AuthorTopic: The Dimming Bulb  (Read 18858 times)

Offline RE

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The Dimming Bulb
« on: December 07, 2014, 01:05:20 AM »

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 7, 2014



Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner


dim-light-bulb



While all eyes are focused right now on the Oil Price Collapse, with it’s numerous implications as far as the Energy Industry, Bankstering and Transportation Industries are concerned, in the background and not well reported on or chronicled statistically is the ever widening problem of Electrical Grid Blackouts & Brownouts.


Even more than liquid fuels for transportation, Electricity DEFINES the Modern Industrial Culture, and is considered an “Essential Service“.


Living without electricity in today’s technological world may be difficult to imagine. Yet the reality of living without computers, mobile phones and entertainment systems, and managing a transport system thrown into chaos by an absence of traffic lights, trains and subways, may become increasingly common, according to an academic study published today.


New research by Hugh Byrd, Professor of Architecture at the University of Lincoln, UK, and Steve Matthewman, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, reveals that today’s occasional blackouts are dress rehearsals for the future, when they will occur with greater frequency and increased severity.


According to the study, power cuts will become more regular around the globe as electrical supply becomes increasingly vulnerable and demand for technology continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.


Professor Byrd said: “Electricity fuels our existence. It powers water purification, waste, food, transportation and communication systems. Modern social life is impossible to imagine without it, and whereas cities of the past relied on man-power, today we are almost completely reliant on a series of interlocking technical systems. Our research therefore explores what happens when the power goes off, and explains why the security of fuel supply is such a pressing social problem.”


Electrical power has been defined as a ‘critical infrastructure’ by the International Risk Governance Council, in that it is a ‘large-scale human-built system that supplies continual services central to society’s functioning’. However, electricity supply is less robust than commonly supposed.


You simply cannot run any modern city without copious amounts of Electricity, most often provided by Coal Plants around the world, but with dependence also on all the forms of Fossil Fuel and Nuclear, as well as Hydro and Wind Power in selected locations.Every one of these forms of Power generations faces issues now, and the grid which distributes the power also is deteriorating and keeping it repaired and functional after every weather related problem from Tornadoes to Ice Storms and just plain old T-Storms costs every community more money they just do not have every day.



Going back to 1989 in Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine, Richard Duncan developed a metric of PER CAPITA Energy, which is much more important than precisely how much Oil is coming out of the ground at any given point in time, although despite the Hype on Fracking, Oil Production globally has been FLATLINED for near a decade now, and the Fracked stuff just keeps us treading water, at an enormous price.


http://crudeoilpeak.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/World_without_US_shale_oil_Jan2001_Mar2014.jpg


In the intervening time between January of 2005 and January of 2014 though, the Total Global Population of Homo Sapiens has increased by roughly 1 Billion People with a current total population somewhat in excess of 7 Billion, for a roughly 15% Population increase over the time period:


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yS_YzuA20gw/UxfS-fxFD-I/AAAAAAAANPA/t5Zx1VgBlSI/s1600/6.jpg


So, just to stay EVEN in Per Capita Energy Consumption, over this time period Energy Extraction would have needed to increase also by 15%, but obviously it has not.  The amount of AVAILABLE per capita energy has been decreasing for quite some time, due mainly to Population Increase while the extraction rate for energy has remained more or less Flatlined for around a decade now.


At this point however, as credit becomes constricted to access energy in most places of the world (Ugo Bardi for instance noted that Italy has seen a 35% drop in Oil Consumption over the last decade), it’s not just Per Capita energy consumption that is on the downslide, but GROSS TOTAL CONSUMPTION as well.


You can see this in this chart from Doug Short, which shows a 10% drop in Gasoline consumption here in the FSoA over the last 6 years since the end of the Consumption Peak in 2008


Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.57.00 AM


So, the Demand Destruction and decreasing consumption of Energy is pretty apparent by the numbers in the Liquid Fuels area, but what about in the even more critical area of Electricity, powering the Lights, the Sewage Treatment Plants, the Elevators and the Subway systems of the major cities that have exploded in population since the Age of Oil began?


