Currently, the South China Pearl River Delta is a growing economic center, with its rivers for transportation and surrounding land for industries and markets. But a generation ago, this growing economic center was farmland, popular in growing rice as the proximity to water was perfect for field flooding. As the land has changed, the waters have not, leading to a continuation of flooding in the South China Pearl River Delta. In May 2014 due to flooding from downpour, the city of Dongguan faced the flooding of 100 factories and shops. The city of Guangzhou had repairs of $100 million, with 53 square miles of farmland ruined, thousands of homes destroyed, and 80 helicopters and boats sent to help rescue residents. May 2014 was only one of the flooding events which have occurred.
These cities were built without a concern of its topography and environmental impact, holding 42 million residents and its growing development causing sinking land. Canals and waterway which once were created to help drain these farmland towns were paved over. Climate change impacts from the pollution of coal-powered factories, cars, and steel factories, worsen the flooding and are creating urban heat islands. These urban heat islands are causing pandemics, like dengue fever which spread to 47,000 people in Guangzhou in 2014. These growing cities have not only replaced farmland, but are destructed wetlands and mangroves. As The New York Times writer Michael Kimmelman states, "Mangroves provide a natural buffer from the sea, shielding the coastline, reducing the impact of waves and rising water, filtering out salt that can infiltrate freshwater reserves, absorbing exceptional quantities of carbon and lowering ambient temperatures". Yet, though they are important to the environment and helpful to the people, 70% of mangroves are gone, with 6,700 acres more to go within the next decade. To make matters worse, the city of Shenzhen is planning to have a 21 square mile landfill along the coast, calling for disaster with the rising water levels. Chen Tegu, a professor in Guangzhou with the State Oceanic Administration predicts the South China Sea by rise by a foot and a half by the end of the century. Disasters of increased salt water, droughts, and worsening air pollution are also to follow. The World Banks estimates damage cost of coastal cities worldwide due to rising sea levels to be a trillion dollars. China currently is losing about 1.4% of its GDP due to climate change.
This article is important as China needs to look into a new perspective--environmental issues. China needs to look into the impacts its industrialization is causing to the environment and its people. It also needs to grow in renewable energy, as it currently the leading user in coal energy.
Trump's executive order, cabinet choices, and comments show his anti-science view. His recent executive order uplifted all Obama-era environmental rules in order to "end the war on coal". Trump has failed to realize the coal industry does not employ many people, is not a reliable source of energy, has no "really clean coal" & with or without his support, States will continue to support clean energy. In recent years, solar and wind power have experienced record growth. Non-hydro electric power has accounted for approximately nine percent of America's power supplying 2016. Also in 2016, solar power capacity was 14,762 megawatts--most than any other source of power. It is these growths which can be accounted for by state measures. Through state incentives, market economics have changed, allowing wind and solar to be cheaper than fossil fuel generation. The growth of renewable power can be seen through many companies, such as Dayton Power & Light in Ohio, which closed its two coal plants and are investing in at least 300 megawatts for renewable energy. Also, states are creating stronger renewable electricity standards (RES), with six of the twenty-nine RES states having fifty percent requirements. Hawaii, California, New York, and Massachusetts hope to be 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Some conservatives states are joining, like Nevada, which hopes for its twenty percent to become fifty by 2030.
This article is important as it looks into the changes people are making to help improve the environment.
On Tuesday, March 28, Trump signed and executive order which would "take restraints off businesses and boost the coal industry". Trump spoke at the Environmental Protection Agency, with the statement that a new era of energies beginnings. This energy? It's "clean coal, really clean coal". But Trump's support of really clean coal stop there. Reality and statistics show the energy industry is changing. Solar jobs have boosted, accounting for 260,000 energy jobs in the country. That five times more than coal jobs.
Turlock Irrigation District (TID) is known as the largest irrigation district located in Northern San Joaquin Valley, as it provides water to 149,000 acres, located from southern Modesto to northern Merced County. The TID holds it water in the Don Pedro Reservoir, which is filled due to the storm which hit California & has more water to arrive during snow melt. With that, TID has asked its farmers to use as much water as they can in order to prevent the reservoir from overflowing. This request comes to surprise by farmers because they usually use drip-water irrigation but are now being asked to flood irrigate--which helps with groundwater recharge but also uses large amounts of water. Also, TID is now holding its promise of providing the promised allocated water amount to farmers. The last time TID provided the allocated water amount was 2011. Tou Her, assistant general for water resources, is looking to have farmers be allocated with 48 inches of water for season of late March to late October. The board will be voting Her's allocation plan on March 21. The TID shares its reservoir with Modesto Irrigation District (MID), which is also shared the same news to its farmers. But, allocating water isn't the only thing these districts have done. Last week, a spillway was opened to increase outflow, with the outflow water going to the Tuolumne River. The spillway was stopped though by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, as this put concern on the levees on the lower San Joaquin River, since these two rivers connect.
This article is important as it looks into how cities are able to control problems related to heavy inflows of water in dams and reservoirs. It is important for city irrigation districts to know how to properly handle the water in order to avoid disasters.
California since January, has received rainfall almost daily. Since Oct. 1, California has received 30 atmospheric storms, while the average atmospheric storms California receives is 10 to 15. It is these storms and the rainfall that has led to the damage of Oroville Dam, flooding of San Jose, levees to break, and dams/reservoirs needing to release large amounts of water. These atmospheric storms are coming from Hawaii and the high-pressure winds that were blocking the storm had been broken up, allowing the storm to be in full effect. UCLA atmospheric researcher, Daniel Swain, says California's atmospheric storms are based on the amount of atmospheric rivers, and currently there are too many, causing too much rain. Swain also says the water temperature of the Pacific Ocean may have played a part in the storms. Climate change can also be a cause to the storms, as warmer ocean temperature allows for greater evaporation, which then allows moisture for atmospheric storms.
This article is important as it looks into the storm and drought conditions of California. The article also places expectations for the future, being that as global warming worsens more droughts & atmospheric storms such as the ones right now, are bound to occur.