Currently — June 8th, 2022

The weather, currently.

An excessive heat watch is in place for much of the deserts of the southwest and the California central valley for a multi-day heat wave that begins on Friday.

Las Vegas and Phoenix could see their highest temperatures of the season so far, with Nevada and Arizona deserts rising to 115 deg F (46.1 deg C).

The longer-range outlooks for the rest of the summer are beginning to look brutal. A multi-month excessive heat signal is beginning to show up, centered on Texas, the central plains states, and the Midwest — in addition to the ongoing hot summer that’s expected to continue for the West. That heat will likely exacerbate drought conditions across the Western US and encourage and eastward expansion of abnormally dry soil.

That means the story for the rest of summer is once again the same familiar pattern of extreme weather we’ve seen in previous years: hot, dry, wildfire, smoky West + hot, stormy, hurricane-y East. Currently meteorologists will be with you through it all.

—Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

Soil, the dirt beneath our feet, is not only holding life, but is alive itself.

And we’re running out of it. In fact, we’re in the middle of a soil crisis. According to the United Nations, by 2050, soil erosion could reduce up to 10 percent of crop yields, which is equivalent to taking away millions of acres of farmland.

And, due to climate change and improper farming practices, many places have already lost their topsoil — the surface soil where plants have a lot of their roots.

This loss of soil is significant; soil provides ecosystems, supports our food supply, carries biodiversity, and filters our drinking water. Soil also mitigates climate change, as it's one of the biggest absorbers of carbon dioxide, which combats global warming.

But there is work that can be done to save our soil, like incorporating regenerative agriculture practices — which has origins in Indigenous culture — rather than plowing.

For those of us who are not farmers, we can help by pushing for federal support of these more sustainable practices, from giving out soil subsidies to financially rewarding farmers who are using these regenerative techniques to keep the soil healthy.

— Aarohi Sheth