In a dry year, growing a new patch of Rio Grande Bosque

Mary Harner and I spent a good deal of time this morning trying to get our bearings walking along the west bank of Albuquerque’s Rio Grande near a place we call “the oxbow”. Mary, a friend and colleague from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, has been working on a delightful river research project for …

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The Distribution of Green

Ima give this a fancy sciency-sounding patina: I walked a transect today across the ribbon of green the Rio Grande provides through the heart of Albuquerque. I’m trying to think through what I have come to understand as the fundamental choice we face as climate change depletes the river. We will have less green: Which …

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May 27 webinar: Coping With Megadrought in the Colorado River Basin, featuring me

I’ll be I’ll be yammering about the  Colorado River basin, sneaky droughts, and megadroughts with the folks at NIDIS (the National Integrated Drought Information System): As the Colorado River Basin experiences 2020’s “sneaky drought” amid a long term pattern that looks increasingly like one of the region’s millennial “megadroughts” that last decades, water managers are …

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Levels of uncertainty on the Colorado River

One of the great lessons of the last two decades on the Colorado River is the futility of the “search for certainty”. No one number for “the flow of the Colorado River” can allow us to plan for the future. We face the formidable task of building a river new management framework that is robust …

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Some other stuff I’m up to – climate change impacts research

Natalie Rogers did a nice writeup for the University of New Mexico on some work I’m doing with a group of University of New Mexico colleagues on climate change impacts and adaptation in New Mexico. Working as part of a new affiliation between UNM researchers and the USGS-funded South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, some …

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The risk of Southern California falling into “perfect drought”

Last year was, for Southern California water management, perfectly wet. By that I mean a good snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado River Basin. I’m stealing a wonderful phrase here from a new paper by the University of Arizona’s Connie Woodhouse (the full paper’s behind a paywall): “A Long View of Southern California …

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Climate Change and rhetoric on the Colorado River

I could see the reporters at last week’s Colorado River Water Users Association meeting chafing at the rhetoric we were hearing regarding climate change. In my strange new role (kind of a reporter, I am writing another book,  and kind of not – I have this crazy university gig) I was invited into the news …

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Megadrought

In the southwest…. “The last 19 years have been equivalent to the worst 19 years of the worst mega-droughts on record,” said Park Williams, a professor of bioclimatology at Columbia University, at a presentation of the work. Only three recent mega-droughts—in the late 800s, the mid-1100s, and the late 1500s—were worse than the current period, …

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