You are here: home   Blogs   The GOAT Blog   New podcast, all about drought
The GOAT Blog

New podcast, all about drought

Document Actions
Tip Jar Donation

Your donation supports independent non-profit journalism from High Country News.

Cally Carswell | Aug 29, 2012 09:11 AM

The latest edition of HCN's monthly podcast, West of 100is now available for your listening pleasure, and it covers something that's on everyone's mind this summer: drought. 

As of August, more than half of the country was experiencing at least moderate drought -- and in many places it was worse than that, with drought conditions that are considered severe, extreme, or exceptional. Huge corn crops in the Midwest won't even be harvested. The Mississippi River is being dredged to maintain a channel deep enough for barges. Here in Paonia, Colo., High Country News' hometown, irrigation season ended more than a month earlier than last year. 

West of 100 logoOf course, drought has always been a fact of Western life. But with the specter of climate change hanging over every extreme weather event these days, this year's drought, and the dry years that have preceded it, have people wondering: Is this normal? Is this the new normal? 

So for this edition of West of 100, we're going to take a look at droughts past, present and future. We're venturing a little out of HCN's normal territory, to West Texas, which shares some climatic similarities with the Southwest, and was similarly crushed by the 1950s drought. We'll hear an oral history of the 1950s drought in West Texas, part of the series "Life By The Drop," a joint reporting project of KUT and Texas Monthly. And we'll talk with Christopher Schwalm, lead author of a recent Nature Geoscience studyanalyzing the 2000 to 2004 drought in the American West and looking at where it sits along the spectrum of potential drier futures projected by global climate models. Spoiler: It ain't good. 

West of 100 is available via our RSS feed,, or subscribe for free through iTunes.

Cally Carswell is HCN's assistant editor. 

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  2. The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre | The species still struggles on both sides of the b...
  3. Recreation-related death toll soars this summer |
  4. Summer swimming in a Washington lake | A writer takes the plunge in frigid water.
  5. Colorado water users gird for first statewide plan |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  3. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  4. Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans | A native-born New Mexico Hispanic points out that ...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
More from Water
How much does a great monsoon season relieve drought?
How much water goes into your food? Growing everyday food items requires a surprising amount of water.
Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffers.
All Water
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone