Models project that extreme dust events combined with global warming could advance the spring thaw in the mountains of the Upper Colorado River Basin by as many as 6 weeks by 2050. The earlier disappearance of snow could amplify water disputes, extend the fire season, and stress aquatic ecosystems.
(VIDEO) Without a strong influence from El Niño or La Niña, the U.S. winter climate is less predictable. Based on recent trends, however, drought is likely to develop in the Southwest and Southeast over the 2013-14 winter.
Nearly ten percent of U.S. watersheds are living beyond their means when it comes to their water supply. For nearly half the country, water stress is projected to worsen by mid-century because of climate change, according to a recent NOAA-funded analysis.