Written by Ted Hullar, Academy Village Volunteer
Southern Arizona is projected to experience continued temperature increases, longer and hotter summer heat waves, decreased average annual precipitation and decreased soil moisture. “So what!” you say. “How does that affect me?” A lot – and likely before we’re ready for it.
Gregg Garfin, a University of Arizona climatologist and co-convening lead author for the Southwest chapter in the 2014 National Climate Assessment, will discuss the effects of this continuing – possibly accelerating – climate change on the water supplies for Tucson and other Southwest communities, as well as projections of coming climate change impacts on Arizona’s forests, public health, and supply chains that affect commerce.
Garfin will kick off this year’s annual Sustainability Lecture Series at the Arizona Senior Academy on Thursday (March 19), beginning at 2:30 p.m. An associate professor in the UA’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Garfin’s research focuses on climate variability, drought, and adaptation to a changing climate.
Recent assessments of climate changes – including the 2014 National Climate Assessment and the 2013 Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States –find that in the Southwest the period since 1950 has been warmer than any 60-year period in the last 600 years.
Some Southwest states, cities, non-governmental organizations, and federal resource management agencies have begun planning counter-measures. Fundamentally, however, change must come in individual homes and communities. What can we do? This year’s Sustainability Lecture Series will provide some answers.
Garfin’s talk is the first in a three-part series. On March 26, Jonathan Overpeck, Co-Director of the UA’s Institute on the Environment, will speak on “Megadrought – Climate Change’s Knock-out Blow to the Southwest?” and on April 2, Joellen Russell, Associate Professor of Geosciences at the UA, will reveal “How the Antarctic is Helping Arizona Keep Its Cool.”