Topic: Climate Change

Overview

Climate Change

Climate change involves natural and man-made changes to weather patterns that occur over millions of years or over decades.

In the past 150 years, human industrial activity has accelerated the rate of change in the climate due to the increase in greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide). Scientific studies describing this climate change continue to be produced and its expected impacts continue to be assessed.

In California, the California Environmental Protection Agency has found temperatures have risen by about 1.5 degrees since 1895. Looking ahead, temperatures could rise by 2.7 degrees and its sea levels by 55 inches in the next 40 years, according to the California Energy Commission and the California Natural Resources Agency. These are among the ongoing issues the state faces as it grapples with climate change.

Already, California is confronting rising demand for water and diminishing supplies. At the same time, the state’s water infrastructure such as levees is increasingly aging and in disrepair—conditions expected to be made worse by climate change.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California’s future: More big droughts and floods, study finds

The extreme weather swings experienced by Californians the past six years — a historic drought followed by drenching winter storms that caused $100 million in damage to San Jose and wrecked the spillway at Oroville Dam — will become the norm over coming generations, a new study has found.

Aquafornia news Brookings

Commentary: Why the climate challenge needs congressional action

President Trump has aimed to undo much of the Obama administration’s policy on energy and climate. … One could argue that any of the leading candidates in the 2016 Republican primary would have taken similar actions in the climate and energy space. What is needed now, we argue, is momentum toward bipartisan climate legislation in Congress that could outlast the back-and-forth on regulations.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate change will make California’s drought-flood cycle more volatile, study finds

Californians should expect more dramatic swings between dry and wet years as the climate warms, according to a new study that found it likely that the state will be hit by devastating, widespread flooding in coming decades.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

2,000 new trees for San Francisco — and less carbon in the air, too

San Francisco officials are beginning to chart an ambitious course to sharply curtail the city’s carbon emissions over the next three decades. The first step: planting more trees — a lot of them.

Aquafornia news Oceans Deeply

Seabirds aren’t keeping pace with climate change, scientists warn

From oil spills to rat-infested nesting sites to fishing nets, seabirds have long faced a wide range of threats to their survival. One study of monitored populations found a 70 percent drop in their numbers since 1950. More recently, climate change has added another challenge for seabirds: As global warming accelerates, they’re increasingly out of sync with their prey.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Can dirt save the earth?

In 2007, at Jeff Creque’s behest, John Wick got in touch with Whendee Silver, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Letting cows graze on his property had certainly made the land look healthier, he told Silver. But he and Creque wanted to know: Had it put carbon in the ground? And if so, was it possible to measure how much?

Tour Dan Scott

Lower Colorado River Tour 2018
Field Trip (past) April 11-13

Lower Colorado River Tour participants at Hoover Dam.

We explored the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs was the focus of this tour.

Hampton Inn Tropicana
4975 Dean Martin Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89118
Aquafornia news The New York Times

Climate change denialists say polar bears are fine. Scientists are pushing back.

Furry, button-nosed and dependent on sea ice for their survival, polar bears have long been poster animals for climate change. But at a time when established climate science is being questioned at the highest levels of government, climate denialists are turning the charismatic bears to their own uses, capitalizing on their symbolic heft to spread doubts about the threat of global warming.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California’s nearly dismal snow year a harbinger of things to come

Californians may collectively be breathing a sigh of relief, but not elation, this week, after the state’s latest snowpack reading. A wet and cold March saved California from a near record-low snowpack, but it proved too little too late to bring a full recovery. And worse, climate scientists say we should start getting used to these low snowpack years.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

5 plants and animals utterly confused by climate change

Every year, as the seasons change, a complex ballet unfolds around the world. Trees in the Northern Hemisphere leaf out in the spring as frost recedes. Caterpillars hatch to gorge on leaves. Bees and butterflies emerge to pollinate flowers.

Announcement

Learn What New Tree-Ring Studies Reveal about Drought Patterns in Southern California
Also hear about efforts to improve weather forecasting, drought preparedness at April 19th workshop in San Pedro

University of Arizona research professor removes tree core sample from bigcone Douglas fir tree.Learn what new tree-ring studies in Southern California watersheds reveal about drought, hear about efforts to improve subseasonal to seasonal weather forecasting and get the latest on climate change impacts that will alter drought vulnerability in the future.

