A walk in the woods with Cleverly and Fleck

SAN ACACIA, NM — When the weather heats up, James Cleverly’s instruments can detect the moisture coming off this little patch of woods alongside the Rio Grande.

Once the heat dries out the surface soil, the plants’ roots tap into deeper water, bringing it up and “transpiring” it through their leaves — essentially exhaling water, explained Cleverly, a University of New Mexico biologist.

Because the river and the nearby groundwater are closely linked, this ultimately means less water in the river.

The story Cleverly’s instruments are telling, scientists say, is increasingly important to understanding what will happen to water supplies in New Mexico and across the West in a warming world. …

Click here to keep reading John Fleck’s science column in the Albuquerque Journal.

Click or here for links to  studies by James Cleverly.  To visit John’s blog, jfleck at inkstain, click here.

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