Here is another smoke-tinged sunset, seen from Placitas, New Mexico, on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Massive plumes of wildfire smoke across western states are common these days — one of the consequences of climate change, I am convinced. This smoke in New Mexico tonight apparently is from fires in northern California, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada. My little Canon Powershot couldn’t quite capture the intensity — or the eeriness — of the colors tonight. I thought it was an ugly view.
Here is a fire and smoke map from Sunday:
PBS tonight moved an earlier story (click here) on warming, drought, drying and climate change. It quotes John Fleck of the University of New Mexico.
“The word drought just doesn’t do it anymore,” Fleck said. “Drought implies a dry spell that ends with a wet spell. And climate change is fundamentally changing things… The landscape is drying out, the headwaters are drying out. It’s just a different world now with less water and warmer temperatures.”
Another quote from the story: “It’s one of the longest droughts that we’ve had in 100 years. The longest and the most severe,” said Brian Richter, president of Sustainable Waters. “It would have been bad even without climate change, but climate warming is accentuating it, it’s making it worse.”
New Mexico environment writer Laura Paskus has been telling us all this for some time, most recently in her book “At the Precipice. New Mexico’s changing climate.”
And here’s a recent story from Susan Montoya Bryan of The Associated Press: https://apnews.com/article/business-environment-and-nature-new-mexico-83bc326a75e427c4a4548a40da8cc489