and sharing this video of the July 18 council meeting discussing the siting of a camp for the homeless and their support system.
As promised in "Let's Boogie"; Dog dancing, aka, canine musical freestyle videos.
Britain's Got Talent has kicked off a new wave of dog dance enthusiasm:
And Oregon's own Julie Flanery dances to "Baby, Darling Baby" with Kashi.
In case you missed our July 16th post mentioned in this week's "Cruel Rabbit Roundup" story, here it is again as filmed by Heather and Alex Crippen of the Red Barn Rabbit Rescue.
Heather Crippen points out that YouTube has designated the video not suitable for those under 17 due to the animal cruelty portrayed. Ironic, she says, since the participants in the "animal scramble" are 4 to 14.
After some frenetic banjo picking on Friday, July 27, at the Cuthbert Amphitheater, Steve Martin decides it’s time for him to go Google himself offstage (“it’s been over 45 minutes,” he says) and let the Steep Canyon Rangers entertain for a song or two.
“Charles do you have a beer or something?” Martin says to bass player, Charles Humphrey III. Deadpan, Humphrey slides open a hidden wooden panel in his bass and pulls out a cool one for the comedian, who strides off stage, beer in hand, to a roar of applause and laughter from the crowd.
The Steep Canyon Rangers, including Humphrey (bass, vocals), Woody Platt (guitar, lead vocals), Mike Guggino (mandolin, vocals), Nicky Sanders (fiddle, vocals) and Graham Sharp (banjo, vocals), began in the ‘90s as a college band in Brevard, N.C., where they got into bluegrass through New Grass Revival and Old and in the Way. In 2006, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) named the The Steep Canyon Rangers as Emerging Artists of the Year. By 2011, the Rangers and Martin collectively won the IBMA’s Entertainers of the Year award after collaborating on the album Rare Bird Alert.
For the well-mannered Rangers, collaborating with Martin for a bluegrass comedy tour was a rather smooth transition. “In the history of bluegrass, there’s always a goofball who did the comedy. Comedy was always a part of it,” says Sharp. “Lester Flatt was such a great MC and there’s a tradition to that. It’s not too much of a stretch.”
For a music genre that typically contains content about love lost or solitary hardships, a bluegrass band would have to have a particular sense of humor to play songs like “Jubilation Day,” about a playfully bitter break-up, or “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs.” And the Rangers do so with the discipline of Bill Munroe or Del McCoury. The harmonies on “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs” are so crisp and breathtaking that, no matter what your creed (this song received, by far, the rowdiest reception), it’s easy to see why these guys are one of the biggest names in modern bluegrass.
Nobody Knows You, the Rangers’ latest album, was released this spring and is noticeably more vocal heavy. “We took a few more chances on this record than maybe we have in the past,” says Sharp. “I think playing with Steve gave us a lot more confidence.”
The Rangers are planning to return to Eugene this March with the Nobody Knows You tour.
— Alexandra Notman
The long-awaited follow up to the Mr. Rogers song is here!
Sam Bond’s Anniversary Bash
Sam Bond’s Garage has been a Whiteaker fixture for seventeen years, too old to count in bar time. Consistently voted by EW readers as Eugene’s favorite watering hole, the Sam Bond’s Anniversary Variety Showbrings together a heap of local performers who’ve graced the venue’s wooden stage over the past years.
Tom Heinl and Scott Kof Monday night bingo notoriety will act as masters of ceremony, rambling, joking, drinking and calling bingo between music sets throughout the night. “There will definitely be a blackout round,” Heinl says. Whether he meant this with regard to the cash-prize bingo game or the state of inebriation is unclear.
One thing to look forward to is the three-piece one-off ZZ Top cover band composed of guitarist Jake Pavlak(Ferns), bassist Dave Snider(Test Face) and drummer Rob Smith, that will put some hair on your chin. “It’s all early ‘70s stuff, Pavlak says. “It’s been fun learning these new tunes.”
And if that beard of yours, pints-deep in the evening, needs a lift out of the ol’ Mason jar, the lovely ladies of the Red Raven Folliesalso perform.
Hey, as if that isn’t enough, the rambunctious bluegrass of the Alder Street All-Starswill have you stomping, swinging and pushing tables out of the way to dance. But wait, there’s even more. Vaudevillian folk/jazz, provided by Hot Milk, should wear in your dancing boots for the evening, and the mellow jazz compositions of Geoffrey Mays should help with the cool down process.Of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without an early, pre-funk set by The Stagger and Sway, guitaring up the night from the outset.
Saturated in strong beer, this showcase of local talent will no doubt bring about a good start to the next year of Sam Bond’s entertainment.
Sam Bond’s Anniversary Show “Too Old To Count” starts 9 pm Saturday, July 28, at Sam Bond’s; $5.
— Patrick Newson
Indie folk rockers Wintertime Carousel are on the verge of releasing a new EP, not to mention the fact that they’re kicking off a West Coast tour to San Diego and back to promote the album. Spoiler alert: The new EP is really fucking good.
Simon Adler positions his vocals in the foreground of hallowed-hall reverb created by the perfect nighttime glitter and twang of droning electric guitars. Layers of brass and thick bass lines hug your ears tight as the four track EP rolls on toward inspired greatness. Since its first release in 2010, Carousel has evolved toward becoming a solidified indie racket, with the songwriting becoming heartfelt, personal and far more meaningful than it used to, and nowadays the instrumentation is downright savage in its slow, tense arrangement.
Wintertime Carousel was once a stormy sea, and has now calmed and matured into something far more adult. They’ll still knock your teeth out with a single punch, though, so don’t cast off the five minute songs as desolate whines. They’re the crooning, powerful tracks of Carousel’s new EP, and you can hear them tonight.
Wintertime Carousel plays with Strum Theory & Royal Blue 10 pm Thursday, July 26, at Luckey’s; $3 — Andy Valentine