More trouble for Oroville Dam, a Limerick.

More trouble for Oroville Dam

Debris caused a water log-jam

Got a week-long reprieve

to remove the debris.

A scene of increasing bedlam.

The Oroville Dam is in more trouble than thought. Between one half and one million cubic yards of debris is clogging up the diversion pool causing the power plant to be shut down until it is cleared. The debris is all from erosion from the failing spillways which shows the erosive power of water not properly channelled. In addition they continue work on the emergency spillway and will attempt to shore up the breach in the main spillway.

920x1240It is a race against time. The upstream dams are all full, so all the snow-melt will fill the Oroville Dam back in no time, and there is at least one more major rain event coming down the pineapple express. The snow-pack is already way over normal for the season, so both spillways will have to be used again, and soon.

Will they succeed with the task in time?

Keep the bags packed if you live downstream. And please, pray!

The Moffat tunnel, Continental theft of water. A Limerick

What flows through the tunnel of Moffat?

It’s water for Denver’s own profit.

When South-West tries to sue.

Will they win, get their due?

I never was much of a prophet.

The Moffat tunnel in Colorado, built in 1928 is a six mile railroad and water  tunnel that goes under the continental divide. The water tunnel carries up to 105 acre-feet of water per hour to the City of Denver. The water is taken from the Colorado river watershed, which leaves the South Western states with nearly one million acre-feet less water per year.

When the tunnel was built this was not much of a problem, Nevada had less than 100, 000 inhabitants, Arizona less than 350,000 and California about 3.5 million people. Now Nevada has 25 times as many people, Arizona 15 times as many , and California 10 times as many people, all thirsty for more water.

It is time to stop robbing the South-west of water. Yes Denver has its own water problem, but the South West has much greater problem.

Lake Mead water level is now 140 feet below full capacity, and has been dropping about 10 feet per year, and will run dry unless drastic measures are taken. The Moffat tunnel takes away about 6 feet a year from the filling of Lake Mead.

Yes, thanks to this year’s rain, Lake Mead has recovered somewhat, but the long trend is still ominous.

And by the way, this has nothing to do with Climate Change.

Oroville Dam, a disaster in waiting? A Limerick.

The water from Oroville dam

comes down like a battering ram.

They skipped maintenance, when

it was drought. That was then.

Repairs? Always bill Uncle Sam!

On May 31, 1889 The South Fork dam failed and unleashed 20,000,000 tons of water that devastated Johnstown, PA.  The flood killed 2,209 people, and is remembered as one of the worst dam disasters to have ever befallen innocent and unaware people.

The dam was small by today’s standard, releasing only 16,220 acre-feet of water. Compare this to the water behind Lake Oroville Dam, 3,500,000 acre-feet, and another 370,000 acre feet of rain expected in the next few days.

920x1240

Right now the dam is releasing 80 to 100,000 cubic feet of water a second, or about 2 acre-feet per second, about 6 times the capacity of the power station, which is rated at 835 MW. This means the release is about 5.5 GW of power rushing down and eroding the new spillway channel carved out by up to 7.5 million horse-power of destructive force. Normally this energy is absorbed as heat in a functional spillway, but if unleashed, much of its power is erosion force. The new channel of water, mixed with debris choked the normal water outlet from the power station and its diversion pool, so the power has been turned off since the emergency began.

For now, the main dam seems to be undamaged, but if more rains come, and there are 2 more major storms lined up coming from Japan and Taiwan with torrential rains, so this scare is far from over. Meanwhile, residents downstream are told to have their bags packed, and listen to emergency radio every hour, if the spillway gives way much further, this is going to be big.

The repair bill for damage done so far is probably a quarter billion dollars, not counting the cost of the evacuation. Proper maintenance would probably have cost less than 20 million dollars. This is about par for  California politicians.

The original spillway is now totally diverted by erosion.

la-me-lake-oroville-spillway-pictures-105.jpg

oroville

The spillway while it was still functioning as planned

Death Valley rains lead to super bloom! A Limerick.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:1-2)

living_prairieIt rained cats and dogs in Death Valley.

Find passable roads, Rand McNally!

See the desert in bloom;

not the feeling of doom,

a wish that is right up my alley!

In 1953 Walt Disney came out with a ground breaking movie. The name of it was “The living Desert” and showed time lapse photography of wild flowers bursting out from what looked like bare rock. My father took me as a little lad to see it in a movie theater in small town Sweden, and I was blown away. Ever since then I have wanted to see Death Valley in full bloom. Now it has happened. Death Valley is in full bloom. But, as with all blessings it comes with a price. Reading the park bulletin I see the following alerts:

Scotty’s Castle CLOSED until 2018 due to flood damage.  Alert 1 , Severity ,closure ,,Scotty’s Castle CLOSED until 2019 due to flood damage. Flooding in Grapevine Canyon from a severe thunderstorm has destroyed the road to Scotty’s Castle, damaged infrastructure and some out-buildings in the Castle complex. more

Closed Roads: Alert 1 , Severity ,closure ,,Closed Roads Titus Canyon, Emigrant Canyon, West Side, and Scotty’s Castle (also known as North Highway) Roads are closed due to snow and mud. Artists Drive is also closed. Please visit our Alerts & Conditions page by selecting “more.”  more

Weather conditions for 2/18 : Rain so far today in Death Valley, 0.66 inches, and more is expected.

