The valleys in California are sinking at truly unbelievable rates in response to massive drought and as groundwater is being pumped out. Some areas are sinking almost 2 inches per month!!! More details at the NASA website.
As Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought, the California Department of Water Resources today released a new NASA report showing land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever before, nearly 2 inches (5 centimeters) per month in some locations.
Gov. Jerry Brown wasted no time Tuesday in signing a contentiousCalifornia bill to impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country following an outbreak of measles at Disneyland late last year.
Brown, a Democrat, issued a signing statement just one day after lawmakers sent him the bill to strike California’s personal belief exemption for immunizations, a move that requires nearly all public schoolchildren to be vaccinated. The bill takes effect next year.
“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases,” Brown wrote. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”
California joins Mississippi and West Virginia as the only states with such strict requirements.
The result is a landscape transformed. Shocking before and after photos of California’s Folsom Lake and Lake Oroville reveal the undeniably shriveling effects of three years of little to no rain up and down the Golden State’s vital agricultural belt.
In addition to the super obvious disappearance of these bodies of water, the California drought is also drying out land with some unexpected consequences. Although harder to visualize, a recent paper in Science found that the mountains in California have risen noticeably as they have lost water. Less water in the soil = much less weight. Scientific American reports on the study.
In fact, some parts of California’s mountains have been uplifted as much as 15 millimeters (about 0.6 inches) in the past 18 months because the massive amount of water lost in the drought is no longer weighing down the land, causing it to rise a bit like an uncoiled spring, a new study shows. For the first time, scientists are now able to measure how much surface and groundwater is lost during droughts by measuring how much the land rises as it dries.
Science where you least expect it… A new way to prevent the brush fires that have been ravaging California: GOATS!
Apparently goats like to eat the weeds and shrubs that are so prone to catching on fire. Businessman/goat herder Ian Newsam discusses this new line of defense against the wild fires in California on the latest Science Friday. Be sure to check out the GoatPro!