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Satellites Show Colorado River Basin Groundwater Shrinking Fast

July 29, 2014 - 11am

Groundwater depletion in the Colorado River Basin is occurring at a much faster rate than previously thought and likely will threaten the ability of the basin to meet future allocations, according to a recent study published in Geophysical Research Letters. The authors analyzed satellite data from 2004 to 2013 to estimate how much groundwater will be needed to supplement declining surface water resources, such as water from Lake Mead. They found that during this period of sustained drought, the region relied heavily on groundwater to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

Global Warming “Pause” No More than Natural Variability

July 29, 2014 - 11am

The recent “pause” in global temperatures is nothing more than a natural cooling fluctuation that occurs, on average, every 20 to 50 years, according to new research published in Geophysical Research Letters. The natural cooling of about 0.5 to 0.66 degrees F has largely masked the warming effects of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in a deceleration in rising temperatures since 1998. Preceding the natural cooling phase was a pre-pause warming event from 1992 to 1998, another natural fluctuation that occurs on average every 30 to 40 years.

Roadside Vegetation Could Store Large Amounts of Carbon

July 29, 2014 - 11am

Shrubs, grasses, and other plants alongside U.S. highways and federal roadways already capture enough carbon each year to void the emissions of 7.6 million cars, according to Climate Central. If these areas were planted with woody shrubs or trees set back from the roadside, or if they were mowed less frequently, they could be capturing even more carbon. New Mexico already has tested different plantings and techniques and has boosted roadside carbon capture from 35 to 350 percent over areas that weren’t actively managed.