Coffee lovers now consume more than 2.25 billion cups a day, but climate change may increase the cost and harm the taste of this popular beverage--not to mention threaten the livelihoods of millions of small farmers.
From soybeans and sunflowers in North Dakota to cotton and winter wheat in Texas, large stretches of croplands in the U.S. Great Plains rely exclusively on rain. Those croplands are likely to face longer dry spells by mid-century.
Few things are more important to California’s water supply than the water content of the mountain snowpack at the start of the state’s warm season. In the latest round of our Climate Challenge game, experts and participants predicted the water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack on May 1, 2015. The answer was disturbingly low.
Strong evidence suggests that mountain areas are warming more quickly than lower elevations—with serious consequences for water supplies. But historical weather observations from mountain ranges are limited, leaving scientists with plenty of questions.
A new analysis suggests that in the winter following a La Niña, dryness in California often deepens into drought. Consistent with that pattern, California’s current drought began in 2011-12, during the second year of a La Niña episode.