The rattling trumpet call of sandhill cranes echoed throughout the Rio Grande Valley in central New Mexico this February.
The flocks began to make their ascent into the sky, circling to gain altitude and then heading north. The cranes’ early departure – driven by climate change – reveals one of the many challenges of adapting to the reality of this new climate.
A recent study by Michael Dettinger, Bradley Udall and Aris Georgakakos, Western Water and Climate Change, analyzed four of the most iconic and endangered rivers in the West – the Colorado, the Rio Grande, the Klamath and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. It concluded that, “19th-century water law, 20th-century infrastructure and 21st-century population growth and climate change are on a collision course throughout the West.”