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Unless Alberta plugs its geyser-like water consumption, the next dust bowls could be irreversible:

“Alberta is facing new claims on its water, leading to growing concerns about how to juggle the competing interests of water demand and environmental impact. In northern Alberta, for example, oil sands development has led to enormous increases in water consumption, with extraction of one barrel of oil requiring as much as four and a half barrels of water. (In 2005, oil companies alone were allocated 359 million square metres of water – twice the volume used by Calgary.) Water use for oil recovery currently accounts for approximately one per cent of the province’s surface water allocations (from rivers and lakes) and one quarter of provincial groundwater allocations. Furthermore, water slated for oil sands mining consumes 66 per cent of all allocations on the Athabasca River, which flows through Fort McMurray. Scientists also point out that, unlike municipal – and even industrial – use of water, where much of the water is returned after use and treatment, oil and gas recovery removes water permanently from the water cycle.”

Scary stuff indeed:

http://www.ama.ab.ca/cps/rde/xchg/S...ber_services_WWarticle-Apr07-Water-2-8026.htm
 

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I see - he's authority enough for you to buy into water but not into climate and Kyoto.........odd that.
and this was 5 years ago.

Open letter to Alberta Premier Ralph Klein about climate change
By ExpressNews Staff
October 22, 2002 - BR>
Dear Premier Klein:

We are scientists at Alberta universities who work with climate change or its effects. We are writing to express our concerns about Alberta's position with respect to decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases. We believe that several important factors have been ignored in the debate.

We agree with you that the lack of detail about the federal plan to implement the accord is irritating, because the importance of the climate warming issue has been known for at least 20 years. But it is equally unacceptable to postpone action to reduce climate warming. To minimize the effect, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible. A target of six per cent below1990 levels by 2010, even without specifics, seems a modest and reasonable proposition.

Contrary to the views often portrayed by the press and industry spokespersons, there is little disagreement in the scientific community on climate warming. The Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Society of London, and the US National Academy of Sciences have all taken strong positions on the global warming issues. Virtually all scientific models agree that we are faced with 1-2o Celsius of additional warming by mid-century, and considerably more by the year 2100 (see attached figure from a recent summary paper). The current scientific consensus on global warming is now greater than, for example, the general consensus in the 1960s that humans could reach the moon, or the consensus in the early 1940s that we could create atomic weapons.

Temperature records show that in southern Canada, considerable warming has already taken place on the western prairies. Increases in temperature since the early 20th century have been from 1 to 3o Celsius at various prairie locations, including those where increased urbanization cannot be a confounding influence. The resulting increases in evaporation have without doubt aggravated the drought conditions that currently plague the western prairies. With further warming, desertification of these areas may occur.

There has been much publicity about the alleged economic losses that will be suffered by the oil and gas industries if Kyoto is ratified and implemented. But losses that will be suffered by other resource sectors if climate continues to warm must also be considered.

Of particular concern is the fate of agriculture on the western prairies, which contain 60 per cent of Canada's agricultural land. Both historical records and paleoecological studies show that the western prairies have experienced prolonged droughts in the past, at frequencies of roughly 25 years. It is very likely that drought patterns will continue in the years ahead. But this is the first time that other factors will amplify the effects of drought. Climate warming is causing increased evaporation. We have populations of humans and livestock numbering several million in the western prairies, and a large irrigation program. We may already be seeing the combined effects of climate and evaporation on water supply. Predictions are that Canada will be importing, not exporting wheat this year. There is a shortage of food and water for livestock. The effects of climate warming on agriculture in western Canada will certainly cost tens of billions of dollars. Compensation payments and crop insurance payouts this year alone amount to over two billion dollars in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The federal government dispensed 22 billion dollars in farm relief between 1985 and 1991, mostly the result of the 1988 drought, according to Statistics Canada. Such costs can only increase with a warming climate. Recent analyses predict that by mid-century the arid and semi-arid areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan will increase by 50 per cent if climate models are correct.

