PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2020 

Seven Democrats debate in South Carolina. And helping kelp forests off the West coast.

2020Talks - February 25, 2020 

Tonight's the last debate before the South Carolina primaries, but it's also the last before Super Tuesday, which includes California and its 494 delegates.

Many of Year's "Severe Weather Events" Familiar in NM

December 9, 2008

Albuquerque, NM - The Land of Enchantment didn't make it onto the list of "Top Ten Severe Weather Events of 2008," but things that did like wildfires, widespread tornadoes and heavy snowstorms are all very familiar to New Mexicans. This year's list was compiled by climate scientists and meteorologists around the country who also analyzed the events and weather patterns for potential connections to climate change.

Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, says New Mexico is very much at risk for the same type of wildfires California recently experienced.

"You get hot conditions and people say, 'Well, you know, we get hot and dry conditions anyway, so what does global warming matter?' What it does is, it really increases the risk of wildfire."

Trenberth adds that global warming adds more moisture to the atmosphere through increased evaporation, and that contributes to some of the big snowstorms that have been seen in the Rockies in recent years, and as far south as Silver City, in the southwest corner of the state.

"The fact there’s more moisture in the atmosphere means that you can actually get heavier snows as a consequence of global warming, especially at the beginning and end of the season."

He notes that the increase in moisture may also contribute to the increase in tornadoes seen in New Mexico and other parts of the country the past few years, although he says they're dependent on a number of factors and can't easily be linked to climate change.

The complete "Top 10 Severe Weather Events" list includes: Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, tornadoes, Midwest flooding (both in spring and summer), the Southeast drought, the California wildfires, Western snow, Colorado's heat wave, and the amount of Arctic Sea ice, which scientists say was measured at its second-lowest extent on record.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM