By William deBuys

With its hovering azure sky and stark landscapes, the yank Southwest is without doubt one of the so much hauntingly appealing areas in the world. but wonderful inhabitants development, mixed with the intensifying results of weather switch, is riding the oasis-based society as regards to the edge of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe.

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Not everyone agrees with Seager’s message, and certainly not with the blunt, alarming language in which he delivers it. There are always cries for more data and improved models, for further analysis at a finer spatial scale, and for the consideration of other possible explanations. There are also critics who say that even if he is right, he should be more careful: predictions as strident as his risk undermining the public’s faith in the scientific community. What if the Southwest enjoys a string of generously wet years?

The humid smell of laundry was in the air. We had plenty of time to talk, but not an unlimited amount— an important football game (real football, played with the feet) would be televised from England that afternoon. ” He takes an amused pride in this link to American pop culture, marveling at the tourists posing for snapshots and the occasional celebrity guiding a tour. Seager is a bit of a cultural sponge. As we talked, he alluded frequently to the intricacies of Colorado River politics and to Dust Bowl histories and books on western water.

It tossed chairs and tools and firewood about, grouchily searching for food. That winter was a bad one for the bear, but a good one for bark beetles, and once spring came, bringing weather so hot and dry the pastures never greened, you could walk among the piñons and hear a faint mechanical drone, as of a thousand tiny chisels rhythmically chipping away. It was hordes of beetles, tunneling and feeding. The Southwest is not alone in its vulnerability to beetle-driven die-offs. In the northern Rockies of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, millions of acres of lodgepole pine forests have suffered fatal infestations of mountain pine beetles, belonging to the genus Dendroctonus, which affect their host trees in much the same way as Ips.

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