climate change

Ryan Heinsus

Fifty years ago today, an estimated 20 million people marched in the streets for the first national Earth Day. But this year’s celebration is taking place virtually because of the coronavirus disease. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Stefan Sommer, one of the organizers of Flagstaff’s Cyber Earth Day Celebration, about why he thinks it’s vital to stay focused on solving climate change in the midst of the pandemic.


A. Park Williams/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory via AP

A new study finds that much of the western United States is baking in what scientists call an emerging megadrought.

AP file photo

Data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows a dramatic plunge in gasoline use as people follow health recommendations to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Kevin Gurney of Northern Arizona University is tracking the data daily. He says it reveals the financial upheaval caused by the pandemic, but also could hold lessons for how to act on climate change. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Kevin Gurney about his findings.


U.S. Drought Monitor

In 2018 the Four Corners region suffered from an “exceptional” drought—the highest rating on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s scale. Water sources dried up and crops died, costing the U.S. economy 3 billion dollars. Scientists are now able to pinpoint how much of that drought was the result of climate change. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Emily Williams of the University of California-Santa Barbara, the lead author of the study.


Josh Langdon/Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center

When a warm storm front moves over a snow-capped mountain range, floods often follow. These events aren’t common on the Colorado Plateau, where winter precipitation usually falls as snow. But scientists say that’s going to change as the world continues to heat up. 


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