Drought is just the start of climate change’s toll on the Southwest
Editor’s note: We’re publishing a series from The Story Group that shows Americans on the front lines of climate change. The videos put faces to the warnings in the latest National Climate Assessment.
“The story in the Southwest is the story of water,” says Greg Garfin, one of the convening lead authors of the National Climate Assessment chapter on the region, already one of the driest parts of the United States.
Increased heat, drought, and insect outbreaks, all linked to climate change, have increased wildfires. Declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, and health impacts in cities due to heat will take their toll, especially in populous desert cities like Las Vegas, where water management is already a game with small margins of error. Flooding and erosion in coastal areas are additional concerns.