For now I am reduced to admire the pictures some other people have taken:

600_447397036death-valley-super-bloom-california-03-blooms0316

 

 

The spillway at the Oroville Dam fails. Blame Climate Change, not the politicians. A Limerick.

The spillway at Oroville Dam:

The “permanent drought” was a scam.

“No more need for repairs,

if it fails,  no one cares.”

“It’s Climate Change. Blame Uncle Sam.”

In May of 2016 California Gov. Jerry Brown made some of the state’s temporary water restrictions permanent. The executive order, in response to the state’s drought, permanently bans wasteful practices like hosing sidewalks and washing cars with hoses that don’t have shut-off nozzles.

“Californians stepped up during this drought and saved more water than ever before,” Brown said in a statement. “But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence and water conservation must be a part of our everyday life.”

Meanwhile, the concerns for the existing dams faded. They would never be filled to capacity again, so why worry about emergency spillways? Regular maintenance and repair work, not of an emergency nature was delayed yet another year, and resources were diverted to other priority items, such as a Satellite program to monitor Climate change  if disaster should strike and Donald Trump, perish the thought, would be elected.

This was in the middle of the last El Niño, and temperatures had only one way to go, up, and with that increasing capacity to hold water vapor. Now the El Niño has been replaced by a La Niña, the temperature are getting back to normal, the 19 year pause is back, and now the excessive humidity is raining out over the Pacific West.

k_street_inundation_of_the_state_capitol_city_of_sacramento_1862This should not have come as a surprise. The Great flood of 1862 was worse. The Oroville Dam spillwater empties out in what is Sacramento river, and flood control by building dams has been successful to avert major flooding like that. Politicians have short memories and even less sense of history. The climate changes all the time. We are now raining out from a very temporary temperature rise, and we know that eventually our descendants will have  to face another ice age. More CO2 may delay that inevitability by a few hundred years, but the long term trend is down. 2016 was still on of the 1000 coldest in the last 10000 years.

 

Thermal runaway or the beginning of a new ice age? Opinions are poles apart. A Limerick.

The Arctic warms up when it snows,

and Greenland gains ice, yes it shows.

Snow comes down from the cloud

like a mid-winter shroud.

The Arctic blast blows, burr, it grows!

In November the global land temperatures had its steepest 8 month drop recorded.rss_8_monthAt the same time the Arctic icecap temperatures were unusually warm, spiking one day at 36F above normal.cxujniquuaexqfWhat happened? Look at the Greenland ice cap

smb_combine_sm_acc_en_20161205The total ice accumulation over Greenland is now over 300 Gigatons, about 60% above normal since the season started.

That was over land. How is the accumulation over the Arctic ice cap?cice_combine_thick_sm_en_20161208   After a summer that will go down in history, where the Arctic suffered not one, but two devastating storms, equivalent to category 2 hurricanes, breaking up mush of the outer ice rims the, ice volume has recovered at an above normal rate. The total ice coverage still lags, but the gap is narrowing.

So, is this climate change, and if so, is it getting warmer or colder, or is this just weather?

The climate change alarmists seems to selectively report the weather news showing it is warm somewhere and ignore a more balanced picture. The science is by no means settled, the climate modellers still grossly underestimate the importance of clouds, not only the average coverage, but what time of day or night they appear, and how much thermal energy they carry, and, most important of all, if they come through dry or result in snow or rain.

Finally here is the current snow cover, about 10% above normal for this time of the year. And it isn’t even astronomical winter yet!

snowcover

 

Scott Pruitt nominated head of EPA, a Limerick:

After the incredible incompetency and gross irresponsibility shown in the Gold King Mine spill and pollution of the Animas river the EPA is in dire need of an overhaul. Hopefully Scott Pruitt can do a better job of cleaning up the EPA than the present administration.

Yes, Trump seeks advice for his picks,

While “experts” like Gore take their licks.

Pruitt’s new EPA

has to change, come what may,

and end CO2 politics.

The reactions are predictable: From The Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal): scott-pruitt_2014

“We are delighted with President-elect Trump’s selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ….”

Meanwhile, from Oakland, CA – In response to news reports that Trump will nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, California League of Conservation Voters CEO Sarah Rose issued the following statement:

“The naming of a climate denier like Scott Pruitt to head the EPA is nothing less than an effort to undermine the agency’s core mission to safeguard our environment. On the campaign trail President-elect Trump vowed to break America’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, to open our public lands to drilling, and to dismantle the EPA. By nominating Scott Pruitt he’s making it clear he intends to follow through on those promises….”