So far this month, New Mexicans have experienced record high temperatures, dangerous dust storms and wildfire evacuations. Saturday night, a haboob struck Las Cruces, and last Monday, six people died when a dust storm led to a 25-car accident on Interstate-10.
Already, summer temperatures in New Mexico are 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, an increasing number of fires of more than 1,000 acres have been burning in the western United States. The number of fires has grown, too, and the wildfire season has lengthened by about two months.
Already, New Mexico is vulnerable to drought and water scarcity. And as the region continues warming, New Mexicans will continue facing an increasing number of public health risks and conflicts. Wildfires and dust storms both have widespread air quality impacts, and in southern New Mexico, the coccidioides fungus found in desert soils can cause Valley Fever when inhaled.
Courtesy of NM Political Report