Tag: Drought

In Parched Southwest, Warm Spring Renews Threat of ‘Megadrought’

LOVELAND PASS, Colo. — Here at 12,000 feet on the Continental Divide, only vestiges of the winter snowpack remain, scattered white patches that have yet to melt and feed the upper Colorado River, 50 miles away. That’s normal for mid-June in the Rockies. What’s unusual this year is the speed at which the snow went. […]

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What a Week’s Disasters Tell Us About Climate and the Pandemic

It all served as a reminder that the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 325,000 people so far, is colliding with another global menace: a fast-heating planet that acutely threatens millions of people, especially the world’s poor. Climate change makes extreme weather events more frequent and more intense. Now, because of the pandemic, they come at […]

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The Sound of One Shrimp Snapping

Spring in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, in Northern California, is typically a natural symphony. Streams whoosh, swollen with winter rains, and birds — robins, sparrows, grosbeaks, woodpeckers and hawks — trill and chatter. But in 2011, a yearslong drought set in. By spring 2015, a local creek had dried up and the valley had gone […]

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Southwest Drought Rivals Those of Centuries Ago, Thanks to Climate Change

ALBUQUERQUE — A severe drought that has gripped the American Southwest since 2000 is as bad as or worse than long-lasting droughts in the region over the past 1,200 years, and climate change has helped make it that way, scientists said Thursday. The researchers described the current drought, which has helped intensify wildfire seasons and […]

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China Limited the Mekong’s Flow. Other Countries Suffered a Drought.

BANGKOK — As China was stricken by the coronavirus in late February, its foreign minister addressed a concerned crowd in Laos, where farmers and fishers across the Mekong River region were contending with the worst drought in living memory. His message: We feel your pain. The foreign minister, Wang Yi, said China was also suffering […]

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Has Australia Reached a Climate Tipping Point?

ImageBurned trees near Sarsfield, Australia, last month.Credit…James Ross/Agence France-Presse, via Pool/Afp Via Getty Images SYDNEY, Australia — Australia the untouchable bubble is no more. Only a few months ago, I joked with friends who had just returned from life in the northern hemisphere that, with the state of the world at that moment, our distance […]

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The Fires Are Out, but Australia’s Climate Disasters Aren’t Over

RAINBOW FLAT, Australia — Standing in thick mud between burned trees and a concrete slab where his house had been, Peter Ruprecht admitted that he was not sure how or when to rebuild. He was still dizzied by what Australia’s increasingly volatile climate had already delivered: first a drought, then a devastating bush fire, then […]

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To Survive Disaster, Plan for the Worst

Disaster relief works like this: There is a flood, a drought, an earthquake, a famine, an exodus of refugees. Reporters swarm in, broadcasting images of suffering. Humanitarian workers on the ground analyze who needs what relief and draw up plans. The government asks for help. The United Nations coordinates international pledges. Relief comes in — […]

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Damming the Lower Mekong, Devastating the Ways and Means of Life

NONG KHAI, Thailand — The water is so clear on the Mekong River in northeastern Thailand that the sunlight pierces through to the riverbed, transforming the waterway into a glinting, empty aquarium. It is beautiful but it means death. At this time of year in Thailand, this stretch of the world’s most productive river should […]

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The Plight of the Platypus

SYDNEY, Australia — Early on the morning of Dec. 27, Phoebe Meagher, a wildlife conservation officer at Taronga Zoo, set off on a rescue mission with colleagues from the zoo and academics from the University of New South Wales. Several platypuses were trapped in quickly shrinking bodies of water in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the […]

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Australia’s severe droughts driving platypuses towards extinction, study finds

SYDNEY, Australia – Platypuses are at risk of extinction due to Australia’s devastating droughts and other threats, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). An Australian platypus swims around in search for food at Taronga zoo in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, May 8, 2008. Scientists have mapped the genetic […]

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