Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feeling the heat in New Mexico

Santa Fe Reporter: ...Here in New Mexico, state officials are devising plans to cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions New Mexicans contribute to the atmosphere, scientists are saying water resources must be managed differently and activists are urging the fossil fuel industry to change the way it does business.

“A lot of people are concerned about sea level rise in coastal areas, which is obviously a very serious and legitimate concern, but I think that the kinds of problems we’re projecting here in New Mexico, in some ways are worse—and they are going to hit us faster,” Jim Norton, director of the Environment Protection Division within the New Mexico Environment Department, says.

Norton points to scientists’ projections that the southwestern United States will experience longer droughts. Longer droughts, combined with hotter temperatures, will cause greater evaporation—from soils and reservoirs—so the effects of the droughts will also be more severe. “You can argue,” he says, “that we’re going to get hit harder and faster than the coastal areas that get so much attention.”....

Photo of old US Highway 66 in Newkirk, New Mexico. Taken on October 25, 2003 at 4:30 PM local time by Joseph Houk, who has generously released the image into the public domain. Thank you, Joseph

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