Four States Agricultural Exposition recap: Plan for an uncertain future

Cortez early 1900s via Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

From The Cortez Journal (Sean Dolan):

At a local level, Cortez adopted a conservation plan in November that seeks to reduce per capita water consumption from 200 gallons per day to 180 gallons per day. The plan includes metering water users and rebates for water-efficient appliances.

“Luckily, we had a great year this year, but if we have another couple of dry years, 2020 might be when it gets a little closer,” Padgett said. “But for right now, we’re fine.”

There might not be an immediate threat, but she said the variable hydrology and declining storage at Lake Powell pose real and immediate concerns. She said it’s best to take a proactive approach to planning to avoid getting into sticky situations.

“If we do fall out of compact compliance, it’s a pretty catastrophic event, so we always want to be prepared for that worst-case scenario,” Padgett said. “These recent droughts have really made everyone aware that we need to start planning more for that uncertain future.”

February 2019 ranked fifth hottest on record for the globe — @NOAA

From NOAA:

We recently concluded the second full month of 2019, and already the year to date has turned out on the warm side.

Steady warmth around the globe made February the fifth hottest on record. Seasonally, the period from December 2018 through February 2019 ranked fourth hottest on record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Here are more highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:

Climate by the numbers
February 2019

The average global temperature in February was 1.42 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 53.9 degrees, making it the fifth-hottest of any February in the 140-year record (1880-2019). Last month was also the 43rd consecutive February and the 410 consecutive month with global temperatures above average.

The year to date I January through February

The period from January through February of this year saw a global temperature that was 1.51 degrees F above the average of 53.8 degrees. This was the fourth highest YTD on record. Much of Australia, parts of northeastern Brazil, the Southern Ocean, East China and the Barents Seas and southeastern Pacific Ocean had a record hot YTD.

Season | December through February

The seasonal temperature for the period from December 2018 through February 2019 was 1.51 degrees F above the average of 53.8 degrees, which is the fourth highest for that period.

An annotated map of the world showing notable climate events that occurred in November 2018. For details, see the short bulleted list below in our story and an more details at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201902.

Other noteworthy global climate facts and stats

  • Polar sea-ice coverage remains smaller than average: Average Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) in February was 5.9 percent below the 1981–2010 average, the seventh smallest for February on record. While sea ice extent shrunk in the Bering Sea, sea ice expanded in the Barents Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. The Antarctic sea ice extent was 13.4 percent below average, the seventh smallest for February on record.
  • Balmy sea-surface temperatures: The average February sea-surface temperature was 1.26 degrees F above the average of 60.6 degrees – the second highest global ocean temperature for February on record.
  • Loveland: @Northern_Water Spring Water Users Meeting Tuesday, April 9, 2019

    Click here to read the agenda.

    Map of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project via Northern Water

    #NewMexico wants to opt out of lawsuit against “Waters of the US” rule #WOTUS #ActOnClimate

    New Mexico Lakes, Rivers and Water Resources via Geology.com.

    From the Associated Press via The Durango Herald:

    The New Mexico Environment Department wants to withdraw from a federal lawsuit challenging Obama-era protections for waterways and wetlands across the country.

    The department filed a motion Thursday, saying the positions taken in the lawsuit are inconsistent with its stance on proposed revisions to the water rule that were issued last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    The department says the proposed definition for waterways that would be protected under the rule would exclude most of New Mexico’s waters.

    Environment Secretary James Kenney says all water in New Mexico – from the Rio Grande to groundwater and seasonal streams – must be afforded legal protections.

    Combined with the effects of climate change, the state argues that New Mexico’s waters may become more intermittent and therefore even less protected under the proposed rule.

    2019 #COleg: Democrats in #Colorado Legislature make a move on #climatechange — The #ColoradoSprings Gazette

    Emissions trading is one example of a market-based solution to an environmental problem. Image credit: Arnold Paul/Gralo via Wikipedia.

    From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Joey Bunch):

    On Thursday, House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, and Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora, introduced a bill to authorize a state plan to curb carbon and “ensure that Colorado leads on climate action.”

    Meanwhile, the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee approved a bill backed by Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, to better collect and track data on emissions.

    “People in my district depend on clean land, water and air for their personal enjoyment and livelihood, but climate change is putting that at risk,” Donovan said in a statement. “This bill is an important step towards protecting our environment while ensuring that the businesses powering our local economies can continue to operate in the years ahead.”

    The Air Quality Control Commission would collect greenhouse gas emissions data statewide for a forecast that would come with recommendations to make reductions.

    The commission would have until July 1, 2020, to get the system in place.

    Senate Bill 19-096 is sponsored in the House by Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver.

    House Bill 19-1261, sponsored in the upper chamber by Sens. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Angela Williams, D-Denver, is aimed at creating jobs and spurring innovation while cutting air pollution, the sponsors said in a news release Thursday.

    Lawmakers could put goals to reduce carbon pollution into state law, and use new rules to get industry to reduce carbon emissions, as well.

    “Climate change is real,” Becker said in a statement. “It’s happening. And we have a moral and economic imperative to act now.

    “As a mother, a defender of clean air and water, and legislator, I am committed to ensuring our state is making responsible investments in our future and working to preserve our unique quality of life. I cannot think of a more important challenge for our state to tackle than climate change.”

    The Democrats listed impacts of climate change on Colorado: poor air quality, wildfires, drought, diminished snowpack and shallow rivers, all drains on the state’s tourism-dependent economy.