[T]he alkali flats that are emerging from [Mono] lake’s surface, ghost white, aren’t just another nod to the uniqueness of this ancient place. They’re a sign of trouble. Amid a third year of drought, the sprawling lake on the remote east side of the Sierra Nevada is sharply receding, and the small towns and wildlife so closely tied to the water are feeling the pinch. … The drought bearing down on Mono Lake and the rest of California picks up on a two-decade run of extreme warming and drying. It’s a product of the changing climate that has begun to profoundly reshape the landscape of the West and how people live within it.