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Old 05-30-2011, 08:12 PM
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Default Long term survival in the face of climate change



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There is something that is bothering me about the climate change going on all around the world, and long term survival plans. Lets take Texas for example, my home state, has been under drought conditions for the past 3+ years. some of the local lakes are 8 – 10 feet low. A couple of years ago lake Travis got to around 100 feet below normal.

National Geographic wrote and interesting article about how Greenland was on the leading edge of climate change. The majority of Greenlands income is based off of fishing. But the warming waters has caused the shrimp and certain fish populations to decline. The big question is “where” are the fishing going.

The climate change is not limited to North America – there is an interesting article on the BBC how the Soils of UK and Europe drying out.


In a long term survival situation – meteor strike, outbreak of a new plague, world wide war, long term civil unrest,,,, the only long term solution for food is to grow your own. But in the face of global climate change, how can we be sure that our crops will succeed.

This past weekend I went to the camp to pick up my bar-b-q pit and bring it home for memorial day weekend. While I was at the camp, I decided to check on the fruit trees. We have a couple of pear trees, some peach trees and a couple of plum trees planted there.

Upon inspection, I discovered just about all of the fruit was about 1/2 – 1/3 the size that it should be. If we were in a long term survival situation, I would have to watering the fruit trees from a nearby stream.



In March of 2011, my wife, my grandkids, my step-daughter, son-in-law and myself went to the camp and planted a small garden. The garden consisted of 4 rows of corn and peas, 10 rows or potatoes and some watermelon.

The corn has not got enough rain to grow.

The deer are eating most of the peas.

None of the watermelons have came up.

Out of about 10 rows of potatoes that were planted, only a couple of plants have come up.

If this years garden was during a real long term SHTF survival situation, my family and I would be in some serious trouble.

To help water the garden, my family has some 55 drums that we can fill up from a nearby stream, carry the drum on a trailer to the garden, and then use the water in the drums to irrigate the crops. Man made irrigation is the solution in the face of wide spread drought. Its either water your crops by hand, or relocate.

On the flip side of the coin, instead of drought, some places are getting too much rainfall. Instead of drought, some places around the world are facing widespread flooding.

With climate change comes the question – did climate change contribute to the extinction of homo erectus, cro magnon man, and the Neanderthal? If so, what can we do to ensure the survival of our species. Or, are Homo sapiens destined to go extinct as well.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:44 PM
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There will be places where humans can figure out how to grow enough food to survive--but those places may not be where we are.

I think some of the issue in your case, Kev, is that you haven't been able to tend your crops. Had you been there full-time, and been able to water and otherwise protect your plants, you'd be doing better.

It's probably a good idea for people to prep both normal heirloom seeds as well as drought-tolerant and short-season varieties.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:12 PM
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The folks from the UN tell us it's getting warmer and it's due to mans activities. Mostly they blame the US and tell us to give them cash. I think they are dead wrong.

I think the drop in solar activity is making the world colder and dryer. I expect the dry line to park it self over Kansas City, Mo (200 miles further east) and the climate zones to drop a full state further north.

I bought my ranch in the ozarks expect that area to get dryer and cooler, more like mid Iowa today.

I expect the climate in east Texas to look like the short grass prairie of western Kansas.

Either way the climate is going to be far different than what we expect.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:31 PM
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This topic has been on my mind for a while now. I was reading an article earlier this year and it stated, because of the change in climates, as in a cooling, that people should look into getting plants that are in a lower hardiness zone. For example if you live in zone 6 then start getting plants that will handle zone 5 temps.

On the flip side of Kev's problem - The winter and spring this year has been much colder and wetter than normal. This seems to be a pattern emerging the past few years. We are currently 14" above normal for precipitation and temps for the most part have been 10-15 degrees below normal from the beginning of the year.

But then the last two years even though we have been above normal precip during the first half of the year the late summer months have been completely dry. Last year at this time we were 8 inches above normal. Then we didn't get a drop of rain for nearly 3 months and high temps.

I guess what it comes down to is to prepare as best you can. Find good, creative ways to capture and store rain water for dry times. And then also be sure your plants can handle the situation they will be faced with, be it either colder temps or drought tolerant or even heat tolerant.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:40 PM
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Climate has and always will change. This is a reason for many great extinctions, as well as many great adaptations by species. Migration and adaptation may be a possible way to survive. If the change is within reason, ie Alaska becomes tropical environment people could adapt, or Arizona becomes a forest people could adapt.

People in my opinion were not made to live in deserts, as water is one of our greatest needs for survival. The only reason people live in deserts well right now is supply chain, technology, and infrastructure. Take away those and very few people would be able to survive in Phoenix for example. It has very little natural water and would only support a much smaller population of hardened individuals.

If our technology, supply chain, and infrastructure stays in place most places on earth could adapt to moderate levels of change(nothing extreme like loss of atmosphere, or arctic circle environment. ) But if a disaster totally destroyed the power grid for example, populations of humans in hostile environments would be under a lot of stress to survive, and most would not survive in arctic zones, or deserts.

We are doing fine growing food despite of the last 3 years of abnormal/ hostile springs. We have adapted to the change in the seeds we get, and the level to which we protect our crops, and time period in which we can take away the protections.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
To help water the garden, my family has some 55 drums that we can fill up from a nearby stream, carry the drum on a trailer to the garden, and then use the water in the drums to irrigate the crops. Man made irrigation is the solution in the face of wide spread drought. Its either water your crops by hand, or relocate.
As Goose3 says, if you were onsite you would be able to fight to keep the valuable crops alive. Dunno about large scale field crops though. An issue will be how the long term climate settles out in your area. They expect intensified drought in the southwest, but I thought you were closer to the east where you are under the influence of moist gulf weather.

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Originally Posted by kev View Post
On the flip side of the coin, instead of drought, some places are getting too much rainfall. Instead of drought, some places around the world are facing widespread flooding.
As the ocean warms, the currents change their normal circulation patterns. Results are changed climates in regional areas. Examples would be the colder pattern in Briton and Europe, and especially the warmer pattern around the Antarctic peninsula. A warm ocean current is now surfacing along the peninsula resulting in massive melt there. In the USA, more drought is expected long term in the southwest, more moisture in the southeast (gulf weather) and shifted higher temperatures everywhere.


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Originally Posted by kev View Post
With climate change comes the question did climate change contribute to the extinction of homo erectus, cro magnon man, and the Neanderthal? If so, what can we do to ensure the survival of our species. Or, are Homo sapiens destined to go extinct as well.
Normal climate change, from glacial to warm or warm to glacial, usually actually takes thousands of years. Species can move and adapt in that kind of time frame. This climate change is occurring over about 200 years (and will continue) so that is a pretty sudden shock to the species. We are no longer hunters and gatherers. We are planted in our communities, we have roots, we have property. Where the heck are displaced civilizations free to wander to? A few hundred million Bangladeshi will not be welcome in India. Same story all over the world, even here in the USA. The best advice is to learn now and make your choices because you are going to be affecting all your descendents. A form of survival planning for your whole clan.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:07 PM
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you could make a trouble free water source for your fruit trees pending on how far apart they all are.

lets say your trees are 80 feet apart about 1/2 way between them you could create a water well that would hold water for your trees. what comes to mind for me is a very old world style of well let me explain it better.

you dig a hole about 30 feet deep and about 30 feet around. make the hole cone shaped in the center of the hole you build a chimney up to about 3 feet higher than ground lvl. at the bottom of this chimney you have a few holes in it to let water in/out up to about 2 feet high. on the outside of the chimney you put LARGE rocks up past the holes of the chimney. next put in some of that gardening fabric down the dump about 3-5 feet of large gravel in the hole. then lay more fabric down and fill the hole up with sand.

this makes an old fashion well , BUT you dont have to use the well just keep the chimney cover to keep evaporation down. if the fruit trees are close enough roots will find that water source and they will be kept watered all year round


what would be ideal is to dig one of those wells and have about 4-6 trees planted around each well
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:15 PM
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being on site would help...because you could give the orchard regular attention.a simple tredle pump would cure the water problem.

