Thursday, November 16, 2023

Farmers and ranchers in the Southwestern U.S. face challenges due to human-induced atmospheric warming


The American Southwest has always been a dry place — cue the romantic visions of hot, rugged, sun-bleached, seemingly infinite landscapes and star-filled night skies. And yet, the plants, animals and people of the Four Corners region (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona) have managed to adapt to and even flourish in the land of low rainfall and high temperatures. For centuries, Indigenous Puebloan communities practiced agriculture that is uniquely suited to and thus thrived in this dry environment. Then, when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s and introduced cattle, available forage was found suitable and abundant enough for grazing cattle and other livestock, leading to a dominance of ranching in the region.

However, the rising temperatures brought on by human-driven atmospheric warming are bringing big changes to agricultural life in the Southwest. According to a recent paper by researchers at UC Santa Barbara and UC Merced, “increased temperatures from human-caused climate change are having persistent and damaging impacts on vegetation productivity, with significant implications for ranchers and other land users in the region.”...more


Anonymous said...

The know nothings never give up on the rant that climate is influenced by human activities. They always concentrate on the USA but never on China and other great countries where you never see the sun.Drought in the SW is as common as rain is in the NE. If you think cattle and sheep grazing cause climate change how about then millions of buffalo roamed the central plains? Oh! they couldn't be blamed for anything except sustaining the prairie ecosystem. Now cattle and sheep sustain the human food chain....except for the vegans who think they are superior to everyone else. No society has ever existed in history that didn't use meat to some extent, either in the live form or dead. There just isn't enough energy in vegetation to sustain human life for very long. Our stomachs are not designed for that exclusive type of food.

Frank DuBois said...

thank you.