Thursday, January 22, 2009

Southwest to get more droughts, floods, & fires

The Southwest will get drier, with more droughts and, paradoxically, more floods, according to Jonathan Overpeck ("Peck") in his opening remarks to the "Adaptation to Climate Change in the Desert Southwest: Impacts and Opportunities" conference which is being held in Tucson today and Friday. Peck is geosciences professor and director of the Institute for Environment and Society at the UA.

Video View live video stream: mms://

View real-time news from the conference

He said, "The scary thing is that what has been projected is actually happening," and warned that more climate change is a sure bet and natural variability could make it worse with a megadrought that could persist for decades.

As a result, he said "We should be adapting to make ourselves resilient to this kind of catastrophe."

A panel that followed concluded that climate change in arid lands has very likely increased the size and number of forest fires, insect outbreaks, and tree mortality in the western and southwestern U.S., and is projected to cause changes in other natural processes.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could have attended. Sounds worthwhile and frightening.

    Lee, having just found your blog (and I'm enjoying it!) I've been meaning to ask whether you'd consider submitting a post or two to the upcoming Carnival of the Arid.