I began this story with a description of my first geological field trip to Pyramid Lake. Since then, I have revisited the Great Basin many times but it was only three years ago that it dawned on me that the records kept in the world’s closed basin lakes might offer guidance regarding how water availability in the Earth’s dry lands will change as fossil fuel CO2 warms our planet. Currently, 40% of the world’s grains are produced on irrigated land. Much of the water supporting this growth is pumped from underlying aquifers. Even in the absence of climate change,...

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