The Amazon is likely to face continued warming in addition to possible multiyear droughts, a new study finds. "Resource managers may be planning for future droughts similar to those they have recently experienced — isolated seasonal dry periods lasting a few months," said Luke Parsons, a postdoctoral fellow at the UA and first author of the study.
According to climatologists at the UA, the state is in the grips of a 50-year drought, which is affecting the water supplies for the area's wildlife. A group of volunteers is trying to help by delivering thousands of gallons of water to wildlife in need.
Experts say drought and wildfires across the U.S. Southwest this summer are a preview of what's ahead in the decades to come. While climate change is already shrinking water resources in the Southwest, people shouldn't throw out the word "drought" completely, says Connie Woodhouse, a paleoclimatologist at the UA. It is important to recognize that even a drier future will contain variability. "We're going to have periods that are wetter, and we're going to have periods that are drier, within this baseline that almost certainly will be more arid."
Beneath some solar arrays, pollinator-friendly plants, fruits, vegetables and forage are cropping up in place of turfgrass or gravel. Greg Barron-Gafford, an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development at the UA, found that crops produced under solar panels needed half as much water as those grown in the open.