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Environmental variability and global change are discussed more and more frequently in news articles and programs as the general public becomes increasingly aware of the rapid environmental transformations taking place around the world. The Institute of the Environment produces general interest articles about current UA research relevant to the environment, spotlights that chronicle the work of IoE faculty, and other articles, including a series on drought in the Southwest. The most recent articles are listed below. Older articles and links to UA News press releases also are available in the News Archive.

Latest Updates

January 23, 2015

Seasonal outlooks for the Southwest predict above-average precipitation through the winter and into early spring.

January 22, 2015
The Arizona Republic

Neither rain nor snow nor even the presence of El Niño will provide relief any time soon from the drought Arizona is experiencing. Mike Crimmins, an associate professor and climate science extension specialist at the UA, said heavy rains have helped, but even that depends on what part of the state you're talking about. "We need good consistent rainfall from one season to the next," Crimmins said.

January 21, 2015

Researchers discuss the state of the climate in 2014, including the record year for Arizona and the near-record year for New Mexico. They also talk about weather systems that affected our most recent temperature and precipitation patterns, the ongoing uncertainty with El Niño, and the state of precipitation and drought in the Southwest.

January 16, 2015
USA Today

Federal scientists announce that 2014 was the hottest year on record, and human emissions of greenhouse gases are "causing the bulk of this warming" trend, says UA scientist Jonathan Overpeck.

January 14, 2015
The New York Times

The world's oceans are now rising far faster than they did in the past, a new study says. The current sea level rise rate, which started in 1990, is 2.5 times faster than it was from 1900 to 1990, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. "The implications are troubling: Accelerated ocean warming, ice sheet collapse and sea level rise all point to more and more sea level rise in the future, perhaps at a faster rate than previously thought," said Jonathan Overpeck, co-director of the UA's Institute of the Environment.

January 13, 2015

About 98 percent of California continues to remain at some level of drought, and it will take an inordinate amount of precipitation to change that. UA scientist Valerie Trouet emphasized that "the increasing temperatures in recent years have contributed" to the drought's extreme nature. It's a problem, added the UA's Jonathan Overpeck, that's only going to become more intense as climate change worsens. Temperature "has a big role to play in droughts of the past and will probably have a bigger role in droughts in the future, making them more severe," Overpeck said.

January 4, 2015
NBC News

California and Arizona will likely see 2014 go down as their warmest years on record, reflecting high temperatures that dry out soils and melt snowpack faster than a drought would by itself. "If this winter proves drier than usual" for either California or the greater Southwest, said Jonathan Overpeck, director of the UA's Institute of the Environment, "then expect much greater pain and recognition of the role that climate change is playing in drying out critical portions of our nation."

January 2, 2015
Arizona Daily Star

Gregg Garfin, a UA climate scientist, said 2014's record warm temperature in Tucson, which matched the global record warm temperature for the past year, "certainly seems consistent" with projections that UA scientists and others have made for future global warming. Four of Tucson's six warmest years on record, including 2014, have occurred in the past six years.

January 2, 2015
The Arizona Republic

In an op-ed piece, Sharon Megdal, director of the UA's Water Resources Research Center, discusses Arizona's water-use options in light of a challenging future.

December 23, 2014

New research reveals coral shows signs of global warming, providing a clear visual record of climate change. Researchers from the UA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research examined chemical changes in coral, allowing investigators to read a record of trade winds in the Pacific Ocean. The finding supports the theory that strong Pacific trade winds are helping prevent global temperatures from climbing.