The Stream, May 6, 2020: In Indonesia, Key Agricultural Regions Face Harsh Dry Season

The Global Rundown

Conditions in Indonesia‘s major agricultural regions will likely be drier than normal this year, the president warns. Hawaii faces a variety of flooding threats in coming years. The Tampa Bay area could face water-use restrictions as dry temperatures persist. Three of the U.S. Great Lakes, along with Lake St. Clair, set new record-high April water levels. A new study warns that unbearable heat, comparable with temperatures in the Sahara Desert, will affect a third of the world’s population by 2070. 

“This is significant because many people think that sea level rise can be mitigated by seawalls. But a seawall will not stop groundwater inundation. Our results highlight the need to readjust our thinking regarding the flooding that accompanies sea level rise.” –Shellie Habel, lead author of a study by the University of Hawaii that details future flooding risks in the state. The study found that rising sea levels will cause direct shoreline flooding, but also flooding via groundwater inundation as water tables rise. The study warns that flooding could be caused by reverse flow through the municipal drainage system as well. University of Hawai’i News 

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What’s Up With Water – May 4, 2020 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on current conditions in Australia and low water levels on Germany’s Rhine and Argentina’s Iguazu River.

By The Numbers

30 percent Regions in Indonesia that will likely face harsher than normal dry seasons this year, according to an announcement by President Jokowi Widodo on Tuesday. The president urged the country’s key agricultural regions to conserve water resources and make the most of current rainfall. Reuters

3 U.S. Great Lakes, including Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, that set record-high April water levels this year. Lake St. Clair also exceeded its previous April record. Lakes Michigan and Huron, which connect at the Straits of Mackinac and are measured together, are currently 11 inches higher than this time last year. MLive

Science, Studies, and Reports

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores how climate change will alter the human habitat, and the results indicate that 1 billion people will face insufferable heat for every 1°C (1.8°F ) rise in global temperatures within 50 years. According to the most optimistic scenario, by 2070 a total of 1.2 billion people will be pushed outside the “climate niche” in which humans have lived for the past 6,000 years. The study estimates that residents of India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Indonesia will face the most extreme temperature changes. The Guardian

On the Radar

On Tuesday, the local water management district of Tampa Bay declared a water shortage in the area, warning that residents could face upcoming water-use restrictions. The tightened rules will be implemented on May 12 unless another vote or further action is taken. A majority of the Tampa Bay region is facing moderate to extreme drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Tampa Bay Times

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