Alex Prud'homme's "The Ripple Effect" Excellent Summation of Western Drought/Drying Out, as NOAA Notes This Spring Was Warmest on Record, by 5 degrees!

So I’m continuing to read the tome (a word I rarely use) that is Alex Prud’homme’s The Ripple Effect, on the myriad water problems we face in the 21st century, and I’m up to the chapters on drought and the ongoing drying out of the climate (and the landscape) in the West. He has some excellent quotes and factoids, a brilliant chapter on the watering of Los Angeles, a city that qualifies for a desert landscape, as does Las Vegas, which has the dubious distinction of being the second driest city in the country, the only other major city dryer than it being Phoenix. About that city, here’s a quote:
“According to the National Weather Service, the average temperature of Phoenix has risen five degrees since 1960. . . . Signs indicate that Arizona forests, stressed by rising temperatures, are dying . . . . During a drought in 2002, the Rodeo-Chediski wildfires—the first started by an arsonist, the second by a stranded motorist—combined in central Arizona to scorch 467,000 acres, an area the size of Phoenix. Fed by high winds and tinderbox-dry woodlands, it was the worst forest fire in the state’s history.”
As I write, the forest fire in the Gila Wilderness in southern New Mexico is the worst fire in that state’s history. See a pattern here? Then comes this news today, that NOAA has noted that this spring was the warmest on record, by a whopping five degrees, here.
Meanwhile, life goes on, albeit hotter. Here’s a wren building a nest in the birdhouse outside my writing studio—which is a shed, actually, spruced up:

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