Dryland: Farmers in Some of the Toughest Places to Do Agriculture Are the Ones Innovating for Climate Change
pika weather balloonscover crops

Clouds with a Silver Lining: Seeding Storms to Boost the Colorado River

People in seven western states and Mexico rely on the Colorado River for their water supplies. As the climate warms, the mighty river's flows are expected to shrink—straining its ability to meet demands of cities and farms. Water managers are bracing themselves for potential shortages and therefore keeping a watchful eye on Colorado's snowpack, where much of the water originates. More snow means more runoff—so many cities, water districts, and even ski areas are participating in a little-known program to "fire up" more snowflakes from winter storms.

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Does a Changing Climate Require a Change in Vocabulary?

As snowpack and moisture levels in the Colorado River Basin show large areas of moderate to extreme drought, some are wondering if the term “drought” is misleading people into thinking it’s a temporary situation. Do we need a new vocabulary to describe conditions in the West? Words matter and “drought” is out says a new report.

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Dust Up: The Growing Problem Affecting Snowpack and Water Supply

Mountain snowfall around the globe is an important source of water. In the spring it melts and flows into rivers and reservoirs for cities and farms to use. But there’s been a growing problem that’s sweeping in and causing snowpack worldwide to melt faster. "It looks apocalyptic," says Jeff Deems, a research scientist at the University of Colorado. With "a big orange-red sky, it really does look Martian." He’s describing dust storms—layers of windblown particles that are landing on mountain peaks and leaving them coated with a dark layer of sand and soot. As anyone who has sat in a car with black upholstery on hot summer day will attest, black objects absorb more heat than lighter ones, so by the darkening the snow, it’s melting it faster.

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Headlines for the week
ending April 22, 2018

Tribes argued before the
U.S. Supreme Court that the state of Washington must replace water culverts that block salmon migration.

There has been some movement toward talks between the two factions feuding about water allocation on the Colorado River.

Tiny centimeter-long
animals are causing
massive ocean mixing.

Several lawsuits were
filed last week by children, state governments, and municipalities about
climate change.

The Bajau people can
stay underwater for
several minutes at a
time. How do they do it?

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Journalism About Water and the Environment
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