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Home arrow Blog arrow 4/6/08-Global warming hitting hardest in the West

4/6/08-Global warming hitting hardest in the West PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sarah Gilman   
Monday, 05 May 2008

Development: The West is warming faster than the rest of the world.

What it means: This year's whiteout of a winter has prompted many a global-warming naysayer to crow about buying Al Gore a snow shovel. Not so fast, weather weenies. A recent report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization shows that the West has warmed 70 percent more than the rest of the globe over the past five years, with temperature increases in the arid Colorado River Basin coming in at about twice the global average. We're already enjoying the fallout, the authors say, including more frequent extreme heat waves, the sudden decline of aspen trees, the bark beetle epidemic, and escalating wildfires and drought.

Fear not, though. The Southern Nevada Water Authority spent $750,000 investigating a dozen ideas for dealing with future water shortages on the Colorado River, where booming Southwestern cities get much of their supply. Options range from the vaguely post-apocalyptic (towing icebergs and giant water bladders across the Pacific Ocean from Alaska; piping fresh water from the Columbia River under the ocean to Southern California) to the borderline practical (nixing water-sucking salt cedar; financing desalination plants).

- Sarah Gilman

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 May 2008 )
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