Desertification in the American Southwest

Desertification is defined as land degradation, most commonly caused by overgrazing, over-farming, excess woodcutting, enhanced water and wind erosion, and improper farming techniques. Symptoms include reduced plant productivity, reduced species diversity, and soil deterioration, among other hazards. Desertification cannot happen without human intervention. (Source) Our landscape has already been ravaged by desertification. Nobody can forget…

How does climate affect our rural community?

Farmers in New Mexico have more recently seen increasing temperatures and decreased rainfall.  From what was already a region characterized by low rainfall and typically warm weather, the state (and the region for that matter) have more recently seen sharper and sharper decreases or rain1.  Because of this, the production of crops in the region…

Surface Water: An Uninhabitable Southwest

The Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs supply over 90,000 acres of New Mexican farmland with water. The water level of the two reservoirs has diminished significantly over past the sixteen-year drought and both reservoirs now stand at less than ten percent capacity. In an increasingly hotter and dryer Southwest, the drought doesn’t look like it will end…

Ground Water and Climate Change

Our ground water supply is limited, and very precious. Recently ground water supplies have seen anywhere from a dramatic drop to just a little less in their water supply, and the southwest has been hit particularly hard. Especially in older rural areas, water is their whole way of life. I’m interested in how the effects…

Climate Change and Garden Pests

Climate change is an ever looming threat in the desert Southwest. Climate change has increased the temperatures and time between rain events. We want to learn how to grow food for our families without using too much water and depleting our resources. The Desert Oasis Garden is a way to teach our community about growing…

The Rise of Wildfires in the Desert Southwest

Global climate change has impacted our planet in a variety of ways. One of these impacts has been the increased intensity and frequency of wildfires, which we have experienced in America’s Southwest. New Mexico and Arizona are states that are particularly vulnerable to the occurrence of fire, for a variety of reasons. For starters, the Southwest…

Arroyos and Flooding Under the Influence of Climate Change in NM

http://main.abqjournal.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/a01_jd_27july_flood3-1000×612.jpg “Ditches are deadly, stay away.” This phrase has been drilled into every New Mexican child’s head from the time they could understand words. Tales of La Llorona haunted our dreams and local flood authorities made sure to terrify us with horror stories of people being swept away in flash floods. Flash flooding has always…