If you live in the northeast, it’s no secret that there have been some severe drops in temperature for the past few weeks. As you reap the perks of classes canceled due to icy roads, take a moment to consider the effects of climate change in other areas of the country.
The ongoing drought in California has not only left residents with little water, but also invoked wildfires. The possibility of many impoverished and rural areas of California running out of water is becoming a staggering reality. Over 17 communities on the west coast are at risk of running out of water in as soon as 60 days.
California only received seven inches of rain last year, a fraction of the average 22 inches. The shortage in rainfall results in wells running dry, as well as low water levels in numerous reservoirs.
Many are unaware of and simply do not care about the drought in California, since those on the east coast have their own climate troubles to deal with. However, the bone-dry atmosphere of the West does impact the rest of the country. The agricultural industry in California accounts for a significant amount of crop sales throughout the United States. The scarcity of water has left farmers in dilemma of raising prices and troubling the public. The smaller farms are in peril of drying up completely.
Livestock have less to eat due to the lack of sufficient grass. Grape growers of Napa Valley have noticed their grapes ripening early, causing chaos amongst wineries in the state. The agricultural community in California is struggling to make ends meet in order to provide for not only their state, but also for the country as a whole.
In addition to the food industry suffering, the environment is quickly disintegrating due to the baked state California remains in. Although wildfires are common throughout the state, the month of January has been affected with an astonishing 406 wildfires. Compared to the average 69 fires around this time of year, the increasing number is leaving residents helpless and afraid. In this time of predicament, Californians have come together to search for an end to the misery. The next time you complain about the heating bill, be grateful that the east coast snow does not wreak havoc half as badly as the west
coast dry spell does.