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Growing up in California's San Joaquin Valley, we spent our summer days at the community swimming pool and on the soccer field. Playing outside was one of the joys of growing up in a region where the days are warm, the grass is green and the sky is clear.

These days, elementary schools in the valley fly color-coded flags to alert parents of "bad air days" when their children should be kept indoors. Childhood fun in the valley is not what it used to be.

Global warming, by definition, impacts the entire planet. But warming will likely have differing impacts on different areas. What does that mean for the climate of the American West?

A report prepared by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council last month boiled the answer down to three words: hotter and drier.

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