PerspectiveClimate Change

Dry Times Ahead

Science  25 Jun 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5986, pp. 1642-1643
DOI: 10.1126/science.1186591

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Summary

In the past decade, it has become impossible to overlook the signs of climate change in western North America. They include soaring temperatures, declining late-season snowpack, northward-shifted winter storm tracks, increasing precipitation intensity, the worst drought since measurements began, steep declines in Colorado River reservoir storage, widespread vegetation mortality, and sharp increases in the frequency of large wildfires. These shifts have taken place across a region that also saw the nation's highest population growth during the same period.