Southwest Climate Podcast: Monsoon Frequency vs. Intensity, & El Niño Still Dragging its Heels
Assistant Research Professor, Arizona Institutes for Resilience
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, School of Anthropology
Ben McMahan joined CLIMAS after completing a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Arizona. His dissertation research was on hurricanes and disaster on the U.S. Gulf Coast, where he focused on
- Human interactions in dynamic social and environmental contexts,
- Risk perception and landscape changes during and after disaster, and
- Social network and policy responses to governance issues related to the acute threats of disaster; as they layer onto long term environmental issues and landscape scale changes.
He was also a key contributor to UA Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) collaborative/trans-disciplinary research on the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the US Oil and Gas industry (2007-2011), and the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010-2013).
At CLIMAS, his research activities included tracing how climate information is incorporated into regional decision maker networks, leading CLIMAS team research on the risks and effects of climate extremes, and collaborative research on the effects of climate variability on phenology and temporality of native plants in the region. He was also responsible for working to develop collaborative research opportunities and outreach efforts at CLIMAS, and as part of ongoing assessment and science/strategic planning, he contributed to strategic planning used to prioritize future research and outreach directions. He also coordinated publication of the monthly Southwest Climate Outlook, produced the Southwest Climate Podcasts, and was the online editor for CLIMAS’ blog - Southwestern Oscillations.
In the August Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido and Mike Crimmins talk about variability and timing of monsoon precipitation, and why frequent and sustained moisture might matter more than heavy infrequent rains (for drought, especially). El Niño is still dragging its heels, but it still looks good for a weak to moderate event this winter. Interspersed throughout, Zack and Mike answer questions submitted by listeners, including "weather" vs. "climate" and how the monsoon is a good way to think about this distinction, and whether the monsoon and El Niño can really help with a long term drought.
If you have a question you'd like answered, you can email Zack Guido (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ben McMahan (email@example.com) with "CLIMAS Podcast Question" in the subject line. You can also tweet us @CLIMAS_UA or post a question on facebook