Phoenix Confronts the Challenges of Inland Climate Change

Much attention has been paid recently to the challenges that a changing climate are bringing to coastal communities. But "inland empires" aren't immune. Phoenix's struggles with heat, drought, and violent winds are a presage of things to come.

"The nation's 13th-largest metropolitan area crams 4.3 million people into a low bowl in a hot desert, where horrific heat waves and windstorms visit it regularly," writes William deBuys in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. "And it depends on an improbable infrastructure to suck water from the distant (and dwindling) Colorado River."

"If the Gulf Coast's Hurricane Katrina and the Eastern Seaboard's Superstorm Sandy previewed how coastal cities can expect to fare as seas rise and storms strengthen, Phoenix — which also stands squarely in the cross hairs of climate change — pulls back the curtain on the future of inland empires. If you want a taste of the brutal new climate to come, look no further than the aptly named Valley of the Sun."

Full Story: Phoenix's too hot future

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