PNS Daily Newscast _ March 31, 2020 

Treasury and IRS say economic impact checks for COVID-19 to begin in next three weeks. And states deal with collision of coronavirus and homelessness.

2020Talks - March 31, 2020 

During the new coronavirus pandemic, many are advocating more mail-in ballots. Some say restricting voting by mail is one method of suppressing the vote.

USDA Report: Climate Change Real, Impacts in NM 'Less Than Enchanting'

May 28, 2008

Albuquerque, NM - It's going to take more than just 'cool heads' to prevail over climate change that's already happening in New Mexico and other Western states. A new federal government report released Tuesday says climate change is real, it's happening now, and the Land of Enchantment has already been affected.

Ecosystem researcher Steve Archer is one of the report authors, and he says New Mexico's landscape is extra-sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation.

"Projected climate changes will increase the sensitivity of arid lands to disturbances, such as fire, grazing and off-road vehicle use, and it will limit their ability to recover from these disturbances."

The report says the effects of climate change on New Mexico's livestock industry have already been seen. Between 2001 and 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture saw net income from livestock production in New Mexico fall by $279 million. While the report doesn't make any recommendations for reducing the pollution scientifically linked to climate change, it's expected the data will help shape future state and federal policy.

Governor Bill Richardson declared last year the "Year of Water." In the aftermath of that declaration, Tony Janetos, director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, says every year from now on may require the same focus on conserving precious natural resources.

"This is no longer just an issue of what might happen in the coming decades. Many of these are changes that are going on now, they're going on more rapidly than we might have anticipated."

The report estimates parts of the west could see average temperature increases of as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit. A separate 2007 study found that the Colorado River Basin, which includes New Mexico, is already the nation's fastest-warming region.

The report, "The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources and Biodiversity," is available online at

Eric Mack/Steve Powers, Public News Service - NM