Fortunately for us observers of Energy Resource Depletion & Dissipation, we have available the Suomi NPP Visible Infrared Radiometer Suite, which has made some marvelous images of the night time Earth, including the Black Marble Image.


http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/79000/79803/earth_night_rotate_lrg.jpg


Here’s the Flat Map of the Whole Globe, revealing clearly where industrialization has infected over the years:


Night Lights 2012 - Flat map


Remarkable how small a portion of the world really got Wired Up here before burning through the legacy of a few million years of fossil fuel collection


After doing a bit of Googling, I found these two images of North America, one from 2012, the other from 1995.


1995-2012-lights


Now, these two images were captured with different equipment, but you can see unmistakeably how much the Great Plains area has diminished in overall lighting, with one notable exception, that VERY large and bright spot I circled in Yellow.  What do you suppose that is?


That folks is the Bakken Oil Fields around Williston, ND.  It’s partially increased electric lighting, but mostly NG Flaring.  Here’s a Closeup View:


http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/bakken1.jpg


http://www.catastrophemap.org/oilmap/bakken-flaring-2014.gif


You can see the opposite effect if you look in the Southeast, increasing brightness down there where a lot of development took place through the period.


With the Suomi Instrument now up, detailed analysis of changing amounts of “light pollution” have been undertaken, most notably around Europe in this report published in January of 2014 in the Journal Nature:


Contrasting trends in light pollution across Europe based on satellite observed night time lights


The analysis is very thorough, and generates some very interesting data


We assessed changes in artificial lighting in terms of the extent of the areas decreasing and increasing in brightness over the region. The method was validated by the successful attribution of regions of both increasing and decreasing intensity in a calibration area in South-West England to urban and industrial developments, confirming that the observed direction and timing of change is consistent with known changes in nighttime light intensity on the ground. We then extended the approach to map areas of increasing and decreasing brightness across Europe. While the brightness of nighttime light pollution across Europe is increasing overall, clear regional differences exist, with considerable regions experiencing apparent net dimming over the period.


Here is the area around Southwest England used for calibration purposes.  Blue areas are decreasing light intensity, Red areas increasing:


15-year changes in nighttime brightness in South-West England.


Highlighted regions: (a) Annual trend in brightness for areas associated with the china-clay (kaolin) industry, (blue line); total china clay production (black line). (b) Annual trend in brightness for the urban region of Torbay (blue); total power load on municipal street lighting in Torbay (black). (c) Annual trend in brightness for Wytch Farm onshore oil field (blue); total oil production from the field (black). Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.


For Europe as a whole, here’s the maps and analysis:



(a) Intercalibrated mean brightness for Europe 2005–2010. (b) 10-year change in brightness, calculated as the difference in mean values for the periods 2005–2010 and 1995–2000. Grey areas are saturated throughout the time period, so trends cannot be detected. (c) Proportions of the total land surface area for which artificial light was detected to increase (orange) and decrease (blue) by more than 3 DN units in constituent countries of Europe. *Data south of 65 degrees latitude only. Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.



Changes in European light pollution


In common with recent studies in Asia13, 16, 24, Europe has experienced a marked net increase in nighttime light pollution since satellite images first became available (Figure 2). Inferences about heavily urbanised areas must be treated with caution as the DMSP/OLS sensors saturate at high light levels; however, marked regional differences within the unsaturated rural and suburban areas exist. It has been previously noted that large areas of some countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Moldova and Ukraine, experienced a contraction in lighting following independence22; the effects of this change are still evident in this study over a more extended time period. Widespread decreases in brightness also occur in Hungary and Slovakia. Moreover, we find that several economically developed countries, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Northern Germany also show areas apparently experiencing detectable localised declines in brightness.


The changes here aren’t uniform, and while some are predictable based on the current economic situation, some others are counter-intuitive.  Here’s a Geographical breakdown of a few selected locations:


Selected areas of maps shown in Figure 2, showing contrasts in trends in detected nighttime light between different countries.


(a) Belgium shows decreases in nighttime brightness along the motorway network, while neighbouring regions of France have increased substantially in brightness. (b) Slovakia shows marked decreases in brightness, with the exception of Bratslava and towns in the west of the country. In contrast, neighbouring regions of Poland have become substantially brighter. Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.


