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California Is Suffering Its Driest Spell For 1,200 Years And Is Now 100 Per Cent In Drought

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The current drought in California is the worst the state has seen in at least 1,200 years, according to a recent study published by the American Geophysical Union.

Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the University of Minnesota reconstructed California’s temperature and precipitation history back to 800 A.D. using tree ring data.

Hidden in this millennium of data they found as many as 66 dry periods of at least three to nine years. In the entire 1,200 year period they studied, there were only three droughts that were similar in nature to the current drought.

Though none have been as severe as what California has seen in the three years since 2012. Not even the historic droughts of the late 1970s, nor the late 1980s.

Jarred Diamond in Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed notes a few civilisations that when faced with drought have collapsed and declined when events such as this happen.

It would appear that California is facing a major environmental challenge, in the past people would have simply have left the area to seek out areas which can sustain the population. Can California survive such a drought which it appears is a once in a millennium event?

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We were there in early summer - niece was graduating from Berkeley - and it was very obvious once outside the town. Drove to Yosemite through miles and miles of parched brown landscape. Niece was doing geography, and had been very much involved with statistics. Apparently Yosemite had had only 10% of the usual snowfall and its rivers and waterfalls were due to dry up by high summer.

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I find it hilarious that all the Hollywood stars' homes on Malibu, many of them allegedly worth tens of millions each, are in serious danger of being washed away.

Regarding the water crisis, they simply have no idea whether the drought will be over this winter or in 10,000 years. I expect to wake up one morning to hear a news story about a water purification plant being built to provide water to the rich folks.

I think California is screwed personally. The clever people have got out to Colorado - maybe we should go buy real estate there.

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  • 406 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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