Taos warms and Facebook thrives: gleanings from New Mexico

Normal has become a tiny bit warmer in Taos, and across the Southwest

Meteorologists talk about “average.” What they mean is the average based on a 30-year record.

Every decade, this changes. The oldest decades gets cast aside, and the most recent decade added.

In this current recasting, average has shifted from 1980 to 2010 to the new time frame, 1990 to 2020, for calculating average. And that new average indicates more warming in the Taos area, as is true across the American Southwest.

The Taos Daily News explains that the average minimum temperature—the lowest temperature of the 24-hour period—for February increased 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the recalibration. Overall, the temperature in the Taos area increased 0.8 degrees.

If that doesn’t seem like much, there seems to have been outsized influence of the warming in the Rio Grande Basin. The basin includes a portion of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, where the river originates. Peak runoff is coming weeks earlier, a river guide tells the Taos News.

Facebook data center shows why New Mexico needs to continue its renewable energy policy

Whatever problems Mark Zuckerberg may have in sorting out Facebook’s role as an arbiter of public information, it has been a catalyst for strong economic development in New Mexico. That’s the gist of an article by two op/ed contributors in the Albuquerque Journal.

Construction of six data center buildings at Los Lunas, south of Albuquerque, has driven more than $1 billion in investment and led to development of renewable energy projects in six New Mexico counties considered economically distressed and will support 300 jobs once complete,” say Kenneth Eichwald, a commissioner in Sandoval County, and Kirstin Keller, executive director of the Middle Rio Grande Economic Development Association.

“Facebook’s commitment to powering its operations with renewable energy, coupled with New Mexico’s low cost of renewable energy, have encouraged Facebook to potentially expand operations in New Mexico,” they write.

This is from Big Pivots, an e-journal that tracks the energy and water transitions in Colorado and beyond. To subscribe, go to BigPivots.com.

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Allen Best