Monday, August 18, 2014

Climate change reflected in altered Missouri River flow, report says

The Missouri River near Williston, N.D. The river's streamflow has changed significantly over the last 50 years. (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)
By Maya Srikrishnan, LA Times

Montana farmer Rocky Norby has worked the land along the Missouri River for more than 20 years, coaxing sugar beets and malted barley out of the arid ground.

"Every year it gets worse," he said. "There's not enough water to get through our pumps." Last month, he said, he spent more than $10,000 trying to remove the sand from his clogged irrigation system.

The Missouri River's stream flow has changed significantly over the last 50 years, leading to serious water shortages in Montana and Wyoming and flooding in the Dakotas, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report released last month.

"We've all had to make some adjustments," said Buzz Mattelin, another Montana farmer who irrigates with water from the Missouri. "We've had to spend more money and learn how to adapt."

(More here.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parker Norton, PhD Candidate, was the lead author of the report. His USGS dissertation report is quite large (32MB) but downloadable as a PDF at:
http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2014/5053/

Parker Norton makes the following statement in the report:


“This study did not examine forcing factors that may explain the observed streamflow trends, such as climate change, climate variability, land- and water-use changes, or groundwater pumping; however, possible causes are described in the context of the need for further research.” (Page 9, under Introduction, Purpose and Scope)


At no point does the report support the headline as written. Sloppy journalism.

11:31 AM  

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