As you might have expected if you follow collapse dynamics, countries formerly in the orbit of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), which did not glom onto the Western economy after the fall like Slovakia see a marked Dimming of the Bulbs, whereas countries like Poland got Brighter Bulbs in the aftermath of that collapse.  Southern European Nations which saw a lot of investment over the time period got brighter, whereas aging industrial countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have grown dimmer.


Moving around the globe to the East, you can see the close relationship between power consumption and GDP by looking at the graph of Power Output versus GDP for the period from 1998 through 2012:


http://av.r.ftdata.co.uk/files/2012/05/china_power_GDP.png


What can we expect moving forward here into the future?


Well, far as China is concerned, those numbers are going to continue to slide, and in all probability you are going to see the Bulbs go Dimmer in China over the next couple of years.  Even more than China, India is likely to see total lumens decreasing rapidly as time passes.


Unlike the numbers dished out by the Chinese Politburo or Da Fed and the BLS here which can be easily massaged to make it appear as though there is “Growth” where there is no real growth, the image data generated from the Suomi Satellite is harder to disguise, though of course not impossible either since both NASA and NOAA are Goobermint agencies.  At the moment however, there are probably too many scientists with access to the real time data streams to falsify the imagery, and too few people who recognize what is going on for it to matter on a political level if the Globe clearly shows a progressive and increasing Dimming effect.


If you are aware of these things though, this provides one of the BEST METRICS around to observe the collapse of Industrial Civilization.  At the moment I am unable to locate a way to access regular updated satellite imagery on this for the typical web surfer, however I am hopeful that my good friend Ugo Bardi, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Firenza may have better luck through the university system.


 photo city_black_out_500.jpgBesides watching and cateloging as cities like Detroit and Hoboken grow dimmer, another fascinating Bright Spot to watch over the next year is that Bonfire going on in the Bakken right now, which one of my friends in the industry who flies in there regularly says is simply amazing to see from the air.  With an already 40% decrease in Drilling permits being applied for as the price of Oil drops here, it seems likely that this particular Bright Light will be a lot Dimmer next year, and dimmer still the year after that.


How LONG will it take for the Planet to go COMPLETELY Dark at night?  Probably a relatively long time, but at the same time there will probably be occassions where large regions go dark simultaneously and other occassions where the overall lumens decrease rapidly in a given location as many of the lights are extinguished.  A simple example would be a struggling municipality cutting off half its Streetlights in order to save on the Electric Bill.  Or a Suburb with a lot of foreclosures having a greater number of Dark McMansions.


1995-2012-lightsThe Comparison Photo I put up of North America 1998 vs 2012 probably gives the best indication of how the loss of electric power will go, first disappearing from Low Population Zones and gradually spreading toward the densely populated areas.  It looks as though California is getting close to being Sunffed Out going West from Bakken, and moving Eastward the Mississipi River Population Zone will see more Dimming.  This correlates well with the ongoing Geopolitical problems in places like Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and of course rust belt cities like Detroit and Gary, Indiana.


In the Final Countdown, probably only a few Major Metros of First World cities like NY Shity, London, Berlin etc will still have so many lights on they resemble Diodes on a circuit board.  How LONG will this process take though?  Absolute Light Intensity Dimming  in North America over the last 15 years is discernable, but it hasn’t totally stopped BAU in the FSoA.  If the regression is a linear function, in another 15 years things would be worse, but not altogether different.


Thing is, this is probably not a linear function, as suggested by Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Cliff.


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0DnON_XkgQc/Ts_9icXLfOI/AAAAAAAADuY/SPSgxOXs4W0/s1600/SenecaCliff.jpg


Once the dropoff begins, it tends to accelerate with many positive feedback loops involved.  So in all likelihood we will see acceleration of this phenomenon around the globe over the next 15 years, and a significant portion of the currently Lit Up portions of the Black Marble will have gone dark by then.


