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When it comes to the American Southwest, and New Mexico specifically, it is hard to think of anything more iconic than the New Mexico chile.
A seemingly perfect balance of sweetness, freshness, and heat, these unique chile peppers are so synonymous with New Mexico’s identity that the state offers a license plate adorned with Chiles, and visitors to the state will likely recognize the ristras, or ornamental strings of the dried peppers that adorn doorways throughout the Land of Enchantment.
While you might think that this high country crop is at home in the heat of the desert, the growing aridity in the region, along with exceptionally hot periods that are breaking historical records – driven by climate change – are stressing the peppers beyond the point of what they can handle.
In this episode of 2° Out West, we speak with scientists, policy experts, and green chile lovers to learn more about what the threat of climate change means for New Mexico’s most beloved crop.