American Southwest

October 4, 2016--Looming megadroughts in western US would make current drought look minor (Guardian)

The harsh drought currently gripping California may appear trivial in the future as new research shows that the south-west US faces the looming threat of “megadroughts” that last for decades. California is in its sixth year of drought, which was barely dented by rains brought by the El Niño climate event and sparked a range of water restrictions in th


February 10, 2016--Drying out of the American Southwest (Mountain Town News)

Peering through a window on a flight from Denver to Los Angeles, you first see the Rocky Mountains, rich with forests and snow, here and there a ski area. Then, for the majority of the trip you see aridity, the soft greens of sagebrush steppes at higher elevations dissolving to harsh pigments of the Mojave Desert until you get to the exurbs of LA. This is the American Southwest.


July 28, 2015--New MIT study on the historical climate of the American West (Envionmental News Network)

All around the deserts of Utah, Nevada, southern Oregon, and eastern California, ancient shorelines line the hillsides above dry valley floors, like bathtub rings — remnants of the lakes once found throughout the region. Even as the ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the region remained much wetter than it is today.


July 27, 2015--Water-efficiency upgrades urged for Southwest (Arizona Central)

Arizona and the Southwest are dumping too much water down the drain, but the waste could be reduced by efficiency upgrades that pay for themselves, a conservation group contends. Governments and utilities already save energy nationwide through the use of performance contracts — deals that pay contractors only for proven cost savings.


May 29, 2015--Rains bring incomplete drought relief to parts of Southwest (High Country News)

Much of Colorado has been getting soaked. "Last I checked we lived in a high mountain desert not a temperate rainforest," a friend of mine on the Western Slope quipped on Instagram, under a photo of two Adirondack chairs swallowed by grass higher than their arms. Here in New Mexico, people are getting grumpy.


April 15, 2015--Study says global warming will bring drought to western U.S. sooner rather than later (Summit Voice)

The western U.S. will likely be one of the first places to experience unprecedented drought driven by climate change, according to new research by scientists with the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.


March 24, 2015--Drought to continue in West, forecasters predict (Republic Washington Bureau)

The spring weather outlook for the West issued last week by federal forecasters has a familiar ring to it: continuing drought conditions leading to greater wildfire risk. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast predicts drought will persist or worsen in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and western Colorado through June.


March 13, 2015--Record low snowpack in Western US (Crop Site)

"Nearly a third of our SNOTEL sites in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada are reporting the lowest snowpack ever measured," NRCS Hydrologist Cara McCarthy said. "For the first time, some sites were snow-free on March 1st. These areas can expect reduced summer streamflow." Recent storms helped relieve dry conditions in the Southwest.


February 24, 2015--Will Utah be ready for a drier, hotter climate? (Salt Lake Tribune)

The specter of drought hanging over the Southwest is already pretty dire, with forests drying out into beetle-killed tinderboxes and reservoir levels plunging. But the current dry spell may barely register in comparison with what has happened in the distant past and could happen in the near future, according to research released this month. And we may have ourselves to blame.


February 13, 2015--Return of the Dust Bowl? Climate change study highlights how West must adapt (Christian Science Monitor)

A prolonged period of Dust Bowl-like conditions in the second half of this century could severely test strides made toward conserving scarce water supplies in the Western United States and central Plains, according to a new study.


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