Insuring desert farms against heat-related losses is bad policy

Studies have repeatedly shown that federally subsidized crop insurance discourages farmers from updating their practices, tools, or strategies in ways that would help them adapt to climate change — but the federal government still subsidizes a whopping 62 percent of farmers’ insurance premiums.

Italian firm catches flack over water plan in rural New Mexico

A wealthy Italian family plans to pump groundwater out of rural New Mexico to supply 155,000 households in sprawling Albuquerque, 140 miles away. Local ranchers have criticized the plan, fearing that the $600 million project will deplete the ancient aquifer they depend on for their cattle and families.

With climate change, some U.S. regions will be short of irrigation water

By 2050, a number of U.S. water basins will begin to experience water shortages if there is no action to reduce greenhouse gases, says a team of MIT researchers. The study says several basins, particularly in the Southwest, will see their existing water shortages become "severely accentuated," says the MIT study, published in the journal Earth's Future.

Why you don’t see American pine nuts in stores

Faced with climate change and cheap competition from countries like China, the American pine nut trade shows no signs of recovery. Long a staple food for Native American tribes in the Southwest, including the Navajo and Apache, 8 million pounds of pine nuts were wild-harvested in 1942, from New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona.

Isolated wetlands important for clean water, researchers say

Geographically isolated wetlands, such as the prairie potholes of the upper Midwest and the playas of the Southwest, "play an outsized role in providing clean water and other environmental benefits," says Indiana University in describing...

Persistent drought in Plains, Southwest due to climate change

The Great Plains and U.S. Southwest, the hub of U.S. wheat and cattle production, will face persistent drought during the second half of this century that will be "worse than anything seen" and due primarily to climate change caused by humans, says a study by...

Even odds for a decade-long drought in Southwest

The chances of the U.S. Southwest suffering a decade-long drought are at least 50 percent, thanks to climate change, says a team of researchers.