Freeworld News

Continuing the debate surrounding the socio-economic and environmental implications of the drought faicing California right now, we look at the prevalence of shade balls filling reservoirs in Sylmar. A total of 96m black polythene balls now cover water to protect against evaporation in drought-ridden LA, whilst maintaining good water quality.


According to the LADWP newsroom, ”The small, black plastic balls protect water quality by preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deterring birds and other wildlife, and protecting water from rain and wind-blown dust”.


Moreover, we look at the threat El Nino will bring, particularly to the Californian almond industry. The El Niño brewing in the equatorial Pacific is on course to become one of the strongest — if not the strongest — such system on record, the Climate Prediction Center announced last Thursday. Climate specialists explain an El Niño when the sea-surface temperatures in a key region of the central Pacific are at least 0.5 of a degree Celsius above normal for several months.

In a BBC article, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a “substantial” event later in the year, driving droughts and flooding. Scientists operate a number of markers used to measure currants, temperatures and winds in the tropical pacific ocean. The data, which includes information from satellite technology, is then fed into a series of complex computer system, which then make the necessary predictions.

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