The UA is an international leader in climate science, impacts and policy. We use paleoenvironmental techniques to reconstruct past climates and computer models to understand future conditions. We look at how patterns of drought and heatwaves change and cause water shortages, increase wildfire risks, reduce crop production and food security, threaten defense installations, and affect human health and ecosystems. We work with partners to deliver usable climate science and to create effective responses that help people focus on adaptation, resilience, and risk reduction in the face of climate change.
UA Media Release
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Arizona has been awarded $100,000 by the National Park Service to assess how environmental stressors such as flooding and extreme heat impact monuments, historic sites and other cultural resources in the American West.
Dr. Philip C. Rosen has studied conservation biology and community ecology of amphibians and reptiles in the American Southwest since 1983, focusing on reptile ecology, aquatic species, deserts, grasslands, and urban environments. He has specialized in ranid frog, kinosternid turtle, and gartersnake conservation and ecology, urban amphibian distribution, ecology and conservation, translocation, and long-term monitoring and research in population and community ecology of desert reptiles.
Seven Western states have agreed on a plan to manage the Colorado River amid a 19-year drought, voluntarily cutting their water use to prevent the federal government from imposing a mandatory squeeze on the supply. "It's a hard-to-put-together puzzle, all about sharing some burdens," said Sharon Megdal, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the UA. The plan builds on water conservation efforts that have, for example, kept Southern California water use relatively flat for decades despite a population boom.
On Feb. 14, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that El Niño officially arrived. Information from the UA's Climate Assessment for the Southwest's website is used to explain shifting jet stream patterns.
A 2016 study found that more than 450 plants and animals have undergone local extinctions due to climate change. If nothing is done, these species face the risk of becoming extinct at the global level. "If global warming continues, species that cannot change or move quickly enough may go globally extinct," said John Wiens, a researcher at the UA and the study's lead author.
Since 1982, some parts of the West have had a 41 percent reduction in the yearly maximum mass of snow, according to new UA-led research.