‘Welcome to Hell’

 

Of our 46 summers in this part of southern Arizona, this one has been the worst (“What are we doing here?” HCN, 8/6/18). Gone are the rare days when the temperature hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit; now it’s seemingly endless weeks of 101, 103, even 106 degrees. Gone are the almost daily afternoon thunderstorms that left a quarter to a half-inch of rain. Now we have sudden, violent storms with high winds that pound us with an inch or more of precipitation, and then days of no rain at all. The humidity remains high, and our swamp cooler groans, apologizes and pumps wet air.

The flora and fauna have changed. With warmer winters, invasive species such as buffelgrass creep in. Bird species such as cactus wrens, poorwills, nighthawks and others have moved on, and I can’t remember the last time I heard a spadefoot toad. Here, the aquifer is still good, so that is not yet a problem. Awareness and regulations have cut water use in some cities such as Tucson, which continues to grow in population. But climate change is here. Welcome to Hell.

Nicholas J. Bleser
Tumacacori, Arizona

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