but we are going threw change we all just need to adjust our gardens and orchards and methods.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:21 PM
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Default cures for these problems

many types of cures....but it all takes work.cures for differnt locations around the world that work in many differnt places if people apply them and theirselves to do it.

austria


africa



u.s.a


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Old 05-30-2011, 10:25 PM
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heres a fellow growing tomatoes all winter in temps as low as 9f useing a plastic grennhouse and a barrel stove.most of us could do this.especially ones with land and trees for free firewood.those in city or without land for firewood the cities are looking to keep brush out of landfills.this equals free firewood.where theres a will theres a way.

http://www.youtube.com/user/mhpgardener

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Old 05-30-2011, 10:30 PM
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heres one thing i am doing about watering.growing a few htings in pots around fruit trees so i can get use of water twice and i mulched around trees.





also remeber that when fruit goes threw a dry spell and then gets alot of water to uptake.it will result in fruit being busted open.its best to keep water consistant.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:33 PM
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It is as sure as sunrise that Homo Sapiens is destined for extinction. The only questions are when and how. My guess would be that we will be replaced by Homo Superior at some time in the medium to far future.

As to the climate, I can't see it being more than a contributor to other effects that can cause perhaps a great die-off. For the climate to change enough to cause the extinction of the human race it would have to be global desertification. Even if that happened, it could not happen fast enough to more than incidentally effect those living today.

The best bet for ensuring the future of the species is to get it off the planet and setup in some stable colonies in space. If we stay on the planet, we will eventually run up against the limits to growth. Probably by that time we will have used up most of the resources that it would take to get into space. Then would come the die-off to the point of sustainability. Another word for sustainable is stagnant. Exactly where the remaining culture would be on the tech scale is anyones guess.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:34 PM
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We have just experienced two years of incredibly cold springs.... This last winter 2010 we had record snow fall in the cascade range. We have a ski resort still open to downhill skiing and they expect to be open for well over another month.

We saw weather like this in the late 70's.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:35 PM
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One of the things I've noticed is that people tend to plant what they like rather than what will grow in their current climate.

In northern Maine for example, we know potatoes will grow, so we're growing 6 varieties. Most of the other seeds I bought are geared towards our climate, but I did pick up some for a wetter climate and some for a drier one. I sealed those in mylar with 02 absorbers to keep them as long as possible, until we can see which way things will be going here. One article said that we may be changing from a zone 3 to a zone 4, but only time will tell.

There are a lot of things I would LOVE to grow but we just don't have the climate for it, so I grow the closest equivalent available, or do without.

Another option of course is a greenhouse where you can control the climate to some extent, and even recycle the water. If you can run a gray water system into it, even better.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
With climate change comes the question – did climate change contribute to the extinction of homo erectus, cro magnon man, and the Neanderthal? If so, what can we do to ensure the survival of our species. Or, are Homo sapiens destined to go extinct as well.
No one knows for sure, but there's many that do believe climate change hurt Neanderthals.

It seems they were ambush predators and would hide behind trees to hunt and about the time they became extinct, their environment shifted from woodlands to open plains.

We humans were taller and longer and built to throw spears better, which is better suited to open areas than wooded forests. And with no tres to hide behind, Neanderthals became ineffective hunters.

Again, just theory but there is evidence to back up this theory.

One thing we do know is that for the past 10,000 years or so, weather on this planet has been very stable, compared with other times throughout history. And it wasn't until this time of mild climate that the population of humans really started to grow.

But this is changing, and the more volatile weather will impact us as well as all living things.

While many are individualists, the truth is we'll need to depend on each other more in the future than ever.

You can be the best farmer in the world, but that didn't seem to matter during the Dust Bowl. Or, you could have your crops wiped out by a single flood or fire.

If there's a drought in Texas, you will need food from farmers in California. If there's a freeze in California, they will need food from Iowa. And if it floods in Iowa, they'll need food from Texas.

While being a self-supporting food grower is great...There will be some time that your crops will fail...What's Plan B?
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:57 PM
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Lake Travis Data. I can't see 100' or hardly 40' in past few years. Lowest was in 1963 almost 30' lower than 2006.

