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Southwest’s drought & fires are a window to our climate-change future

The ongoing drought appears to be the worst in 1,200 years, with hotter temperatures, smaller snowpack and an earlier start to the fire season - a glimpse at what climate change will bring to the Southwest and elsewhere.... Read more»

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Arizona forest health: Stressed by drought & pests, trees are losing resilience to changing climate

A 20-plus year drought – coupled with decades of fire-suppression policies and relentlessly rising temperatures – are behind much of the change in Arizona's forests, calling into question how forest health can be restored.... Read more»

Climate change is pushing toxic chemicals into drinking wells

With climate change confronting communities, people who rely on wells are at particular risk as drought can increase the concentration of contaminants in well water, and wildfires damage equipment and piping, leaching toxic chemicals into drinking water.... Read more»

Phoenix es una de los 25 peores cidades EE. UU. por la polución del aire, según informe

El 84% de las personas en Arizona viven en comunidades que recibieron calificaciones de "F" por la calidad del aire, con los condados de Maricopa y Pinal entre los más contaminados y los condados de Pima y Gila siguiéndolos.... Read more»

State of the Air report ranks Phoenix among 25 worst U.S. cities for pollution

84% of people in Arizona live in communities that received “F” grades for their air quality based on high ozone days and high particle pollution days, with Maricopa and Pinal counties among the most polluted and Pima and Gila counties following.... Read more»1

Tunnel Fire northeast of Flagstaff 0% contained, Ducey declares state of emergency

Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a state of emergency in response to the Tunnel Fire in Coconino County that has currently burned more than 20,000 acres and has 0% containment.... Read more»

Climate change creating more devastating rainfall events in wildfire burn scars

As the gap between fire and rainfall season becomes shorter, devastatingly large wildfires followed by intense precipitation events will grow in frequency as the effects of climate change become more widespread and entrenched.... Read more»

Air pollution from western wildfires could triple by end of century

Multiple climate models predict air pollution from wildfires across the western U.S. could as much as triple by 2100 without climate change mitigation efforts, and fine particle pollution over the U.S. Pacific Northwest will increase under all scenarios, even under strong mitigations.... Read more»

6 wildfire terms to understand, from red flag warning to 100% containment

Wildfires fueled by dry, windy conditions have destroyed dozens of homes in Texas and threatened hundreds of others there and in Oklahoma and Florida this March - a sharp reminder to be prepared for what forecasters warn is likely to be a risky spring for wildfires in the Southwest.... Read more»

Climate data reveals a hotter, drier Arizona, with more extremes possible

The latest summary of climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicts Arizona’s climate will continue to warm, leading to rising temperatures, more intense wildfires, and ongoing drought.... Read more»

Dry start to 2022 intensifies drought in U.S. West

After one of the wettest Decembers in recent memory, January and February have been among the driest ever - and it appears unlikely to change any time soon as the region is stuck in a megadrought that has enveloped southwestern North America for the past 22 years. ... Read more»

Smoke over Catalinas from controlled burn 25 miles away in Graham County

A prescribed burn in the Southwest portion of the Galiuro Mountains sent a plume of smoke over the Catalina Mountains that was visible from Tucson on Tuesday. Burns in the area are expected to continue until the end of the month. ... Read more»

Forest Service in 'paradigm shift' to use logging, controlled burns to prevent wildfires

The Biden administration will announce Tuesday it is using $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. ... Read more»

Western wildfires drive increasing overlap of particle pollution and ground-level ozone

Increasingly frequent wildfires in the western U.S. are driving particle pollution to occur with late summer ozone episodes and raising new public health concerns about cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and the combined air pollutants in pregnant women and children.... Read more»

Analysis

2021’s east-west weather divide: One side of the country too wet, the other dangerously dry

Alongside a global pandemic, 2021 was filled with climate disasters - some so intense they surprised the scientists who study them - and in the U.S., something in particular stood out: a sharp national precipitation divide, with one side of the country too wet, the other too dry.... Read more»

Joshua tree is first plant to get California protections because of climate change

The Joshua tree is an iconic symbol of the Southwest - and now, the Western Joshua tree is the first plant given protections under the California Endangered Species Act because of the effects of climate change. ... Read more»

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