Drought Threatens Mississippi Transport – And US Food, Fuel Prices

Vast amounts of valuable shipping traffic, worth billions monthly, go up and down the Mississippi River, part of the world’s largest navigable inland waterway, but  a midwestern drought has caused the mighty river to dwindle in recent months, reports John Schwartz at the New York Times. From record flooding last year to drought this year, the pattern of weather extremes fits what is predicted under climate change from global warming. If drought does emerge as a more prominent facet of life on the Mississippi and navigation is impeded, the effect on national and even global commerce will undoubtedly be felt. Transport includes grain for export and fertilizer for Midwestern farmers, coal and fuel for power plants and many other items. If the river got so low that navigation had to stop, grain exports and the other commodities could get a lot more expensive very quickly, since moving it by land or air would be much more expensive. This spotlights the importance of water traffic to the national economy, and how climate change could impact it.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

Source

Drought points up critical role of waterways. If drought does emerge as a more prominent facet of life on the Mississippi and navigation is impeded, the effect on national and even global commerce will undoubtedly be felt. If the river got so low that navigation had to stop, grain exports and the other commodities could get a lot more expensive very quickly. New York Times http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/drought-points-up-critical-role-of-u-s-waterways/

See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/us/mississippi-shipping-continues-despite-drought.html?_r=0

Advertisements

About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s