Indentifying and Protecting Wildlife Corridors

Measuring the climate

Join CoCoRaHS and start documenting that rainfall, and see how your measurements compare to others in your area.  Sign up here:  CoCoRaHS – Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network.

Our climate is basically determined by temperatures and rainfall.  This is the basis for plant communities and wildlife habitats as well, but climate is not the “given” that it used to be.  All of the burning we do as the human racers, and we do a lot of burning, is changing those temperatures and rainfall amounts across the globe.

Here in the desert, our records, the trees, have shown that climate instability has been a common pattern; with periods of stability lasting only about 200 years at most.  But here is the more pertinent part: when we receive an inch per month of rain or snow melt, life – the trees, grasses and flowers, can bloom and grow.  Less than that and plants tend to go dormant.  That is the funny thing about the desert – when we get less than we need, life doesn’t die off, it goes dormant, ready to spring back when the rains return.  Most of the desert plants, and animals, are designed to live this way.  Humans on the other hand, don’t do so well with dormancy.  The larger mammals like us tend to migrate  to the water holes and mountain streams.  But even these “fall back” positions have been already compromised by the past hundred years of incredible human population growth in the deserts, as well as the introduction of vast numbers of domestic sheep and cattle.

Well, thats the situation here; so water is precious and getting even more so.


Comments on: "Measuring the climate" (1)

  1. The choice of snowfall on the Sandias for the banner photo is so appropo. Love it!

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