Jonathan Overpeck
Jonathan Overpeck

Does climate change really matter for us in Arizona and the desert Southwest?  Is climate change really caused by human activity, or nature’s variability, or both?  Is it really true that a “mega-drought” is coming to the Southwest?  Or is it already here?  Bottom line: What can we do about any of this, really?

This presentation, the second in this year’s annual Academy Village Sustainability Lecture Series, will begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday (March 26), in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Great Room. It will cover climate in the news, digging into global change first.  We’ll cover some of the most critical issues (more heat, less water, more variability) and try to understand what we know well, and not so well.

Entitled “Mega-drought – Is This the Climate Change Knock-out Blow to the Southwest?” the talk’s presenter is Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist and founding co-director of the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, where he is a Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Professor and Regents Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences.  .

A big and looming issue is the drought that has plagued the Southwest for the past 15 years. What is a mega-drought, what causes it, what are its implications for us now and in the future?  How long will it last?  What can we do about it?

This talk will highlight main solutions for dealing with climate change and its impacts, and will aim at clearing up some of the major misunderstandings that crop up in media coverage and other discussions of climate variability and drought and climate change overall.

On April 2, Joellen Russell, Associate Professor of Geosciences at the UA, will conclude this year’s Sustainability Series with a talk entitled, “How the Antarctic is Helping Arizona Keep Its Cool.”

Written by Ted Hullar, Academy Village Volunteer


Can Arizona Survive a Decades-Long “Mega-drought”? March2015