Here in the FSoA, probably the most significant one to watch over the next couple of years is the Hoover Dam.  As of Novemeber 2014, the water level is at 1083 feet.  Here’s the last few years of records for Lake Mead:


2007  1129.55  1129.35  1125.79  1120.69  1115.89  1113.50  1111.58  1111.84  1111.06  1110.95  1111.22  1114.81
2008  1116.46  1116.93  1115.65  1110.61  1107.05  1104.98  1104.42  1105.13  1105.76  1107.94  1107.33  1110.97
2009  1111.78  1111.43  1107.40  1101.26  1096.92  1095.26  1094.20  1093.73  1093.68  1093.26  1093.52  1096.30
2010  1100.02  1103.21  1100.66  1098.00  1094.30  1089.30  1086.97  1086.91  1083.81  1082.36  1081.94  1086.30
2011  1091.73  1095.78  1096.39  1095.76  1097.90  1102.38  1107.07  1113.45  1116.04  1121.00  1125.82  1132.83
2012  1134.18  1133.06  1129.41  1123.93  1119.38  1115.84  1115.92  1116.56  1115.16  1116.50  1117.24  1120.36
2013  1122.32  1122.14  1118.59  1112.91  1108.36  1105.98  1105.92  1106.13  1106.92  1104.04  1106.36  1106.73
2014  1108.75  1107.94  1101.71  1094.55  1087.46  1082.66  1080.60  1081.55  1081.33  1082.79  1083.57

Hoover reaches the “Dead Pool” level at 950 feet, still 130 feet away, but relief from the drought affecting the Colorado River watershed is nowhere in sight at the moment.



“The level of Lake Mead is supposed to drop to an elevation of 1081.75 over the next few days, which is the lowest elevation it’s ever been since the lake was filled when Hoover Dam was built,” said Rose Davis, Bureau of Reclamation.


Lake Mead is not only the primary water source for Las Vegas, but it’s also how Hoover Dam produces power. Simply put, the lower the lake, the less electricity.


“Our concern is the ability to generate power. We’ve seen a 23 percent reduction in our capacity to generate power since the lake continues to drop,” Davis said.


The hydroelectric facility is taking steps so its current capacity of 1592 megawatts won’t go down anymore.


“We’ve been proactive over the last five years in putting in new equipment that operates more efficiently at low lake levels,” Davis said.


Three wide head turbines have been installed, and two more are on the way in the next couple years. It’s hoped they will arrive before Lake Mead gets to catastrophic levels that could bring the dam to screeching halt.


“What we call the dead pool, which is the elevation of Lake Mead where Hoover Dam cannot generate any power is about 950 feet,” Davis said.


Even without complete shutdown at Hoover, a 23% Reduction in power output is already hugely significant.  Referencing back to the close connection between GDP and Electric Power however, such a large reduction in Power Output means a similarly large reduction in GDP for the neighborhoods served by Hoover, which are vast going from Vegas to Phoenix to Los Angeles.  To replace that power they have to BUY fossil fuel power off the grid, every Kilowatt Hour Hoover does not produce is more money out of the ever more insolvent coffers of everyone living in this neighborhood.


However, until Hoover shuts down completely, these issues mostly are not recognized, neither by the typical J6P nor the MSM reporting on it and not even by most Economistas.  They don’t tie the ever decreasing Standard of Living to the Falling Water Level in Lake Mead.  These are disparate phenomena to them.  In fact your Standard of Living is ALL about how much Power you consume, and the higher the power consumption, the higher your ‘Standard of Living”, at least by the common metrics of the Industrial Era such as GDP.  The less access you have to energy, either Electricity or Gasoline to power your car, the lower your Standard of Living will be, eventually achieving 3rd World levels where the vast majority of the population has access to neither one.


How fast this will actually spin down still remains an open question, but now we do have Metrics by which to observe it, and to document that in fact there IS a Collapse in Progress, which most of the population remains in Denial about.  The end result is quite clear, it is the End of Industrial Civilization, and this is the FINAL COUNTDOWN.


Prior Collapse Cafes of Interest






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Offline RE

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Massive Blackout in Turkey
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 08:33:20 AM »
Lights Out!

RE

Massive Blackout Hits Turkey, Grounding Planes, Stopping Subways; Terror Not Ruled Out

Tyler Durden's picture



 

Ankara, we have a problem. 

