Southwest Climate Gap

Project Dates

The Southwest Climate Gap seeks to understand the relationship between climate and poverty in New Mexico and Arizona, a field that is known as climate justice research. How does the southwestern climate—especially heat/cold extremes and precipitation associated with El Niño—affect low-income populations and communities of color in the southwest? Phase I results on southern Arizona were published in Local Environments, 2016.

Phase II examines acute and chronic climate vulnerability to extreme climate events in southern New Mexico. During 2015-2016, the research team made four field trips to southern New Mexico, with the assistance of co-PI David DuBois. We conducted 20 interviews with 15 organizations that provide services to low-income populations. Project outputs will include a final report, presentation of preliminary results to New Mexico stakeholders, and an article in a peer-reviewed journal.

The SW Climate Gap project is part of a broader HEAT project in CLIMAS that aims to better characterize cascading effects of extreme heat events, and to document the planning and mitigation efforts under way.