global warming

Earth Notes: The Four Corners’ Methane Problem

Sep 30, 2015

The San Juan River Basin has a rich human history, visible in places like the ancient pueblo ruins of Chaco Canyon. But it is different relict of a much older history, rooted late in the Age of Dinosaurs, that is drawing attention to the basin these days: methane gas.

Thousands of scientists worldwide are studying the environmental impact of climate change. But now, two professors of English are studying its emotional impact. SueEllen Campbell and John Calderazzo are co-directors of a climate change outreach and discussion group at Colorado State University. And, they recently visited Northern Arizona University to share this message about the Earth’s changing climate:

Sitting high and mainly dry, residents of the Colorado Plateau don’t have to worry about rising sea levels as the Earth’s climate warms. But in recent years parts of the plateau have experienced record warming and low moisture, damaging winter storms, and severe wildfires and flooding.

Whether these are short-term weather events, or signs of a longer-term change in climate, remains to be seen. But some in the region are already adapting to what they fear could be even greater impacts caused by an altered climate.