December 7, 2021

Climate Change News

Saving The Planet

Is there climate change behind South Georgia’s water problems? The data says no

Near the top of Google’s news search stories today about the term “climate change” is a WALB 10 report in Albany, Georgia, which states that climate change is causing drought in South Georgia. which causes water scarcity.

Southern Georgia may experience water shortages, but climate change may not be the cause. The data show that droughts have not increased in number or severity in the region or state.

In the story, titled “The Climate Change Problem in South Georgia has a silver lining,” WALB says the drought is causing water shortages in South Georgia’s popular natural wonder, Radium Springs Gardens (in the picture). The station’s title, of course, blames the drought on climate change.

“Radium Springs addresses the impacts of climate change,” WALB writes. “Droughts and rising agricultural withdrawals have contributed to low water levels.”

The problem is that where there is no drought, there can be no drought-induced water deficit. The history of WALB is refuted by data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Drought Monitor.

As detailed in Climate at a Glance: Drought, the IPCC reports with “high confidence” that rainfall has increased in mid-latitude terrestrial areas of the northern hemisphere (including the United States) over the past 70 years, while that the IPCC has “low confidence” ”On any negative trends worldwide.

More specifically, the U.S. drought reports of 2017 and 2019, the United States recorded its smallest percentage of land area experiencing drought in recorded history, and the country recently experienced the longest period in recorded history. , with less than 40 percent of the country experiencing “very dry.”

What is true for the United States in general is also true for Georgia. As seen in the figure below, the Drought Monitor reports that no county in Georgia is currently experiencing drought.

Screencap of the US Drought Monitor website for the state of Georgia, September 23, 2021. Source

Looking at previous data from the U.S. Drought Monitor website, no part of the state has experienced even a moderate drought in more than a year.

The last significant drought in Georgia was in 2007, 14 years ago of “global warming,” when 49% of the state experienced some degree of drought.

Contrary to WALB’s claims, the data clearly show that the modest warming of the earth has not caused a worsening drought in Georgia.

Consequently, any decrease in water levels in Radium Springs gardens is due to other factors. WALB points to this factor in its history, increasing water catchment for agriculture.

In fact, unless radium sources have caused a leak, it is likely that excess excess water for agriculture is the only reason behind its declining groundwater level.

Dougherty County, Georgia, where Radium Springs is located, has experienced a small but steady decline in population since 1980.

Climate change is not drying up in southern Georgia. If Radium Springs gardens are experiencing lower water levels, excessive water is likely to be extracted for agriculture.

If so, as WALB rightly reports, the region has the resources and technologies to improve the situation, including expanded water storage and better water conservation.

Implementing policies to prevent climate change would have no impact. If he were honest, WALB would report this fact.

Read more in Climate Realism

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