A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest

Paperback | May 8, 2013

byWilliam deBuys

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With its soaring azure sky and stark landscapes, the American Southwest is one of the most hauntingly beautiful regions on earth. Yet staggering population growth, combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, is driving the oasis-based society close to the brink of aDust-Bowl-scale catastrophe.In A Great Aridness, William deBuys paints a compelling picture of what the Southwest might look like when the heat turns up and the water runs out. This semi-arid land, vulnerable to water shortages, rising temperatures, wildfires, and a host of other environmental challenges, is poised to bear theheaviest consequences of global environmental change in the United States. Examining interrelated factors such as vanishing wildlife, forest die backs, and the over-allocation of the already stressed Colorado River - upon which nearly 30 million people depend - the author narrates the landscape'shistory - and future. He tells the inspiring stories of the climatologists and others who are helping untangle the complex, interlocking causes and effects of global warming. And while the fate of this region may seem at first blush to be of merely local interest, what happens in the Southwest,deBuys suggests, will provide a glimpse of what other mid-latitude arid lands worldwide - the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the Middle East - will experience in the coming years. Written with an elegance that recalls the prose of John McPhee and Wallace Stegner, A Great Aridness offers an unflinching look at the dramatic effects of climate change occurring right now in our own backyard.

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With its soaring azure sky and stark landscapes, the American Southwest is one of the most hauntingly beautiful regions on earth. Yet staggering population growth, combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, is driving the oasis-based society close to the brink of aDust-Bowl-scale catastrophe.In A Great Aridness, William ...

William deBuys is the author of seven books, including River of Traps: A New Mexico Mountain Life, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction in 1991; Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexico Mountain Range; The Walk (an excerpt of which won a Pus...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:May 8, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199974675

ISBN - 13:9780199974672

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: The Tracks at Cedar Springs1. Oracle: Global-Change-Type Drought2. High Blue: the Great Downshift of Dryness3. Sand Canyon: Vanishing Acts4. Janos: A Mirror in Time5. Lava Falls: The Blood of Oasis Civilization6. The Canal at River's End: Thirsty Arizona7. Highway 79 Revisited: "Mega" Trends in the Sun Corridor8. Apache Pass: Crossing the Line9. Mogollon Plateau: Fires Present and Future10. Mount Graham: the Biopolitics of Change11. Hawikku: The End at the BeginningNotesIndex