By William deBuys

ISBN-10: 0199778922

ISBN-13: 9780199778928

ISBN-10: 0199974675

ISBN-13: 9780199974672

With its hovering azure sky and stark landscapes, the yankee Southwest is among the so much hauntingly appealing areas in the world. but incredible inhabitants progress, mixed with the intensifying results of weather swap, is riding the oasis-based society on the subject of the threshold of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe.

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Additional resources for A great aridness : climate change and the future of the American southwest

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Another group of researchers has demonstrated that, even apart from albedo dynamics, the high altitudes of the world are warming faster, and to a greater degree, than lower elevations. 7 Overpeck is quick to point out that nearly all the major predictions about climate change in the Southwest concern winter weather. 8 They also include reduced albedo and augmented local warming, and northward migration of the winter storm track. The underlying cause may be not one thing, but several. ” asks Overpeck.

If the air held more water vapor, the sky would whiten overhead, as it does at the horizons, where the light that reaches our eyes has more atmosphere and diffusing vapor to travel through. Overhead the light we see is blue because the gases of the atmosphere allow reds and yellows to pass 18 A Great Aridness unobstructed, but absorb the shorter-wave blue portion of the sun’s spectrum and bounce it around before reflecting it down to us. That’s why the otherwise white sun appears yellow in a blue sky: blues and violets have been subtracted from its light.

Surprisingly, the actual mechanics of how trees die—specifically, how they die from drought—were not well understood, and a few years before coming to the University of Arizona, Breshears had witnessed a die-off C L I M AT E C H A N G E W A S Oracle: Global-Change-Type Drought 41 of trees on a scale that impressed him deeply and left him wondering more than ever about the implications of a warming climate for the forests and woodlands of the Southwest. A string of wet years had blessed the northern Southwest for roughly two decades (depending on who’s counting), but abruptly ceased between late 1995 and early 1996.

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A great aridness : climate change and the future of the American southwest by William deBuys

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