Tag Archives: drought

The Bacon Shortage

Bacon. Photograph by Flickr User Kentbrew
It appears that there is going to be a bacon shortage. It is estimated that the total amount (in poundage, I assume) of swine that will be produced next year will be several percent, about 10% most likely, less than expected. It is said that there will be an approximate doubling of the cost of pork production, not necessarily doubling the cost of bacon and other products at the consumer end, but certainly squeezing the farmers and raising costs in the grocery store significantly. Presumably this will mean a shortage of all pork products, and quite a few things are made from swine. Why the focus on bacon? Obviously, because without bacon, we will not be able to make BLT’s, and other fine foods, or put crushed bacon on our otherwise perfectly healthy salads.

Why will there be a bacon shortage?

Continue reading The Bacon Shortage

What is the link between global warming and drought?

I’d like to give you a very small selection of references and discussions about the link between global warming and drought.

Global warming probably has two major effects. First, more moisture gets into the atmosphere because warmer air passing over the oceans can take in more water. This can cause more rain and possibly more severe storms and flooding. But the atmospheric system also changes in another way. The hydraulic cycle, as it is called, intensified in both directions, wet and dry. If you live on the East Coast of the US and you move to where I live in the upper Midwest, you’ll get a special appreciation of this. Rain on the East Coast comes in thunderstorms now and then, but a lot of the rain comes from big wet air masses linked to the ocean. In Boston it can rain for a few days off and on but mostly on, with an inch off rain falling over a long period of time. But here in the Midwest, that almost never happens. Instead, it’s not raining, then this big scary storm comes and dumps a whole pile of rain on you, then it moves on. In between storms it can be dry vor many days. The Midwestern storms come from warm air masses passing over the Gulf of Mexico and moving north (then turning “right” at some point) with contributions from elsewhere. It is more intensified hydrological system, with a lot of variation. That is a min-model (albeit a pretty inexact one) for shifting to a warmer planet. Keep in mind that between rain storms, warmer air takes moisture out of the local system (to dump it in a storm somewhere else). Climate experts generally agree that a warmer world will have more severe storms, though which storms will be more severe and in what way is not clear, and drought. Lots of that. Continue reading What is the link between global warming and drought?