I just got back from attending a conference in Los Angeles. Its gotten browner and less vibrant due to a years long drought. I checked with the shuttle driver who told me that they are in the middle of a drought and its lasted long enough for local governments to have implemented water regulations.
I know people in New Mexico who are trying to raise gardens while living under water restrictions. This particular drought has lasted something like 10 years. I know there are other places undergoing the same issues.
Did you know there are fewer Joshua Trees reproducing in Joshua Tree National Forest? According to a bite on the public radio station, the youngest Joshua trees are 30 to 40 years old. They think it might be due to climate change but climate change does not always result in a drought, it sometimes means that the window of heavy rain or snow changes.
For instance, in certain parts of Alaska, it has been noted that the heaviest part of winter is no longer in mid - January but has progressed later in the year. I just heard from a friend that they are finally getting their monsoon rains now instead of June. Since it is so late, it is causing problems with farming. In addition, the soil has time to dry out much more than normal and when the rains come the run-off has increased significantly.
If you every listen to the old timers, you'll hear them talk about changes. When I lived on Diomede, a small 2 miles square island in the Bering Sea, the elders talked about how the ice used to freeze solid enough for people to walk all the way to Wales. Wales is a small community about 20 or 25 miles away on the main part of Alaska.
I would say they might be right because their airport as not been available as long as it used to be. Their airport forms when the ocean water between Big and Little Diomede freezes to create a nice thick layer of ice. Last I heard instead of having the airport for 2 or 3 months, it was down to 1 month for plane service. For the rest of the year, everything is brought in by helicopter or if its too big, it comes in by the twice yearly barge.
Do you realize that if things continue this way, everyone may end up moving north where there is still enough water to do just about anything?