At our Paleo Drought Workshop on April 19th in San Pedro, you will hear from experts at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of Arizona and California Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news High Country News

Flurry of research illuminates snow’s foes

Depending on where in the West you are, this winter was either a winner or a big bust: Montana, for example, is swathed in snow while parts of the Southwest are dismally bare. As of late March, the Upper Colorado River Basin snowpack was well below average.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Ocean Beach sand transfers will disrupt San Francisco traffic on Great Highway

For the next two months, swaths of Ocean Beach in San Francisco will bear a certain resemblance to a life-size playground sandbox. Each weekday through the end of May, bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks will dig up and ferry 75,000 tons of sand south from the beach’s northern shores in an effort to temporarily replenish precious coastline lost to the forces of nature and accelerated by the effect of climate change.

Announcement

Learn About Efforts to Improve Weather Forecasting at San Pedro Drought Workshop
Agenda for April 19 event just posted; check out other topics, speakers

Dramatic swings in weather patterns over the past few years in California are stark reminders of climate variability and regional vulnerability. Alternating years of drought and intense rain events make long-term planning for storing and distributing water a challenging task.

Current weather forecasting capabilities provide details for short time horizons. Attend the Paleo Drought Workshop in San Pedro on April 19 to learn more about research efforts to improve sub-seasonal to seasonal precipitation forecasting, known as S2S, and how those models could provide more useful weather scenarios for resource managers.

Aquafornia news Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting

What on Earth? Why climate change skeptics are backing geoengineering

Next week, a Silicon Valley engineer plans to head out on a snowmobile from Barrow, on the northern tip of Alaska, to sprinkle reflective sand on a patch of Arctic sea ice to try to stop it from melting. It’s part of a journey that began in 2006, after Leslie Field watched the climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and felt like she’d been “hit by a big fat truck.”

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Big Oil lawyer emphasizes climate change ‘uncertainties’ in wonky court tutorial

In an unprecedented “tutorial” before a federal judge Wednesday, a lawyer for a major U.S. oil company accepted the scientific consensus that humans are the primary cause of global climate change. But he also emphasized uncertainties about future impacts, while deflecting industry responsibility. … Wednesday’s hearing was videotaped, and may be viewable by Thursday at the court’s website, http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/home.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Buried, altered, silenced: 4 ways government climate information has changed since Trump took office

After Donald Trump won the presidential election, hundreds of volunteers around the U.S. came together to “rescue” federal data on climate change, thought to be at risk under the new administration. “Guerilla archivists,” including ourselves, gathered to archive federal websites and preserve scientific data.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Judge holds climate change class in suits against big oil

A federal judge presiding over lawsuits that accuse big oil companies of lying about global warming to protect their profits is turning his courtroom into a classroom in what could be the first hearing to study the science of climate change.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

On trial for causing climate change, oil companies don’t plan to deny it’s happening

A federal judge in San Francisco Wednesday will preside over the nation’s first-ever court hearing on the science of climate change, but don’t expect it to be a “Scopes Trial” for global warming research. The hearing stems from a state lawsuit that San Francisco and Oakland filed against the world’s biggest oil companies for their greenhouse gas emissions.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Climate scientist Ben Santer battles ‘trickle down ignorance’

Ben Santer has clung to sheer granite walls. He’s hoisted himself onto narrow ledges. He’s inched his way to survival out of a deep, dark and deadly crevasse. Decades of stressful high-stakes mountaineering have prepared the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist for his latest perilous challenge: refuting the Trump Administration’s denial of climate change.

Aquafornia news NPR

FEMA drops ‘climate change’ from its strategic plan

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government’s first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner: Can competitors, climate activists dial that back?

Look out, cowboy. Climate change campaigners are coming for your burger business. So are mushroom growers, Silicon Valley investors and the billionaire Bill Gates. … But the cattle industry is not going down without a fight.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Study on Arctic warmth and winter weather across the U.S. draws heated debate

Those severe winter storms that have been plaguing the East Coast might be linked to a rapidly warming Arctic, according to a new study on Arctic temperatures and extreme weather in a dozen U.S. cities. While the findings published in the journal Nature Communications build on earlier studies that have looked into this connection, they drew criticism from other researchers who questioned some aspects of the work.

Announcement

Improve Drought Preparedness By Digging into the Past at April 19th Workshop in San Pedro
Learn new details about historic droughts in Southern California watersheds and how they provide insight on water management today

Cracked dirt as in a droughtCalifornia’s 2012-2016 drought revealed vulnerabilities for water users throughout the state, and the long-term record suggests more challenges may lie ahead.  

