Exceptional Summer Threatens Electricity Generation, Water in West

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It has been an exceptionally hot summer. Extreme drought, melting glaciers, and July as the hottest month on Earth ever recorded, bring a slew of problems, especially for the West, including electricity and water supply.

1-in-3 Lake Powell chance Lake Powell unable to generate hydropower due to drought conditions, new study says

Extreme drought has driven an unprecedented drop in water levels at Lake Powell, located on the Colorado River from northern Arizona to southern Utah, which is the second-largest man-made reservoir in the US. As a result, there is a 1-in-3 chance (34%) that Lake Powell could drop below the minimum level needed to allow the lake’s Glen Canyon Dam to generate hydroelectricity by 2023, and a 3 percent chance it could occur as early as next year, CNN reported.

This is problematic because the dam produces electricity for approximately 5.8 million homes and businesses which spanned from Nevada to Nebraska.

Mount Shasta nearly snowless: glaciers lost over 50% of volume, reservoir in California down 75%

Northern California’s Mount Shasta, one of the tallest in the lower 48 at 14,179 feet is commonly covered with snow year-round.

Mount Shasta is home to some of the largest glaciers in California, including at least seven.

In June, the Pacific Northwest experienced its most severe heatwave on record. After an exceptionally warm summer, the usually white, volcanic mountain became mostly brown in July and August, the Washington Post reported. For the first time, Mount Shasta was nearly without snow.

Mount Shasta ski Park wrote that it received only 50% of its typical snowpack. The biggest water reservoir in California is Shasta Lake. As of September 13, it was only at 25 percent of its capacity and continuing to decline by as much as 1/2-foot per day.

July Was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, NOAA says

July 2021 is the hottest month ever recorded on earth, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NBC reports.

The NOAA wrote in a tweet: ” #July 2021 global surface temp was 1.67°F (0.93°C) above avg — making it the hottest July recorded to date.”

“July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. “In this case, first place is the worst place to be…adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.”

With conditions such as these, expect to do a lot more sweating–time to seek out the best deodorant.