YEAR JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

1942 687.49 688.11 684.87
1943 681.41 676.06 674.90 673.69 669.87 670.24 668.01 662.79 658.76 657.08 653.56 653.17
1944 652.65 653.06 657.78 663.18 668.61 679.69 676.14 668.68 674.33 669.94 667.23 667.44
1945 667.63 670.56 674.13 677.58 679.70 677.42 681.64 678.07 672.27 672.93 668.87 665.76
1946 664.11 666.24 669.89 673.94 676.69 675.58 673.42 670.11 662.98 659.09 659.70 662.68
1947 663.02 664.91 662.27 661.92 661.09 655.84 651.05 644.97 640.29 638.97 638.88 639.12
1948 638.00 636.96 638.05 638.53 639.36 636.63 649.28 645.96 643.22 641.66 639.76 639.03
1949 639.30 639.75 641.77 640.52 660.36 669.56 668.30 665.71 663.64 662.23 660.58 658.55
1950 655.60 653.24 651.69 651.87 652.71 649.61 643.88 637.82 634.89 634.11 631.65 629.00
1951 625.28 621.28 622.93 622.62 618.17 616.74 615.66 615.29 620.32 623.13 623.18 622.97
1952 622.40 621.75 621.00 619.96 618.81 616.92 616.23 619.73 656.04 676.48 675.70 677.41
1953 681.55 681.00 681.01 679.70 679.55 677.20 671.88 667.12 668.18 670.99 672.97 673.24
1954 674.15 675.12 674.26 671.92 673.50 678.62 675.51 670.50 667.37 667.19 666.23 664.86
1955 664.15 664.55 663.50 660.78 664.10 681.39 680.76 680.56 680.12 680.70 679.13 677.71
1956 674.97 678.49 676.97 674.47 679.71 679.91 674.06 668.21 665.34 665.24 665.58 666.12
1957 666.47 667.14 668.09 673.62 699.18 696.38 682.92 676.28 673.21 680.92 687.52 681.96
1958 678.92 680.77 685.03 680.11 680.76 681.66 679.91 672.68 669.73 670.65 672.79 675.92
1959 678.89 678.44 667.74 677.82 675.51 672.16 678.15 678.71 673.46 687.96 683.22 679.00
1960 678.57 682.32 680.42 676.36 674.26 669.41 665.71 664.13 664.51 662.57 665.47 671.01
1961 678.14 681.92 679.70 675.31 671.03 673.02 680.82 677.71 672.55 674.06 673.69 669.16
1962 666.16 667.48 667.81 667.89 666.93 663.73 659.15 655.52 655.40 662.42 667.35 666.38
1963 665.42 664.87 664.98 662.98 658.00 649.91 640.72 630.12 619.91 615.32 616.98 619.23
1964 621.22 624.41 628.12 629.82 628.17 626.30 622.66 621.71 620.73 637.50 641.29 643.88
1965 645.96 651.73 659.51 660.76 673.11 687.70 680.11 677.70 676.58 680.45 679.93 680.41
1966 680.12 680.76 682.33 682.11 684.02 678.83 674.93 672.16 672.51 677.55 676.18 675.89
1967 676.18 678.10 678.96 674.71 669.89 664.88 661.49 658.75 657.15 660.51 663.03 664.71
1968 674.51 689.39 685.73 687.01 688.75 687.90 680.80 677.65 674.66 673.62 673.62 674.94
1969 675.72 676.72 677.61 679.58 681.05 678.22 676.48 674.78 673.58 678.59 679.84 679.29
1970 679.43 680.36 687.45 685.55 682.09 685.53 680.30 675.60 674.55 677.54 677.76 677.77
1971 677.31 677.27 676.40 672.01 665.35 657.28 655.59 660.54 663.66 675.23 680.93 677.72
1972 676.05 677.74 677.45 674.73 675.13 676.98 675.74 673.36 670.54 670.77 673.19 674.84
1973 677.38 679.77 681.37 681.09 680.48 679.03 680.59 680.68 679.30 685.55 690.46 688.32
1974 683.77 682.39 681.94 679.15 680.20 677.02 671.12 668.37 683.92 683.42 686.95 682.46
1975 682.48 686.66 681.75 682.30 684.71 687.50 681.79 678.88 675.93 675.10 675.85 675.92
1976 676.22 676.96 677.37 677.01 679.23 678.96 682.23 679.58 676.39 674.52 679.27 680.22
1977 680.13 680.20 680.18 685.88 689.58 682.11 677.25 672.64 666.52 664.77 665.51 664.50
1978 664.24 664.96 665.73 662.14 655.82 650.75 646.52 660.79 660.44 659.04 660.52 661.87
1979 664.95 669.81 673.88 679.53 680.24 681.36 678.00 677.32 673.97 671.84 671.80 672.24
1980 673.12 673.93 673.43 672.98 674.39 674.40 669.59 664.36 668.24 678.09 680.25 680.41
1981 680.37 680.31 680.66 680.46 679.44 684.29 681.39 677.59 673.83 678.06 680.62 680.23
1982 680.55 679.86 679.53 677.82 678.29 678.16 679.61 675.21 668.49 665.06 665.23 665.85
1983 666.52 668.19 671.23 672.58 674.66 677.82 674.99 672.60 669.48 667.29 666.78 667.01
1984 667.75 668.01 667.49 663.97 656.93 651.36 646.54 643.10 639.41 640.39 650.02 651.86
1985 669.47 673.98 679.84 680.06 678.11 675.35 670.80 666.41 662.37 664.84 672.84 676.51
1986 677.77 680.94 680.97 678.94 677.04 681.20 678.16 673.81 674.94 681.22 682.19 681.93
1987 684.28 680.62 683.06 680.66 680.13 687.93 683.22 679.40 676.85 673.12 671.87 674.21
1988 676.89 678.48 676.82 675.09 672.00 670.85 670.50 670.06 668.61 668.26 668.89 668.29
1989 667.99 669.22 670.26 668.96 667.81 667.81 667.96 661.63 659.93 656.05 655.28 655.24
1990 655.37 655.79 658.16 658.48 678.42 677.43 672.09 673.70 672.61 675.12 675.40 675.99
1991 677.89 680.83 680.62 680.70 680.96 680.23 678.03 673.48 671.35 671.98 675.00 686.40
1992 690.56 693.21 684.06 682.13 681.50 683.24 681.36 678.49 676.38 675.77 677.72 680.09
1993 679.24 680.88 681.13 679.91 679.99 679.16 677.92 672.77 669.15 667.79 667.33 667.29
1994 667.60 669.04 670.40 669.21 671.41 677.73 672.31 669.63 668.26 666.29 668.27 669.55
1995 673.44 674.18 676.05 679.49 679.77 681.37 680.32 677.15 674.04 671.95 672.60 671.79
1996 671.43 671.72 670.81 667.66 662.03 658.51 655.55 652.77 656.54 657.66 670.21 673.05
1997 676.63 680.96 683.00 683.11 682.94 688.73 685.67 679.49 677.09 675.76 676.59 677.51
1998 680.37 681.07 683.32 681.53 678.08 670.89 665.44 663.61 665.28 668.77 678.39 681.41
1999 682.02 681.88 681.81 680.42 678.27 676.21 673.20 672.41 670.00 666.40 665.05 664.28
2000 663.88 664.03 663.81 662.21 658.62 653.55 647.49 644.58 642.59 642.29 675.06 681.84
2001 682.28 681.98 681.08 681.18 681.23 678.89 674.72 671.18 670.11 669.84 676.86 681.95
2002 681.84 681.42 680.62 678.87 673.39 667.63 685.37 680.37 677.79 676.02 678.53 680.40
2003 681.76 681.98 681.13 680.63 678.76 677.27 675.34 671.25 669.02 669.40 669.32 668.32
2004 669.18 670.45 671.24 677.34 680.42 681.08 680.73 679.64 679.70 677.78 685.29 682.79
2005 681.65 681.63 682.75 680.98 680.25 679.23 673.38 672.58 671.52 667.39 665.37 664.25
2006 663.92 663.58 663.67 662.49 664.23 659.97 655.86 651.12 646.83 645.01 644.58 643.86
2007 645.75 647.22 651.81 668.63 674.18 683.29 689.89 683.47 681.86 680.54 680.23 680.48
2008 682.30 682.01 680.85 678.93 677.81 672.29 665.99 662.28 659.53 657.52 656.80 656.12
2009 655.36 654.42 654.08 653.27 653.28 647.77 639.87 634.34 630.57 635.22 649.12 654.33
2010 657.24 672.43 679.50 681.34 680.20 677.05 673.64 669.76 670.38 670.11 668.72 667.33
2011 667.58 666.71 664.99 660.81

