- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Scientific American -
"A masterful portrait of how water shaped the American West. . . . Part detective story, part call to action, this book offers vital advice on how to fix the West's looming water crisis."
The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 186162. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.
Part I. Floods and Droughts in Living Memory
1. From Drought to Deluge: “Normal” Climate in the West
2. The 18611862 Floods: Lessons Lost
3. The Great Droughts of the Twentieth Century
4. Why Is Climate So Variable in the West?
Part II. A Climate History of the American West
5. Reading the Past: The Earth’s History Books
6. From Ice to Fire: Into the Holocene
7. The “Long Drought” of the Mid-Holocene
8. Ice Returns: The Neoglaciation
9. The Great “Medieval Drought”
10. The Little Ice Age: Megafloods and Climate Swings
11. Why Climate Changes: Cycles and Oscillations
Part III. A Growing Water Crisis
12. The Hydraulic Era: Salmon and Dams
13. Future Climate Change and the American West
14. What the Past Tells Us about Tomorrow