The Great Salt Lake Will Disappear On January 3, 2028, Maybe

Matthew Montrone Pexels

Climate deniers have fewer facts to support their case. Massive hurricanes. 120-degree temperature in Phoenix. Thick, noxious clouds over New York City pushed by winds from fires hundreds of miles north in huge burning forests in Canada. Some deniers clearly don’t understand what 1.5 degrees C means, so the effect of rising temperature measurements means nothing to them. 

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Denierts can, however, hold onto scientific observations about dates when climate crises will occur. It is near the first anniversary of experts saying The Great Salt Lake would dry up in five years. One year since this prediction was made, it is no more certain than when the first date was announced. If the water in The Great Salt Lake has not disappeared by January 3, 2028, climate deniers will stand in the middle of what was once among America’s largest lakes, checking to see if there is just one drop of water left to prove their point. 

One challenge with The Great Salt Lake prediction is that it was based on meticulous measurements and relies on specific events that are predicted to occur in the future. Benjamin Abbott, a professor of ecology at Brigham Young University and lead author of the report, told CNN. “It’s honestly jaw-dropping and totally disarming to see how much of the lake is gone. The lake is mostly lakebed right now.” Simultaneously, he released a 34-page research paper

At the core of the research was if, in 2023 and 2024, water flow into the lake did not increase sharply, the lake was doomed. This gives the lake one more year before it can no longer recover. However, one section of the research paper reads, “At 19 feet below its average natural level since 1850, the lake is in uncharted territory.” “Uncharted” is where deniers plant their flags. 


On a much larger scale, deniers have a single date they focus on.  This is “2050”, the year designated by climate experts as a point of no return. The Nation published its summary of the consequences two years ago, “As several hundred million climate-change refugees in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia fill leaky boats or trudge overland in a desperate search for food and shelter, affluent nations worldwide will be trying to shut their borders even tighter, pushing crowds back with tear gas and gunfire.” But the year of no return might occur in 2049 or 2051 instead of 2050.  Denies hang on to small uncertainties like this in order to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence.

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