Dec 17 2012

A Few Good Reads (12/17/12) US Drought, Protecting the World’s Deltas with Sediment, Damming the Mekong

Stubborn US Drought Could Be Costlier Than Hurricane Sandy

Initial estimates range from $60 billion to $100 billion, with a first official estimate from the US Department of Agriculture expected in February, says Steven Cain, a specialist with Purdue University’s Agriculture Communications Service in West Lafayette, Ind.

Geologist Calls for Advances in Restoration Sedimentology to Protect World’s Deltas

Edmonds says there is potential for restoring deltas by designing river diversions that direct sediment from rivers to areas where it can do the most good. “The main challenges for restoration sedimentology,” he writes, “are understanding the sources and sinks, and predicting the rate of land growth under any given river diversion scenario.”

River elegy

With the MRC in disarray, some hope that an Asia-Europe summit in the Lao capital, Vientiane, on November 5th-6th will provide a chance for governments opposed to the Xayaburi dam to put pressure on the host nation. Many marvels of the Mekong face being wiped out, including the Mekong giant catfish and the Irrawaddy dolphin, as well as the spectacular Khone waterfall. Scientists say the stakes could not be higher. Philip Hirsch at the University of Sydney predicts that the loss of the fish catch for millions of Asia’s poorest people will prove larger than the entire freshwater catch of Europe and West Africa combined.

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