IGN 15-3 - Climate change and urbanization: Colliding threats to desert streams

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Nancy Grimm, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
It’s not just one driver of change that threatens desert streams. Rather, it’s the intersection of two drivers, and the feedbacks between them, that is urgent. The consumption of land for urban uses and the subsequent demand that the urban area and its residents place on water systems, compounded with reduced precipitation and more frequent and severe extreme events due to climate change, portend an existential threat to small aridland streams. Urbanization drives massive alteration of hydrologic systems to meet human demand; these alterations transform both small and large streams, rivers, and riparian zones.