Last winter’s drought-busting wet weather was a boon for reservoirs and parched landscapes, but not so much for some invasive species in San Francisco Bay, according to a long-term study by Tiburon-based researchers. All that fresh water that poured into the bay was bad news for certain invaders, which have turned up in droves in recent decades from around the world, often in ships’ ballast water.
The number of trees killed by bark beetles and severe drought in California reached a new high in the latest count, but foresters say a few more wet and cold winters like last year’s would make a big difference toward restoring forest health.
At a time of prolonged drought, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) has just released an overview of the Governor’s Water Solutions Conversation. The discussions, which came from a series of summer meetings, have the potential to transform the state’s water laws and influence negotiations about the future of the Colorado River basin for generations. But important issues are being left out of the discussion.
While researchers disagree on exactly how climate change will impact future precipitation in California, there is little doubt that it will change and that this will put increased pressure on the state’s water infrastructure. In fact, much of California’s infrastructure is not ready for the impacts of future climate change.
Major investors are increasingly on the lookout for water risks in their portfolio companies or across industries in which they may be invested. For instance, a savvy investor may be wary of buying stock in companies whose operations need more water than is readily accessible, like a food company depending on crops from drought stricken areas, or in companies that might be liable for tainting local water supplies – as has been alleged of oil and gas extraction companies, including those doing business in California.
Californians are beginning to wonder: Is the state heading back into a drought? While experts say it’s still too early in the winter rainy season to say for sure, the evidence is accumulating, and the rain is definitely not.
Tree deaths in California reached a record high this year with 129 million trees having perished since 2010 and 27 million of those having occurred since November 2016, according to the U.S. Forest Service this week. In 2016, 62 million trees in national forest lands died from drought conditions, according to the Forest Service.
Is it too early to mention the dreaded D-word? Maybe. After five years of drought — Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to the drought last April — it’s almost unthinkable to imagine we could return to critically dry conditions so soon.
California’s already towering Sierra Nevada summits rose to new heights during the drought, albeit by just a hair. A study by NASA scientists published Wednesday found that the granite peaks of the 400-mile range were pushed nearly an inch upward between 2011 and 2015, a phenomenon linked not only to known tectonic forces but the expansion of the land as it dried out and shed water weight.
The Sierra Nevada mountains grew nearly an inch taller during the recent drought and shrank by half an inch when water and snow returned to the area, according to new research from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. Researchers used 1,300 GPS stations throughout the mountain range to closely observe how its elevation changed during the drought.
It was bound to happen. In fact, my colleagues have planned for this. More on that later. On December 4th, the folks in the Climate Monitoring group at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) did what we do pretty much every 4th of the month: we processed the previous month’s data to prepare our initial US climate report. The data from Utqiaġvik, Alaska, was missing, which was odd. It was also missing for all of 2017 and the last few months of 2016.
While fire officials tell SCV residents they’re not out of the woods when it comes to brush fires, water officials are saying the SCV isn’t out of the woods when it comes to drought, either. Castaic Lake Water Agency board members are expected to receive an update on the status of Santa Clarita Valley’s water resources when they meet Wednesday night.
The Oroville Dam spillway crisis this past February is still under investigation – all sorts of investigations, including concerns about vegetation and cracking. Officials say the problems have been mitigated, plus, this water year might not be as wet as last.
Water conservation statewide dipped into single digits during October according to a report issued last week by the State Water Resources Control Board. … Locally, conservation was generally somewhat better than average.
Climate change is now a credit issue for city and state governments vulnerable to extreme weather events and natural disasters made worse by global warming. And that will make a complicated problem a lot easier for people to understand, because it could hit them where they feel it: in their wallets.
It’s official: 2017 is the deadliest and most destructive year on record for wildfires in California. Dry conditions, high temperatures, roaring winds and bone-dry trees and brush are all factors responsible for the devastation. But one underlying question is how much of a role has climate change played?
The worst drought in California’s history ended in April when Gov. Jerry Brown declared it officially over after an especially wet winter. But one city isn’t backing down on water conservation. Santa Monica, a progressive town on the Southern California coast, is proceeding as if the drought were still under way, and it still requires residents to meet water conservation targets.
While you slept snugly in your bed during last winter’s floods, chances are Michael Cockrell’s cellphone was keeping him awake with reports of rising rivers and levee failures. Cockrell, a 35-year veteran of the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services, announced last week that he has resigned from his post.
About 7,000 firefighters from 11 western states have poured into Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to try to contain the Thomas fire. Firefighting efforts have cost about $48 million. In the last week, helicopter crews alone have dumped 1.7 million gallons of water on the blaze. That’s enough water to fill roughly 70 backyard pools.