An April 19 workshop in San Pedro will highlight new information about drought durations in Southern California watersheds dating back centuries.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Government is nearly done with major report on climate change

The U.S. National Academies on Monday released a public peer review of a draft document called the U.S. National Climate Assessment, a legally required report that is being produced by the federal Global Change Research Program.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

First rising tides, now sinking shores: Study finds new trouble for Bay Area

A study published Wednesday finds that flooding along San Francisco Bay could become far worse — sometimes twice as bad as current models suggest — because much of the bayfront is slipping downward at the same time that global warming is driving ocean levels upward.

Aquafornia news Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard

‘Climate kids’ lawsuit against U.S. government cleared for trial

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday unanimously rejected the government’s request for an order that would have directed a judge to dismiss a climate lawsuit filed by 21 youths ages 10 to 21, along with well-known climate scientist James Hanson.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Hatchery-raised salmon released into Sierra creek to save endangered species

Seeking to stave off the extinction of a storied species, state and federal wildlife officials are releasing 200,000 hatchery-raised salmon into a restored High Sierra creek where once-magnificent winter runs were wiped out over the past century.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

New study: SFO, Foster City, other San Francisco Bay areas are sinking

Major parts of San Francisco Bay’s shoreline are slowly sinking, a new scientific study has found, dramatically increasing the risk of billions of dollars of flooding in the coming decades as sea level rise continues due to climate change.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Federal court will hold first-ever hearing on climate change science

A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered parties in a landmark global warming lawsuit to hold what could be the first-ever U.S. court hearing on the science of climate change.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

To feed the nation, California farmers must adapt to a warming climate, study says

Heat waves, droughts and floods are climate trends that will force California farmers to change some practices — including what they grow — to continue producing yields that historically have fed people nationwide, a new study by the University of California says.

Aquafornia news E&E News

EPA: Top science adviser uncertain about human role in warming

The head of U.S. EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board today said he wasn’t sure if man-made emissions of greenhouse gases were causing climate change. “I really don’t know,” SAB Chairman Michael Honeycutt told E&E News. “I haven’t studied that,” he said along the sidelines of the American Chemistry Council’s GlobalChem conference.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

These communities sued Big Oil over climate change; then the backlash began

If you live in a city or county that sues oil companies over climate change, prepare for a blowback. ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel giants are taking legal action against such local governments, seeking to undermine a key part of their finances — their relationship with lenders.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tahoe faces wild swings in snowfall. Here’s what resorts are doing about it.

Despite last week’s heavy snowfall, Tahoe ski resorts know they can’t predict how strong each winter will be. They suffered through drought years earlier this decade.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California agriculture at risk due to climate change, scientists say

Over the past decade, California farmers have been seeing symptoms of climate change in their fields and orchards: less winter chill, crops blooming earlier, more heat waves and years of drought when the state baked in record temperatures. Scientists say California agriculture will face much bigger and more severe impacts due to climate change in the coming decades.

Aquafornia news High Country News

A shrinking supply of abalone shells affects coastal tribes

he earrings are only a couple of inches long, but the masterfully carved salmon look like they’ve leaped from the water to whisper in the wearer’s ear. Their glowing red hues and iridescent opalescence caress the eye. These colors occur naturally in the medium in which Leah Mata, a Northern Chumash artist, works: the shells of the red abalone, or Haliotis rufescens.

Aquafornia news NPR

Scientists predict king penguins face major threats due to climate change

Seventy percent of the world’s king penguin population could face threats to its habitat by the end of this century, according to a new scientific model.

Foundation Event University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
Event included optional Delta Tour

One of our most popular events, Water 101 details the history, geography, legal and political facets of water in California as well as hot topics currently facing the state.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the one-day workshop gives attendees a deeper understanding of the state’s most precious natural resource.

McGeorge School of Law
3285 5th Ave, Classroom C
Sacramento, CA 95817
Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Wanted: ‘Citizen scientists’ to help count Joshua trees

They are enduring symbols of the vast Mojave Desert, but Joshua trees don’t grow everywhere. Even here in the Grapevine Mesa Joshua Tree Forest, a National Natural Landmark since 1967, you can see where the trees thin out and stop as the land rises sharply to the east.

Aquafornia news NPR

New report finds climate change could take a $1 billion bite from winter sports

It’s been a painfully slow start to the ski season in the Western U.S. Some places have seen record warm temperatures and record low snowfall, prompting resorts to open late. … And all this means an economic hit.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

What land will be underwater in 20 years? Figuring it out could be lucrative.