Another example is forestry. In the 1980s and 1990s, the incidence of forest fire doubled in Canada compared to the 1960s and 1970s, burning an area equal to 80 per cent of the province of Alberta during this 20 year period. In the worst fire years of the 1990s, the CO2 emitted by forest fires almost equaled that from burning fossil fuels in Canada. The area burned was enough to turn our boreal forests from a "sink" for atmospheric CO2 before 1980 to a "source" of carbon to the atmosphere in the 1990s. There are still huge amounts of carbon in the trees and forests of the Canadian boreal forest that would be released by increased forest fire. If climate continues to warm, there is a great potential for forest fire to amplify the effects of fossil fuel burning, resulting in warming that is beyond the predictions of climate models. Already, the costs of fighting forest fires in Canada average over 500 million dollars per year, with little effect on the amount of forest burned. The costs of fire suppression, lost revenues to the forest industry, evacuation of towns, and health impacts of smoke are likely to be extremely high. There will also be increased damage from disease and insect infestations, and direct effects on forests such as dieback due to warmer, drier climate. Climate warming will increase the problem of freshwater for the prairies, and the water that remains will decline in quality. Already, wetlands are dry and many lakes have lost most of their water. Summer river flows are already flowing at 20 to 60 per cent of historical values. Some communities have already lost their groundwater supplies and have built or are proposing pipelines to our already overtaxed rivers. These pipelines appear to cost on the order of thirty million dollars each. Costs of water treatment, water conservation, and watershed protection will also increase.

These are but a few examples of the economic costs of climate warming. Damage to our natural ecosystems, and harm to future generations, would add to these financial costs. Overall, the costs may be greater than those advertised by oil, gas, and manufacturing officials (whose estimates we note are all "worst case scenarios").

We believe that direct losses to Alberta's petroleum industry can be more than offset by new developments in science and technology. Incentives to consumers to buy fuel-efficient automobiles and energy-saving electrical and heating appliances, to move more freight by rail, and increase the energy efficiency of homes and businesses are among the measures that can be implemented even with existing technology. Much could also be done to encourage renewable energy sources, or even to substitute switches from coal to natural gas, with its lower GHG emissions. These are but a few of the many measures that can help to meet targets for greenhouse gases. They offer enormous opportunities for technical innovation, and it makes sense in the long-term to encourage these.

In summary, we must take the effects of climate warming seriously. It is imperative that we get serious about reducing emissions of greenhouse gases now. The Kyoto protocol does not specify courses of action, only targets and timelines. Governments are free to approach the problem however they want so long as the targets are met. We are optimistic that Alberta and Canada have the technical expertise to meet the Kyoto targets, if efforts are made to mobilize it.

Many members of our group have contributed directly to the scientific understanding of climate warming and its impacts. We would be delighted to discuss the evidence for climate warming, its effects on Alberta, and possible solutions to reducing greenhouse gases with you at your convenience.

Sincerely,

D. W. Schindler, FRSC, FRS
Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta
http://www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/article.cfm?id=3250

5 years of wasted time.......

selective "beliefs" there Sinc??
 

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Blue Gold

This book has some interesting information on the whole topic of fresh water depletion and the looming crisis.
 

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MacDoc: Does it make sense to believe everything someone says, just because you agree with one small aspect of what they say?
 

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it is not hard to see the drop in water level of our rivers compared to 20 years ago.
You're quite right to be worried about the consumption of water by the oil industry in Alberta. It is clearly unsustainable, and it will have devastating consequences on the ecosystem and therefore human habitation of the region.

The history of the 20th century was largely the story of oil. The history of the 21st century will be written by water. Alberta's cash reserves will buffer it somewhat, but the bottom line is that, while you can live without oil, you can't live without water.

I can't see GHGs.
And you can't see electrons, but we've had this entire discussion as the result of their invisible movements. GHGs not only exist, but their accumulation in the atmosphere will greatly exacerbate Alberta's water problems over the next century. Unfortunately, the politicians and the corporate CEOs who run Alberta (and the rest of the world, for that matter) are not concerned with the next century. They're only concerned with the next election or quarterly performance report. Doing things that have long-term benefit but short term costs, however significant the long-term advantage, is just not something our leadership has been selected for.

Cheers
 

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Thankfully global warming leadds to an overall increase in rainfall--sweet, sweet drinking water.
 

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Thankfully global warming leadds to an overall increase in rainfall--sweet, sweet drinking water.
Uh... not exactly. More in some places, less in others. All the models I've seen predict significant declines in rainfall across the prairies as temperature increases.

