Blinding heat

Longer term, the Colorado River poses issues that no amount of tribal water can resolve. Beset by climate change, overuse, and drought, the river and its reservoirs, according to various researchers, may decline to the point that water fails to pass Hoover Dam. In that case, the CAP would dry up, but so would the Colorado Aqueduct which serves greater Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as the All-American Canal, on which the factory farms of California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys depend. Irrigators and municipalities downstream in Mexico would also go dry. If nothing changes in the current order of things, it is expected that the possibility of such a debacle could loom in little more than a decade.

Tomgram: William deBuys, Exodus from Phoenix | TomDispatch.

Mexicali is already getting hotter and dryer, with the city’s water table being refilled by the keeps complaining about the All-American Canal, supplied by − you guessed it − the Colorado River. Mexicali and Calexico are already gearing up for a fight with San Diego, where the canal ends.

Then there’s Tijuana. It’s right by the sea but to its people the sea is where water eventually ends up, not a source of potable water. There have been talks of a desalination plant, but so far they’ve gone nowhere.

I have friends in both cities. What happens when conflict arises?

The bad surprises of global warming

Okay, so the COP18 climate change conference is an utter failure. That much we all know, right? Right.

So now everybody who is not a first world country is wondering “now what”. Seas rising is what, and I’m surprised at some of the places that will suffer because of it.

Thanks to a nifty toy over at firetree.net, we can see Tijuana would look like this:

Tijuana loses a bit of beach at the most, looks like. Perhaps the waves will actually hit the butte that rises up a few meters and upon which el malecon is built on, but no more than that.

“But Tijuana is right next to San Diego, and obviously it’ll lose land to the ocean” you say. But what about Mexicali, which is farther inland? Wikipedia says it sits about 8 meters above current sea level.

Mexicali loses almost all of the northwest zone of the city. Calexico is almost gone. El Centro probably is gone, as it sits 2 meters above current sea level. This is just a 1 meter rise of the sea level, which is what is expected to happen within the next century or so.

Keep in mind this is all projected weather and oceanic data, not what’s going to happen, but it most certainly helps drive home what could happen with sustained climate change.

Just for kicks, go take a look at what it would look like with a 20 meter rise.