AVG 669.34 670.64 671.13 671.00 671.77 671.36 668.91 665.87 664.70 666.20 668.18 668.55
Historical Average 668.97
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
A couple of years ago lake Travis got to around 100 feet below normal.
Don't use the lake level of Lake Travis to argue climate change. The Highland Lakes (of which Travis is one) was built to provide irrigation to rice farmers in South Texas. Without the support of the rice farmers, the legislature wouldn't have had the votes to get the bill passed that provided the funding for the lakes. The First Rights of the water in the Highland Lakes goes to flood rice farms. We can argue and discuss whether the time to plant rice in the dry lands of central south Texas has outlived its useful purpose - - but that law probably won't be changed in our lifetime and we will continue to drain these lakes to flood rice fields as long as I life. NUTS.

If Lake Travis and the Highland Lakes were used JUST to provide the water needs of Central Texas, the lake level wouldn't deviate by more than a few feet even in the worst historical draughts. There is a lot of good info on this matter on the LCRA website if you want to read it.

I've talked to climatologists about this warming trend, and they remind me that historically Texas has had 10 to 15 year periods of draught, floods, hot, cold - - you name it. Our weather in Central Texas is controlled more from El Nino and La Nina than anything else, and then weather in the Gulf of Mexico a close second.

Also, let's not forget that the Moon controls a lot of action that occurs in the oceans, and the Moon was closer to Earth this year than anytime in more than 2 decades.

In 5 years, when the Moon has returned to a place a little further from Earth, when El Nino returns, and other matters get back to the beginning of the next 10 year cycle, let's measure where we are.

Don't get me wrong - - I think we all need to do our part. I traded to smaller more fuel efficient cars; went to high energy air conditioners; put in a lot of energy efficient measures; planted a lot of trees; recycle to the nth degree; you name it - - I have probably gone green as much as anyone. But I did it because it is the right thing to do - - not because I buy into Global Warming yet.

For an extreme SHTF situation, living in Texas - - we need to plan on long periods without rain. And then long periods of rain. That has been the pattern for 100's of years as long as data has been collected here.

I put in a 25,000 gallon cistern, and have rainwater collection that automatically drains into the cistern. I also have 3 rain barrells connected in a series to every downspout not draining into the cistern. All of this is an attempt to be able to provide enough water to water the garden during times of extreme dry conditions as well as provide for cooking/cleaning, etc..

My ancestors were here in Texas well before the civil war. I remember learning from my grandparents to save water - - as rainy periods will always be following by dry periods in Texas.

Prepping in central Texas - - if you plan on planting crops in a SHTF situation - - will require significant rainwater harvesting and storage. If you don't want to do this - - then have an alternate location available during these draught periods.

There will always be these type extremes in the weather here under the "X" in Texas. But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:05 PM
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This is something I've been worried about. Much of modern agriculture, and the large food supply it provides, is based on definite climate patterns. We've developed practices and bred plants to produce the most using the amounts of rain, sunlight, temperatures, etc, that we're used to. Change those, and our house of cards will fall. And the worst part is that it's not as if it's going to be a one time transition. The climate won't just change once, it will KEEP changing. What might work one year may result in total failure the next. And it's not going to be just farming that goes bad. Fishing, hunting, all the usual means humans have used to feed themselves will be under stress. For around 500 years the Earth's climate has been remarkably stable, and in a form that benefited humans. If that's over, with our bloated population, economic troubles, and propensity for violence, we're going to see some really bad times...
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wewild View Post
Lake Travis Data. I can't see 100' or hardly 40' in past few years. Lowest was in 1963 almost 30' lower than 2006.
I think he is talking about the difference in the highest highs and the lowest lows.

