Extreme Drought Now Afflicts 80% of California

Dry conditions continue to plague the Golden State as the statewide drought expands. Extreme drought conditions extend from the Oregon Border all throughout Central California and as far south as Orange County.

What's the Latest?


Crisis-level dryness has been a major scourge on the American southwest for the past few years. California, in particular, has been hit hard by drought conditions. Last month, record dryness hit a critical level. Veronica Rocha of the L.A. Times reports nearly 80% of the state experienced "extreme" drought in June. That's the second-highest possible level as classified by the National Weather Service. The highest level -- "exceptional" drought -- affected nearly a quarter of the state. The extreme conditions stretch from the Oregon border all throughout Northern California, through most of Central California, and as far south as Orange County.

What's the Big Idea?

These types of extremely dry conditions are dangerous for many reasons. The lack of moisture in local vegetation puts entire regions at risk for wildfires such as the one currently burning in Napa County. Water shortages result in forced rationing in some parts of the state. The agriculture industry struggles when drought conditions deplete water supplies; the price of fruits and vegetables then shoots up. Considering Central California's importance to America's agriculture industry (the state accounts for 15% of all crops receipts), farmers and economists both are hoping the fall brings the much needed relief summer is not expected to offer.

Keep Reading at the L.A. Times

Photo credit: sddatta / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
popular
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less