From Charlemagne to Climate Change: The current water woes of the American Southwest and its arid future

August 02, 2022

This is not a drill, or a far-flung fantasy; Southwestern US is facing a critical megadrought. The last two decades have been the driest since 800 CE, and pioneering studies by Columbia Scientists and other institutions have proven that the anthropogenic impact on the climate is a major contributing factor. The water level at the region's two largest reservoirs is at a record low, resulting in contention between seven states and millions of their residents for their diminishing share of hydroelectric power as well as agricultural and residential water demand. This is especially daunting in anticipation of the hottest period of the summer.

Please join this special session as Prof. Jason E. Smerdon, one of the authors of the recent groundbreaking article in Nature Climate Change about this megadrought discusses the unfolding crisis, its trajectory, its economic toll, and its impact on sustainability of life in the region.

Time will be allocated for Q&A.

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