"Green Desert: Climate Changes To Disrupt Southwest"
"On Jan. 11, the National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee -- a consortium of 13 federal agencies -- released its third draft report on the impact of climate change on the U.S. As seems to be the rule with federal documents, it’s monstrously long, but fairly readable and the online table of contents is easy to navigate."
"I went directly to the section on the Southwest to see what’s in store for the desert. It’s unsettling reading.
Snowpack and streamflow amounts are projected to decline, decreasing water supply for cities, agriculture and ecosystems.
The Southwest produces more than half the nation’s high-value specialty crops, which are irrigation-dependent and particularly vulnerable to extremes of moisture, cold and heat. Reduced yields from increased temperatures and increasing competition for scarce water supplies will displace jobs in some rural communities.
Increased warming, due to climate change, and drought have increased wildfires and impacts to people and ecosystems in the Southwest. Fire models project more wildfire and increased risks to communities across extensive areas."
SEE ALSO:Source: Palm Springs Desert Sun, 01/21/2013