The University of Arizona



Good Times Bad Times…

Thursday, October 18, 2012

…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)

The Energy-Water Nexus in Electricity Generation in the Southwest

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

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)

Second Century Southwest Megadrought

Monday, November 21, 2011

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)

Is Better Understanding of Atmospheric Rivers a Key to Predicting Major Floods in the Southwest?

Friday, October 7, 2011

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).

The North American (paleo)monsoon: What can the last few thousand years tell us about our future?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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)


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