climate change

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Rainstorms grew more erratic and droughts much longer across most of the U.S. West over the past half-century as climate change warmed the planet. 

  

KNAU's Morning Rundown: Wednesday, March 31

Mar 31, 2021

Today is March 31 — declared Cesar Chavez Day by former President Barack Obama to commemorate the Arizona-born activist and labor rights organizer. Chavez, who was born near Yuma, co-founded what is now the United Farm Workers of America. Grandson Andres Chavez will discuss his grandfather’s work at a virtual event through Northern Arizona University.

Here are some of KNAU’s top morning headlines:

Jeffrey Glassberg, North America Butterfly Association

A study published in Science last week shows butterfly populations are declining by almost two percent a year in the Western U.S. The authors say that’s driven by climate change. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Matt Forister of the University of Nevada-Reno about the findings, which came from decades of community science data from the North American Butterfly Association.


Randall Babb / Arizona Game and Fish Department

Endangered fish in the Colorado River face multiple threats. Their survival is linked to the river’s temperature, which is altered both by climate change and by dams. A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey modeled those temperature changes and imagined a future in which water storage is either mostly in Lake Powell or mostly in Lake Mead. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Kimberly Dibble about what those different scenarios mean for native fish.


Victor Leshyk and Katharyn Duffy

A new study published last week shows Earth’s ecosystems are fast losing their ability to soak up extra carbon from the atmosphere. Scientists collected data about how plants take up carbon all over the globe and found the warming planet could reach a critical tipping point in the next two or three decades, when many ecosystems no longer act as “sinks” for carbon and become sources instead. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Katharyn Duffy of Northern Arizona University about her findings.

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