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Volunteers plant trees at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area in Phoenix.

Arizona cities, environmental advocates and businesses are teaming up to combat extreme heat by launching a variety of tree-planting initiatives as the state's climate conditions are becoming more extreme, and fatalities from extreme heat have spiked in recent years. Read more»

The Tucson Million Trees initiative, led by Mayor Regina Romero, intends to plant one million trees by 2030 to increase the city’s tree canopy and help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Many community leaders now consider trees to be critical infrastructure, along with a growing recognition that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color often have far less tree cover — and suffer increased vulnerability to extreme heat as a result. Read more»

TEP has proposed an 11.8% rate hike that will jack up our bills by an average of $16.22 per month, taking the monthly average to a shocking $135.95 per month. Read more»

Tucson has spent millions on PFAS removal efforts at the Tucson Airport Remediation Project, or TARP, a plan to treat contaminated groundwater at wellfields in an area that’s been marked as a federal Superfund site.

PFAS have been around since the 1940s, and more than 120 different compounds have been found in wildlife - with some 330 species were affected, spanning nearly every continent - now, scientists are working to determine how these chemicals affect wild animals’ health. Read more»

Grijalva framed the legislation as a community effort rather than a congressional one, and said he hoped other lawmakers would follow such an example.

Democratic lawmakers headed by Arizona Representative Raúl Grijalva unveiled a sweeping new piece of legislation Wednesday, aimed at shielding vulnerable communities from the effects of pollution and climate change, as well as strengthening government outreach. Read more»

'Strong Arm' was a well-known local saguaro killed by climate change. It won't be the last as carbon emissions threaten Tucson's future. The city has a draft plan to do its part to address the global problem.

Tucson's "Resilient Together" draft plan is buzz-word rich, takes 36 pages to get to the introduction and could have been dictated by Siri in 2021 or done by ChatGPT today. It's also a good start that may well prove the savvy of Regina Romero. Read more»

Demonstrators at the 'Rally for Resilience,' headed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, in Washington, D.C., on March 7, 2023.

Farmers and leaders from more than 20 progressive agricultural groups gathered this week to march on the U.S. Capitol, and promote climate solutions and underserved producers as priority issues for lawmakers in the upcoming farm bill. Read more»

A victim of the 2009 Station Fire. Only a quarter of the 900,000 seedlings planted after the fire in the Angeles National Park were still alive a year later.

Wildfires and severe drought are killing trees at an alarming rate across the West, and forests are struggling to recover as the planet warms - however, new research shows there are ways to improve forests’ chances of recovery – by altering how wildfires burn. Read more»

Road work in early March 2022 on East Ft. Lowell Road.

During its Tuesday study session, the Tucson City Council will discuss a new plan by the RTA Citizen's Advisory Committee, that seems to do right by the Pueblo Viejo. But fiar is in the eye of the beholder. Plus more in local government meetings. Read more»

Climate models are continuous in space and time, and while they are often very skillful, they will never capture every detail of the climate system.

Over the past century, the Earth’s average temperature has swiftly increased - but what about the thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution, before thermometers, and before humans warmed the climate by releasing heat-trapping carbon dioxide from fossil fuels? Read more»

The 2015 Finger Rock Fire, seen burning in the Catalinas from Downtown Tucson, nearly 10 miles away. Tucson High School, the University of Arizona and Banner-University Medical Center are seen in the foreground.

A new study shows a 246% increase in the number of homes and structures destroyed by wildfires in the contiguous Western U.S. between the past two decades, revealing increasing vulnerability to wildfire disasters. Read more»

Smoky conditions, similar to the haze covering San Francisco, continued in the Midwest and on the East Coast in 2021, as the West Coast fires continued to burn.

Scientists are finding in an ongoing study that despite the haze from far-off blazes, enough indirect sunlight was available to fuel the nation’s burgeoning solar panel industry in 2020 - good news as the U.S. government is seeking to quickly ramp up solar energy production. Read more»

More than two thirds of the Colorado River begins as snow in Colorado, but warm temperatures and dry soil are steadily reducing the amount of snowmelt that makes its way into the river, which supplies water to 40 million people across the Southwest.

The West has been slammed by wet weather this winter: Good news for the Colorado River, where all that moisture hints at a possible springtime boost for the reservoirs that have been crippled by drought - but many more years of heavy snow are needed to make a serious dent. Read more»

Arizona recently entered a tier 2A shortage due to the dwindling of the Colorado River, with a 21% reduction in Colorado River allocation going into effect at the start of this year, about 9% of the state’s total water usage.

Arizona is ranked No. 3 among the states for water efficiency and sustainability, but still has a lot of room for improvement, according to an analysis by The Alliance for Water Efficiency that ranks each state on conservation, sustainability and affordability. Read more»

A look at the roadwork projects in the draft RTA plan would suggest Tucson is doing OK in the fight for projects.

Tucson looks like it's coming out OK in a draft RTA Next plan, with 24 of 37 projects slated for the region's urban core. Plus, Pima County dives into initial appearances and Buffalo Soldiers, and more in local government meetings this week. Read more»

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