To be "environmental," in simplest terms, is to be aware of the existence of "our fellow mortals," as John Muir liked to put it. In the Southwest, where a new study for Science — based on the results of nineteen climate model runs — projects "megadroughts" that will be at least as devastating as the Dust Bowl, some of these mortals, such as black bears and oak trees, have already noticed changes in the climate and begun to change their behavior.
And in the second, an obscure journalist and blogger, yours truly, looks at oak trees in Southern California, which — believe it or don’t — did a better job of forecasting rainfall in SoCal this year than the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration.
Scientists at NOAA are developing new tools to better forecast drought, however. They’re still considered experimental, but here’s what their soil moisture content statistics forecast for temperature next month: