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US desert grassland collapse is linked to modifications within the Pacific Ocean



The Glass mountains within the northern tip of the Chihuahuan desert

Luc Novovitch/Alamy

For a lot of the twentieth century, growth and bust cycles of desert grasses within the US Southwest had been linked to long-term cycles of temperature within the Pacific Ocean. That hyperlink now seems to have been damaged, presumably as a result of local weather change. This might complicate efforts to revive grasslands that help biodiversity and grazing livestock.

The Chihuahuan desert extends from the US Southwest into Mexico over greater than 500,000 sq. kilometres. It comprises a number of the most biodiverse grasslands on …

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