Story submitted by Eric Worrall. The Guardian, a green UK daily newspaper, has published a claim that climate change will disrupt shipping in the Panama Canal, preventing children in America from receiving their Chinese manufactured toys.
According to The Guardian;
“As extreme weather events create periods of flood and drought, they threaten the consistent water supply that the canal needs to operate.”
Panama is apparently suffering a drought, which is limiting the supply of fresh water from Gatun Lake and Alajuela Lake, water which is required to operate the canal.
“That could increase shipping times and costs of everything from Christmas toys and electronics moving from China to New York to midwest corn and wheat bound for the west coast of South America.
It’s too soon to know how exactly more extreme weather will affect canal operations. But while industries that do business through the canal are taking a wait-and-see approach, the Panama Canal Authority is paying close attention to models that suggest future climate trends.”
Seriously folks – how can we continue to doubt Mann made global warming, when the Guardian has so clearly demonstrated that if we don’t switch to driving electric cars, our children will miss out on their toys at Christmas?
The water can also be used for a second ship going the other way. And, it seems that the “dry season” water shortfall is something known about for years, from Wikipedia entry on the Panama Canal:
Gatun Lake is filled with rainwater, and the lake accumulates excess water during wet months. The water is lost to the oceans at a rate of 101,000 m3 (26,700,000 US gal; 22,200,000 imp gal) per downward lock cycle. Since a ship will have to go upward to Gatun Lake first and then descend, a single passing will cost double the amount; but the same waterflow cycle can be used for another ship passing in the opposite direction. The ship’s submerged volume is not relevant to this amount of water. During the dry season, when there is less rainfall, there is also a shortfall of water in Gatun Lake.
Apparently, the Canal Authority isn’t as worried about this as The Guardian, since there’s no mention of drought related issues on their website or news releases that I could find. http://www.pancanal.com/eng/pr/press-releases/
The canal watershed maintains the reserve of this valuable natural resource. As well as being the principal source of water required for vessel transits, the canal watershed provides 95% of the drinking water for the inhabitants of the cities of Colon, Panama, San Miguelito and in the near future, Chorrera.
Me thinks the Guardian doth protest too much.