At around 10:36 a.m. local time, Turkey suffered a massive power outage that left half of the country’s 81 provinces without electricity in what was the biggest blackout in a decade and a half. The blackout shut down subways in Instanbul and knocked out 11 of 16 air traffic control receivers, grounding flights to and from the capital. Although the cause is not yet known, officials haven’t yet ruled out the possibility that the blackout may be terror-related. Here’s more via Reuters

 
 

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the outage were being investigated and did not rule out sabotage, but said that trouble with transmission lines was the most likely reason for the problem.

 

"Our main target right now is to restore the network. This is not an incident that we see frequently," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said during a trip to Bratislava, in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

 

"Whether or not terrorism is a high possibility or a low one I can’t say at this stage. I can’t say either whether it is a cyber attack," he said in response to questions from reporters.

...and a bit more via RT:

 
 

The worst power outage in 15 years struck most of Turkey, grounding flights and crippling rail networks. The government scrambled efforts to investigate the power cut, before energy was partially restored in the afternoon.

 

The outage was confirmed in some 23 provinces, including Ankara and Istanbul, by news agency Anadolu. Later information from Broadcaster NTV put the number at 40. 

 

Energy officials did admit that there was no electricity in most of the country for several hours, before electricity was restored by 15 percent.

 

...and here's a BofAML:

 
 

“If the problem cannot be fixed shortly, the wide scale suggests that the cost will be loss of a working day for the GDP.”

*  *  *

We would note that Energy Minister Taner Yildiz is known for getting to the bottom of mass power outages. You’ll recall that last year, when blackouts caused officials to count votes in local elections by candlelight, the minister quickly discovered precisely what went wrong:

 
 

"I am not joking, friends...A cat walked into a transformer unit. That’s why there was a power cut. It’s not the first time this has happened."

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Online Eddie

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 08:41:50 AM »
"I am not joking, friends...A cat walked into a transformer unit. That’s why there was a power cut. It’s not the first time this has happened."

Save the kitty-cats. Turn off the Turkish power grid permanently to prevent animal cruelty!
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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 02:53:35 AM »
I'm not so sure satellite images of stray light are a very good proxy for what really matters - having enough electricity to keep civilisation functioning. 

I would imagine there are plans for what actually happens when governments realise that there isn't enough coal at the power stations (or water in the hydro dam) to generate all the electricity people would like - some kind of rationing, I suppose, but how? 

Phones, internet, TV, radio, ATMs and EFTPOSs, water and sewerage pumping, street lighting would have a high priority, but that is nowhere near all the essentials.  You would need to keep the police, courts and prisons fully operational, otherwise there would be riots.  The military never sleeps, and border patrol, customs and immigration at airports, air traffic control, traffic lights in the streets, hospitals, old peoples' homes, fire services, funeral services, ...

And if banks, factories, fast food restaurants, bars and shops cannot have electricity, then the economy will stop anyway.

So what percentage of total electricity does that amount to? 50% ? More ? Does anybody know? Is there a plan? Because if not, then when it goes dark it will be quick and permanent.
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Offline RE

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 03:26:36 AM »
I would imagine there are plans for what actually happens when governments realise that there isn't enough coal at the power stations (or water in the hydro dam) to generate all the electricity people would like - some kind of rationing, I suppose, but how? 

Rolling Brownouts & Blackouts.  It's done regularly in areas where they are short on Electricity.  Each area gets some power for a specified period each day.  Hospitals and such can be prioritized to receive power all the time, long as they are on their own circuit.  Rewiring can be done as necessary to triage down the power being issued out.

A full and instantaneous permanent blackout only comes if the whole grid is sabotaged in some way, could be through bombing or computer/software sabotage.  Or of course an EMP or Super Carrington Event.

The greater likelihood is more and more poor neighborhoods will have electricity cut off.  These areas will become like Mumbai Slums over time.  Rural areas will have their electricity cut off, so you definitely need Off Grid alternatives there if you wanna live with some Juice.

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 07:14:37 AM »
Quote
Rolling Brownouts & Blackouts.  It's done regularly in areas where they are short on Electricity.

Yes, but for a modern rich country? Refrigeration can't function with only a few hours per day of power, and air-con is not much better.

After Fukushima and the phase out of nuclear and switch back to fossils, the total generation only dropped 4.5%. In fact there was a bigger drop in 2009 due to the crash, but how about a 10% or 30% cut?

Quote
These areas will become like Mumbai Slums over time.

I doubt it, you can't take a rich, well-armed city and migrate it into a Mumbai slum.  The people would burn the place to the ground in anger and shoot their way out like the Charlton Heston type in "No blade of grass".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7wx4VA7wwqU
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Offline RE

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 01:51:19 PM »
Quote
Rolling Brownouts & Blackouts.  It's done regularly in areas where they are short on Electricity.

Yes, but for a modern rich country? Refrigeration can't function with only a few hours per day of power, and air-con is not much better.

After Fukushima and the phase out of nuclear and switch back to fossils, the total generation only dropped 4.5%. In fact there was a bigger drop in 2009 due to the crash, but how about a 10% or 30% cut?

Quote
These areas will become like Mumbai Slums over time.

I doubt it, you can't take a rich, well-armed city and migrate it into a Mumbai slum.  The people would burn the place to the ground in anger and shoot their way out like the Charlton Heston type in "No blade of grass".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7wx4VA7wwqU

There will be load shedding also, and mandatory restrictions on A/C, like the mandatory Water restrictions now in place in CA.

Refrigeration will be shut down in many stores, and only a few central warehouses will be refrigerated.  Individuals will pick up their food, cook it and eat it, or do some other form of preserving it.  Many types of currently Refrigerated or Frozen Foods will stop being produced.  Freezer depts in stores will gradually shrink in size.

This will happen gradually if we don't have a Sudden Stop of the Monetary System.  The Centers of Power, NY Shity, The Shity of London, Berlin etc will keep full power on the longest.  Smaller Shities and Towns out on the periphery will be triaged off first.

RE
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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 02:04:12 PM »
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 02:11:21 PM »
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

That vanishingly small Snowpack in the Rockies is the Death Knell for Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam.  If they can make it through this next summer with the water level high enough to keep the Turbines from Cavitating I will be surprised.  They only had about 18 feet left of depth last year.

I gotta go over to NOAA and see what the latest hydrology is.

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 02:29:50 PM »
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

That vanishingly small Snowpack in the Rockies is the Death Knell for Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam.  If they can make it through this next summer with the water level high enough to keep the Turbines from Cavitating I will be surprised.  They only had about 18 feet left of depth last year.

I gotta go over to NOAA and see what the latest hydrology is.

RE

Lake Mead currently @ 1085 ft, projected to fall to 1083 ft by mid-April.  1050 ft is the Cavitation Zone.  Current Slope on the graph indicates about a 1ft drop every 3 days, generous estimate.  So, 35 ft drop takes 105 days at steady state, but going into summer, evaporation rate increases.  Also by mid summer, any snowpack there was is gone.

Now, with radical water restriction usage in CA and in Vegas and everybody else tapped into that reservoir, they may be able to slow the decline rate some, but I doubt by more than 50%.

Without a radical change in the weather patterns the Hoover Dam is finished by 2016, maybe even sooner.

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 02:36:59 PM »
If and when Vegas is forced to shut the lights, that will assuredly be the end of the resource waste for the Western US population areas.

That vanishingly small Snowpack in the Rockies is the Death Knell for Lake Mead and Lake Powell and the Hoover Dam.  If they can make it through this next summer with the water level high enough to keep the Turbines from Cavitating I will be surprised.  They only had about 18 feet left of depth last year.

I gotta go over to NOAA and see what the latest hydrology is.

RE

Say goodnight, Gracie:

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2015, 03:42:16 PM »
Wikipedia says some 80% of the water in California is used to irrigate crops.  20% of that is for alfalfa for horse feed, the majority of it being exported to China.  Then there is 55 billion pounds of rice per year - growing rice in a desert when there is a severe drought on!  Of the household use, more than half is used to maintain gardens.  Totally fucking crazy place.
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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 03:58:45 PM »
Wikipedia says some 80% of the water in California is used to irrigate crops.  20% of that is for alfalfa for horse feed, the majority of it being exported to China.  Then there is 55 billion pounds of rice per year - growing rice in a desert when there is a severe drought on!  Of the household use, more than half is used to maintain gardens.  Totally fucking crazy place.

