Verde Valley AZ (June 7, 2012) – On June 18, 2012 from 2:00-3:30 p.m., Doctor Michael Crimmins of the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science will be presenting “Climate Change and Arizona: Past, Present and Future” at the Verde River Basin Partnership’s Quarterly Meeting being held in room 34 at Yavapai College Sedona Campus at 4215 Arts Village Drive in Sedona, AZ. The public is invited to this important presentation.
Dr. Crimmins provides climate science support to resource managers across Arizona. His extension and research work supports resource management across multiple sectors including rangelands, forests/wildfire and water resources as well as informing policy and decision makers. Dr. Crimmins also serves as a drought monitoring expert on the Arizona Governor’s Drought Management Task Force and has worked with counties across Arizona to implement drought preparedness and impact monitoring plans.
In discussing his presentation Dr. Crimmins stated: “Despite its notoriety as a dusty and dry place, Arizona possesses an exceptional diversity in landscapes and vegetation. Its dramatic topographic features and geographic position bring a range of temperatures and precipitation equivalent to the range experienced between Mexico and Canada. Two ‘wet’ seasons can bring precipitation in torrential downpours (summer monsoons) or light snow showers (winter storms) with major implications on how and where water important to plants is stored in soil. Longer-term cycles in Pacific Ocean temperatures can impact storm tracks across Arizona, bringing multi-year wet periods and long-term droughts. Major changes in the global climate system have been observed in recent decades that have directly impacted Arizona’s complex climate.” This presentation will explore historical patterns and mechanisms driving climate variability across Arizona and how they may be impacted in a changing climate.
This important presentation comes at a time when Arizona is in the midst of an extended drought. The Arizona Department of Water resources has indicated, “The current drought that began in the late 1990’s is cause for concern and continues to stress Arizona’s resources. However, proper planning for drought can greatly reduce its impacts…” The United States Drought Monitor for Arizona indicates that in February areas of Yavapai and Coconino counties were in a drought intensity of severe or moderate.
In 2003, only a few years into the present drought cycle, the United States Department of Interior issued the report ‘Water 2025.’ This report indicated that Arizona had the largest number of areas of potential water supply crises by 2025. Among the areas identified were the surface and groundwaters within the Verde River Basin. In the nine years since this report was issued the continuing drought has only highlighted the important role climate plays in sustaining water resources. Dr. Crimmins important presentation will help all to understand the important role the climate plays in the ever-changing demands on water resources.
The public is invited to attend this presentation at no cost. For additional information about the Verde River Basin Partnership please visit www.vrbp.org.