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New Climate Report: Droughts, Heat Waves In U.S. West Linked To Humans

The most recent  U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is out. 

KJZZ spoke with one of the authors of the report about how climate change is affecting the U.S. West.

Hear Jessica Tierney's Interview With Host Lauren Gilger On The Show


Heat waves over the West, the continued depletion of the Colorado River Basin, and the second worst drought in the last 1,200 years — in the recent  IPCC report, experts say with increased confidence that these phenomena are linked to humans.

Associate professor Jessica Tierney with the University of Arizonas one of the lead authors for the report’s chapter on Water Cycle Changes.

"So for the first time climate scientists are making these links between the droughts that we’re seeing here in the western U.S. and climate change," Tierney said.

The report found that the droughts are tied to human activity.

"So in short, we have a lot more confidence that a lot of these extreme events are due to human influence," Tierney said.

She says she hopes governments, including local ones, read the report and take action.

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Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.