You've hear the term "Pave Paradise, Put Up a Parking Lot" I trust?  From Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/SIytTS1FXUc?feature=player_detailpage" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/SIytTS1FXUc?feature=player_detailpage</a>

The meme in CA was "Irrigate the Desert, Put Up Industrial Farms"  Besides the many Parking Lots also of course.

The conceit was that Nature could be controlled and the Earth remade to suit the needs and wants of Homo Sap in both cases.

CA is Ground Zero for the End to that Concept.  They are going down BIG TIME.

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Offline MKing

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2015, 05:02:17 PM »
Wikipedia says some 80% of the water in California is used to irrigate crops.  20% of that is for alfalfa for horse feed, the majority of it being exported to China.  Then there is 55 billion pounds of rice per year - growing rice in a desert when there is a severe drought on!  Of the household use, more than half is used to maintain gardens.  Totally fucking crazy place.

If we all pray together in unison to the big voice from the sky, maybe we can change the path of our country by dumping such deadweight?

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: The Dimming Bulb
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2015, 05:22:39 PM »
I hesitate to believe anything on 1st April, but:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-01/first-time-history-california-governor-orders-mandatory-water-cuts-amid-unprecedente
For First Time In History, California Governor Orders Mandatory Water Cuts Amid "Unprecedented, Dangerous Situation"
Tyler Durden
4/01/2015

Amid the "cruelest winter ever," with the lowest snowpack on record, and with 98.11% of the state currently in drouight conditions, California Governor Jerry Brown orders mandatory water cuts in California for the first time in history.

As ABC reports,

    California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced a set of mandatory water conservation measures today, as the state continues to struggle with a prolonged drought that has lasted for more than four years.

    "Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow," Brown said in a statement after visiting a manual snow survey in the Sierra Nevadas. "This historic drought demands unprecedented action."

    For the first time in the state's history, the governor has directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions across California, in an effort to reduce water usage by 25 percent. The measures include replacing 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping, banning the watering of grass on public street medians, requiring agricultural water users to report their water use to state regulators, and requiring large landscapes such as campuses, golf courses and cemeteries to make significant cuts in water use.

    The governor’s announcement comes just a few weeks after NASA’s top water scientist, Jay Famiglietti, declared in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that California only had a year's-worth of water supply left in its reservoirs.

    The last four years have been the driest in California’s recorded history. As of March 24, more than 98 percent of California is suffering from abnormally dry conditions, with 41.1 percent in an exceptional drought, according the U.S. Drought Monitor, which estimates that more than 37 million Californians have been affected by the drought. The state’s snowpack, which is largely responsible for feeding the state’s reservoirs, has been reduced to 8 percent of its historical average, and in some areas in the Central Valley the land is sinking a foot a year because of over-pumping of groundwater for agriculture.

    ...

    “We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation,” the governor said in his January statement. “At some point, we have to learn to live with nature, we have to get on nature’s side and not abuse the resources that we have.”

*  *  *

And as we noted previously, while all eyes are focused on dry river beds and fields of dust, the mountainous ski resort areas are seeing their economies devastated. As Bloomberg reports,
 
    Last year Vail reported a 28 percent drop in skier visits at its California resorts, and the company warned investors that its financial results would be worse than anticipated.

    Those numbers reflect what could be a larger contraction of Tahoe’s ski industry. Seasonal and part-time hiring has slid 27 percent over the last three years, according Patrick Tierney, a professor of recreation, parks, and tourism at San Francisco State University, and spending on ski-related services has decreased from $717 million a year to $428 million. An older analysis by the San Francisco Reserve Bank showed that the value of resort-area homes in places like Tahoe can depend heavily on climate; even a 2-degree increase could cut home values by more than 50 percent.

*  *  *

The drought is getting worse... not better.
The State is a body of armed men

 

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