It looks like there’s a global slowdown / drying up of major rivers. China is having issues with the Tree Gorges damn & associated rivers. Europe is having trouble moving coal to power plants. Well, the USA is involved as well.
The Mississippi has more or less halted barge traffic from about Memphis down to Greenville, Ms.
This means farmers can’t ship harvested grains out, nor can fertilizer be shipped in up the Mississippi. Coal and oil movement is having issues as well.
Any expectation that the USA Midwest is going to bail out the EU or Rest Of World with grain shipments right now has just run aground. We need rain all over the catchment basin to fix this. Worse, there’s a limited time window to get fertilizer up river and onto the land. That limits next year’s crops. The only good news on that is that rain could come at any time; and that for many cops the fertilizer can be applied well into next spring (winter wheat not so much…)
This guy covers it all in very good detail. Lots of graphs and charts too, so you don’t need to listen to all his patter to “get it”, but closed captions worked well too.
Just as a side bar: In my opinion, we get droughts and low river levels when the climate is cooling. Water evaporates from the oceans and falls as precipitation when the water is hotter. Less evaporates when it is cooler. We’re cooling right now.
Note too that this is the eighth lowest ever. That means 7 times prior were worse and we lived. It also means “Global Warming” is not the cause as there were 7 times before when it wasn’t Global Warming. This is just normal, if bothersome, weather.
This latest solar change has also shifted us into a Merdional Flow that makes some places hotter, others colder, some wetter, others dryer. sometimes for days, sometimes weeks, sometimes longer. Basically the “usually expected” weather from 30 years of mostly zonal flow reverts to the more variable pattern I remember from the 1960’s to ’70s. (Just before The Great Pacific Climate Shift that was used as cover for “Global Warming” but is just a normal climate cycle – just longer than most folks attention span and many of their lives…) It is time to expect change and variability again for as long as meridional flow patterns dominate.
Expect global dependencies to be disrupted as China has trouble making things (electricity rationing from 3 Gorges Damn being short of water), shipping things (Mississippi being low to lower water), or just keeping staff alive and available (Colorado River low and about to have a “go dark” on both the Parker and Mead lakes / turbines – so Phoenix to Las Vegas to Los Angeles Basin to be dark and dry when that happens, likely September 2023). Season with inability to get coal to power generation stations (USA midwest, Germany) and it will be “interesting times”.
This most likely is also hitting a lot of other rivers ( IIRC, the Po in Italy was causing trouble) and ought to be a global phenomenon.