The Stream, December 4: Rain in California, But No Break to Drought

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Rain is falling in California, but the state will need a lot more of it to break a three-year drought. Vietnam is predicting drought in the Mekong Delta next year, while Great Lakes water levels are rising. China is spending billions on a new fund to fight pollution, and Kiribati is pessimistic about the benefit of future climate deals. South Korea finished its first desalination plant, South Australia is trying to develop arid agriculture in greenhouses, and Queensland communities are requesting United Nations assistance to protect rivers and culture. Scientists think volcanoes were the key to flowing water on Mars.

“Every storm is going to help us but one storm is not going to get us out of the drought. If we have 10 to 20 more storms like this one we’re going to be looking much better on the drought.”—Eric Boldt, National Weather Service meteorologist, on a major storm that brought as much as 10 centimeters of rain to parts of Southern California this week. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$8.13 billion Amount dedicated to China’s new environmental protection fund, meant to combat water, air, and soil pollution. China Securities Journal

$100 million Investment in a 20-hectare greenhouse in South Australia that will use solar power and sea water to produce 15,000 tons of vegetables a year. Reuters

45,000 tons/day
Amount of fresh water that will be produced by South Korea’s first desalination plant, near the city of Busan. Arirang News

8.2 centimeters Rise in water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron since July, a time when levels usually drop about 20 centimeters. MLive


Science, Studies, And Reports

Drought and saltwater intrusion are expected to intensify in the Mekong Delta next year, potentially harming rice crops, Vietnam’s Southern Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting predicted. VietnamNet

Scientists think volcanic eruptions could have warmed Mars enough to make water flow on the planet billions of years ago, despite its thin atmosphere.

On the Radar

On The Radar

Indigenous communities in Queensland have sent a request to the United Nations to investigate decisions by the state government that could allow mining and fracking on their traditional land. They say these decisions threaten rivers and traditional culture. Guardian

Any future climate deals reached in Lima or Paris will likely have little benefit for Pacific island nations like Kiribati, which already suffers from increasingly severe drought and rising sea levels, the country’s officials say. Guardian

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