In this month's episode of the Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido, Gregg Garfin, and Mike Crimmins discuss the status of drought in the Southwest region, current snowpack conditions, and what we can expect from the coming months.
…is the opening track on Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album from 1969. The song was a difficult experiment in some respects – a lead guitar solo with a swirling effect, sixteenth-note triplets on a single kick drum, and busy riffs on a bass guitar. Riding on these sound waves, Robert Plant tells of a few instances from his youth that depict how he has had his share of times both good and bad.
As regional temperatures continue to rise, vegetation in the Southwest also seems to be having its share of good times and bad times. (Read More)
Scientists are astonished by how fast Arctic sea ice is melting. Previous estimates called for the Arctic to be ice-free in the summer in 30-40 years. After this year’s astounding record melt, however, scientists are now thinking the Arctic may be completely ice-free in the summer by the end of the decade! (Read More)
Freshwater is a precious resource, especially in the arid and drought-prone Southwest. But what you may not know is that the biggest user of freshwater in the U.S. is not our everyday needs, or even farms, but power plants. What’s more, although 99 percent of those withdrawals nationwide were from surface water, in the Southwest, surface water is relatively scarce and thermoelectric power plants have been forced to use groundwater, which then raises concerns over aquifer depletion. (Read More)
The 12th and 13th century droughts during medieval times are perhaps the most well-recognized (see blog on 12/4/10). The medieval period in the Southwest, spanning roughly 800-1300 AD, is characterized by increased drought severity, duration, and extent. In a recent study using tree-ring chronologies from Colorado bristlecone pines however, Connie Woodhouse, Jonathan Overpeck, and I revealed an even earlier period of anomalous aridity and drought in the Southwest.( Read More)
Residents of the Southwest know the consequences of flooding all too well. Every year during the monsoon season, Arizona and New Mexico experience numerous storms that result in flooding, ultimately causing millions of dollars in damage and sometimes, sadly, fatalities. One good thing about these storms, however, is that the majority of the time we are somewhat prepared, in that locals are generally aware that flooding is likely during monsoon season. But what about storms that cause flooding during the rest of the year? (Read More).
Luckily, we’re pretty landlocked here in the Southwest, so unlike the East Coast, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes causing massive flooding and downing trees and power lines. Or do we? As it turns out, hurricanes and tropical storms in the eastern Pacific play a major role in our moisture budget and rainfall extremes. (Read More)
The monsoon is in full swing here in Tucson! Unfortunately, compared to the last two summers, this monsoon is looking somewhat better, but not by much (see recent CLIMAS report). This begs the question: is there any chance we could depend on the monsoon to help alleviate some winter water shortages in the future as global climate changes? (Read More)