The predictions I've seen show the Columbia Icefield shrinking so much that, by 2025, the Athabasca, Bow and Saskatchewan river systems will be dry. Alberta's aquifers have been over-exploited for decades already, and rainfall is predicted to be much lower than historical averages. I'm afraid that once the oil is gone, Alberta will be a wasteland. What makes it worse is that this is all so predictable and still seems inevitable.

Sad.
 

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The research I saw showed an overall increase in rainfall across the globe. Guess we can be quite selective about the scary GHG scenaria we want to promote.

Since nothing will be done about GHGs--certainly not enough to satisfy you--we can see this experiment through!

Cheers!
 

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Uh... not exactly. More in some places, less in others. All the models I've seen predict significant declines in rainfall across the prairies as temperature increases.

The predictions I've seen show the Columbia Icefield shrinking so much that, by 2025, the Athabasca, Bow and Saskatchewan river systems will be dry. Alberta's aquifers have been over-exploited for decades already, and rainfall is predicted to be much lower than historical averages. I'm afraid that once the oil is gone, Alberta will be a wasteland. What makes it worse is that this is all so predictable and still seems inevitable.
Sweet drinking water, indeed. Plus, what falls from our polluted skies ain't exactly something you'd want to drink - unless there were zero alternatives. No, that soup has to be detoxified and distilled before you drink it, unless you aspire to become a walking tumor farm.

Now if you were in the country and a long way off from industrial effluents and the cars that our cities are crawling with, that's another level altogether. Although even then air pollutants don't respect international borders. The industrial effluvia from the American northeast regularly makes its way over to paint Toronto skies that lovely shade of smeary beige, for example. And Hamilton's steel mills have their own varying emissions range, depending on the prevailing climate conditions of the moment... as does every major industrial development on the face of the planet. And just wait until we get all of the new coal plants online... there's hundreds of them on the drawing boards in China, America, and other countries.
 

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Max: we already detoxify our sweet, sweet water so there won't be much of a difference. But in those dark days of future warming, peak oil will be but a distant memory and we will be forced to go without energy because we didn't listen...do you understand me man???!!!...we did not listen to the research scientists.

Skies will be clear, as will our sweet rain, my friend, but only because we did not develop a hydrogen grid in time.
 

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The research I saw showed an overall increase in rainfall across the globe. Guess we can be quite selective about the scary GHG scenaria we want to promote.
That isn't what I have seen, what I have seen is that some areas will experience a significant increase in floods while others will experience prolonged drought.

Everything I have heard about the Alberta situation, and most politicians in Alberta are aware of this, is that water will become increasingly scarce in this province in the coming decades and there is little that can be done about it (though flushing water into the ground to get oil out isn't going to help).

We need a big pipeline to the pacific and a desalinization plant somewhere along the way (and some way to sneak it through without BC noticing).
 

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Three words for you zoziw: Great...Slave...Lake.
 

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Skies will be clear, as will our seeet rain, my friend, but only because we did not develop a hydrogen grid in time.
Oh no, you're getting all friendly with me. I really can't handle that. It's worse than the acid rain, you know.
 

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Oh no, you're getting all friendly with me. I really can't handle that. It's worse than the acid rain, you know.
I will be friendly, but will also honour your personal space.
 

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I will be friendly, but will also honour your personal space.
LOL

Okay. Let's get back to nightmare scenarios. They're a cosier topic.

__________________________________________________________________________

So among other gloomy predictions they're talking about the likelihood of more violent storms, which in turn will inflict greater damages on people and property, thereby exacting a toll on a pummeled insurance industry which will in turn pummel the people who pay into that racket... I'm thinking about this lately as my backyard is lousy with big old trees just waiting to be knocked down by the fury of a warming planet... but I suppose I should be grateful I'm not on some low-lying coastal location.
 

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But in those dark days of future warming, peak oil will be but a distant memory and we will be forced to go without energy because we didn't listen...do you understand me man???!!!...we did not listen to the research scientists.
It's good that you have a sense of humour about it, and I admit that I need to lighten up, but it's frustrating to see so many people doing exactly the wrong things when you have good reason to expect to share in the unpleasant consequences of their ignorance.

Cheers
 
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