Drought is a universally understood phenomenon — especially here in the arid Southwest. But what does drought really mean? To help define the term, and the concept, scientists use several commonly used drought indices. Each summarizes thousands of data points on rainfall and other information into a single handy number.
In late September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Summary for Policymakers for part-one of its massive Fifth Assessment Report. Its message? Earth's climate is warming, and human influence on that warming is clear.
In September, 2013, when hail damaged 5,000 pounds of tomatoes at Linley Dixon's southwest Colorado farm, she acted quickly. Facing the loss of $10,000 worth of produce, she rallied, via e-mail, a troupe of volunteers to pick every hail-spanked fruit off the fine.
A trip to Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico is a pilgrimage to see one of the greatest archaeological areas in the Southwest. While most visitors explore famed sites like Pueblo Bonito, lately they've been treated to an exciting - and unexpected - wildlife sighting.
The Colorado Plateau is endowed with a world-class collection of geological eye candy, like the Technicolor badlands of Arizona's Petrified Forest. But conflicts arise when some of that geology is useful for more than a grand view.
There's not a lot left of Flagstaff's old farming tradition. It's a surprise to many living here today. But, this community - at an elevation of 7,000 feet - with it's short growing season, unpredictable moisture and harsh winds, was a farming hub for some 80 years.