According to LCRA, the highest elevation of water occurred December 25, 1991 at 710.44 (msl). The lowest low occurred on August 14, 1951 at 614.81 (msl). Not exactly recently - - but he is trying to use for effect I guess. Lowest lows in the last 25 years are October 2000 at 640.24 (msl) and December 2006 at 643.55. Both of these (2000 and 2006) are listed in the FIVE lowest lows ever in lake history.

I appreciate your post and bringing DATA into the discussion. It always spoils the party for the climate change discussion!
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TexSurvivalGuy View Post
Don't use the lake level of Lake Travis to argue climate change. The Highland Lakes (of which Travis is one) was built to provide irrigation to rice farmers in South Texas. Without the support of the rice farmers, the legislature wouldn't have had the votes to get the bill passed that provided the funding for the lakes. The First Rights of the water in the Highland Lakes goes to flood rice farms. We can argue and discuss whether the time to plant rice in the dry lands of central south Texas has outlived its useful purpose - - but that law probably won't be changed in our lifetime and we will continue to drain these lakes to flood rice fields as long as I life. NUTS.

If Lake Travis and the Highland Lakes were used JUST to provide the water needs of Central Texas, the lake level wouldn't deviate by more than a few feet even in the worst historical draughts. There is a lot of good info on this matter on the LCRA website if you want to read it.

I've talked to climatologists about this warming trend, and they remind me that historically Texas has had 10 to 15 year periods of draught, floods, hot, cold - - you name it. Our weather in Central Texas is controlled more from El Nino and La Nina than anything else, and then weather in the Gulf of Mexico a close second.

Also, let's not forget that the Moon controls a lot of action that occurs in the oceans, and the Moon was closer to Earth this year than anytime in more than 2 decades.

In 5 years, when the Moon has returned to a place a little further from Earth, when El Nino returns, and other matters get back to the beginning of the next 10 year cycle, let's measure where we are.

Don't get me wrong - - I think we all need to do our part. I traded to smaller more fuel efficient cars; went to high energy air conditioners; put in a lot of energy efficient measures; planted a lot of trees; recycle to the nth degree; you name it - - I have probably gone green as much as anyone. But I did it because it is the right thing to do - - not because I buy into Global Warming yet.

For an extreme SHTF situation, living in Texas - - we need to plan on long periods without rain. And then long periods of rain. That has been the pattern for 100's of years as long as data has been collected here.
I put in a 25,000 gallon cistern, and have rainwater collection that automatically drains into the cistern. I also have 3 rain barrells connected in a series to every downspout not draining into the cistern. All of this is an attempt to be able to provide enough water to water the garden during times of extreme dry conditions as well as provide for cooking/cleaning, etc..

My ancestors were here in Texas well before the civil war. I remember learning from my grandparents to save water - - as rainy periods will always be following by dry periods in Texas.

Prepping in central Texas - - if you plan on planting crops in a SHTF situation - - will require significant rainwater harvesting and storage. If you don't want to do this - - then have an alternate location available during these draught periods.

There will always be these type extremes in the weather here under the "X" in Texas. But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
Fair enough about not using a single lake level to argue climate change...But on the other hand, we shouldn't use the Moon's phase at the present to argue against it.

And if we can use your stats over 100's of years to show that weather fluctuates, we can use those same figures to determine if the planet is warming.

Here's the facts, using the same source as you are...In the 160 or so years we've been able to record accurate temperatures:

The third hottest decade for temperature world-wide was the 1980s.

The second hottest decade was the 1990s.

The hottest decade on record was the 2000s.

Again, these are decade-long stats, not some random years. And there's a very disturbing trend IMO.

And if the planet is warming up, as things warm they expand, including the water in the oceans. Without any ice melting, this alone will raise sea level.

Not only does the water expand, it also evaporates more quickly, and water in our atmosphere is a greenhouse gas. This simple cycle could lead to runaway temperature increases...The hotter it gets, the more water evaporates and the more the water evaporates, the hotter it gets.
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