How will climate change affect the Southwest?

2021-02-13 by No Comments

How will climate change affect the Southwest?

Increased heat, drought, and insect outbreaks, all linked to climate change, have increased wildfires. Declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, health impacts in cities due to heat, and flooding and erosion in coastal areas are additional concerns. Explore how climate change is affecting the Southwest.

How is the climate in the Southwest region?

The American Southwest might evoke images of a hot, dry landscape—a land of rock, canyons, and deserts baked by the sun. Indeed, much of this region has low annual rainfall and seasonally high temperatures that contribute to its characteristic desert climate.

How has the Southwest changed?

About 6.6% of the Southwest has been converted to cropland agriculture, and another 2.3% has been developed as urban areas.

Is the Southwest getting drier?

The Southwest, already the driest region in the United States, has become even drier since the mid-20th century, particularly on the hottest days, according to new research.

Does it snow in the Southwest?

All of the high country of the Southwest can get large quantities of snow in the winter and nice cooling thunder showers in the summer, yet we average over 348 days with the sun shining. The average high winter desert temperature is about the same.

What is the Southwest known for?

The Southwestern United States is known for its arid deserts, red rock landscapes, rugged mountains and natural wonders like the Grand Canyon. The diversity of people who have lived and moved to the Southwest give it a distinctive culture and history that continues to grow and evolve today.

Why does the Southwest have a semiarid climate?

Moist air masses originating in the Gulfs of Mexico and California are believed to be the source of the Southwest monsoon, which extends north from central Mexico to portions of the southwestern and central United States. Summer monsoon storms are typically high-intensity convective storms of short duration.

How did change in the environment affect life for people in the American Southwest?

Increased warming, drought, and insect outbreaks, all caused by or linked to climate change, have increased wildfires and impacts to people and ecosystems in the Southwest. Fire models project more wildfire and increased risks to communities across extensive areas.

Why is it very dry in the American Southwest?

La Niña—cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean—tends to cause dry weather in the Southwest U.S. The associated weather patterns push the jet stream north and cause it to curve, driving storms to the Pacific Northwest and the Great Plains instead.

How hot is it in the Southwest?

The Southwest’s overall average high temperature of 19.2°C (66.6°F) and average low of 2.8°C (37.0°F) are indicative of a varied climate, one much less uniform than that found in many other parts of the United States.

What is winter like in the Southwest?

Winter will be colder and drier than normal, with the coldest periods in mid- and late December and mid- and late February. Snowfall will be below normal in most areas that normally receive snow, with the snowiest periods in late December and late February.