People, planet, and the path ahead

Climate Impacts and Adaptations

  • For water users on Colorado River, a mind-set of shared sacrifice

    A wet winter is easing water strains in the Southwest, but the longer-term outlook is generally hotter and drier. States now have that in mind in water bargaining.

  • Why solar panels bloom in Southwest's land of hydropower

    Electric utilities are seeking a new power mix, as shifts in precipitation diminish the role that dams have long played for western states.

  • First Look Spuds in space: We probably can grow Mars potatoes, says new study

    An experiment in Peru simulating conditions on Mars demonstrated that the hearty tubers can thrive even under the harsh conditions similar to those found on the Red Planet.

  • How water swaps help the West manage a precious resource

    Water markets are in many ways in their infancy. But the idea is a big one, potentially helping water flow to where it's most useful, and maintaining both farms and ecosystems.

  • America's biggest water users – farmers – learn to use less of it

    In the Southwest and beyond, irrigation technology and other steps such as planting 'cover crops' to enrich the soil are making a difference.

  • In arid Southwest, cities expand but use less water

    Phoenix reduced its residential water consumption in the past decade despite a 23 percent rise in population. Las Vegas recycles water from indoor drains and outdoor fountains.

  • West's challenge is still water scarcity, wet winter or not

    With climate change affecting water supplies already strained by urban growth, states in the Colorado River basin are being forced to innovate and adapt.

  • An Oroville message: As climate shifts, so will water strategies

    Safety concerns at the Oroville Dam center on engineering and maintenance. But dams also face new challenges in managing water in an era when rains can be heavier, and less precipitation is falling as snow. 

  • California gets rains, but drought still means fewer lawns in future

    Green grass is slowly losing ground as the archetypal landscape of Southern California. The populous region, adapting to a changing climate, will rely less on melting snowpack from afar.

  • Why drought-resistant farming could be a feminist act in Lesotho

    Parts of Africa face one of the worst droughts in a century. Alongside needed food aid, new farming methods may offer a longer-term response – and lighten domestic burdens for women.

  • How climate change threatens famed Amalfi Coast

    More-intense rains increase mudslide risks in a region known for its steep terrain. Possible responses include preserving lemon groves and testing an early-warning system.

  • Maine looks north, hoping to become a gateway to the Arctic

    As climate change raises the prospect of more open Arctic waters, Maine is hoping to take advantage, economically and culturally.

  • Cities enlist nature to tame rising flood risks

    Detroit, Philadelphia, and Houston are among the places investing in 'green infrastructure' that mimics wetlands. It can be cheaper than the alternative, given the threat posed by climate change.

  • ​Northeast Christmas tree farmers get drought in their stockings

    Drought has killed many young trees on farms across New England. Farmers are strugglng to adapt, by planting new varieties and considering drip irrigation systems.

  • Vietnam battles erosion of beaches – and of tourism

    Walking along Cua Dai is like visiting a beach-restoration technology exhibition, with efforts ranging from stone seawalls to fiber-and-sand wave breakers.

  • Feeling the burn: 2011-2015 was hottest five-year span on record, UN says

    A new UN report on rising global temperatures comes as members of the Paris Agreement are meeting at a climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco.

  • Cover Story How the western water wars may end

    A novel plan in Washington State overcomes old animosities and offers the region a way forward in era of global warming.