In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers. But first, Xebec had a question: What were the odds that the sites it was considering might be underwater in 10 or 20 years?

Aquafornia news The New York Times

How six Americans changed their minds about global warming

The Rev. Richard Cizik used to believe climate change was a myth. The science had to be rigged, he thought; those who believed in it were just tree-huggers. But in 2002, a friend convinced Mr. Cizik to go to a conference about climate change, and there, he said, “the scales came off my eyes.”

Aquafornia news AccuWeather

Ski economy could suffer as shorter winter seasons are expected by 2050, study says

A recent study has found that virtually all United States-based winter recreation locations could experience shorter ski seasons, exceeding 50 percent by 2050 and 80 percent in 2090 for some downhill skiing destinations.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Snow-covered beaches? Chilly iguanas? They are part of a mysterious ‘hole’ in global warming.

Recent winters have delivered a bitter chill to the Southeast, reinforcing attitudes among some that global warming is a fraud. But according to a scientific study published this month, the Southeast’s colder winter weather is part of an isolated trend, linked to a more wavy pattern in the jet stream that crosses North America.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Risk of disastrous heat, floods and fire skyrockets with warming, Stanford prof finds

The extreme weather that brought record floods and ruinous wildfires to the United States in the past year is just a taste of what’s to come, new research out of Stanford University shows.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

February has been bone dry. Has drought returned to California?

Weather experts spent much of this winter cautiously optimistic. There were still weeks to go in the wet season and the reservoirs were full, thanks to last winter’s near record-breaking rain and snow. Now, even the professionals are getting more than a little nervous.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Satellites show warming is accelerating sea level rise

Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are speeding up the already fast pace of sea level rise, new satellite research shows.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco residents support big bond to fix seawall, poll finds

Nearly three-quarters of San Francisco voters would support a bond measure of up to $500 million to improve the city’s disintegrating seawall, a piece of infrastructure that is largely unseen but that experts say is of vital importance in protecting the city against major earthquakes as well as sea level rise.

‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge’, Climate Change and the Future of California’s Water
Western Water Q&A: Climate scientist Daniel Swain

Daniel SwainEvery day, people flock to Daniel Swain’s social media platforms to find out the latest news and insight about California’s notoriously unpredictable weather. Swain, a climate scientist at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, famously coined the term “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” in December 2013 to describe the large, formidable high-pressure mass that was parked over the West Coast during winter and diverted storms away from California, intensifying the drought.

Swain’s research focuses on atmospheric processes that cause droughts and floods, along with the changing character of extreme weather events in a warming world. A lifelong Californian and alumnus of University of California, Davis, and Stanford University, Swain is best known for the widely read Weather West blog, which provides unique perspectives on weather and climate in California and the western United States. In a recent interview with Western Water, he talked about the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, its potential long-term impact on California weather, and what may lie ahead for the state’s water supply. 

Aquafornia news Western Water

Q&A: ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge’, climate change and the future of California’s water

Every day, people flock to Daniel Swain’s social media platforms to find out the latest news and insight about California’s notoriously unpredictable weather. Swain, a climate scientist at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, famously coined the term “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” in December 2013 to describe the large, formidable high-pressure mass that was parked over the West Coast during winter and diverted storms away from California, intensifying the drought.

Aquafornia news NPR

Ice Age forest long buried in Gulf of Mexico offers climate change clues

About 10 miles off the Alabama coast, Ben Raines falls gently backwards from a boat into the Gulf of Mexico, a scuba tank strapped to his back and handsaw on his belt. He’s on a mission to collect cypress samples from 60-feet below. “We’re going to cut some pieces as if we were in a forest on land,” says Raines, an environmental reporter with AL.com.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Water forecast is bleak for major reservoir in Southwest US

Lake Powell, which straddles Utah and Arizona, is expected to get 47 percent of its average inflow because of scant snow in the mountains that feed the Colorado River, said Greg Smith, a hydrologist with the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Could oil firms be forced to pay for climate change? California cities hope so.

The Bay Area city of Richmond recently made an unlikely move that got the attention of its largest employer and taxpayer, Chevron. It followed other municipalities and counties across California that have filed lawsuits against oil companies, alleging that the energy giants knowingly contributed to climate change and should begin paying for it. Literally.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Q&A: Robin Bell doesn’t think science should be political

Last year, you began your tenure as the president-elect of the American Geophysical Union, a global organization of earth and space scientists who work on ensuring a sustainable future. Do you feel as if we’re at a crossroads for climate change?

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Floods are getting worse, and 2,500 chemical sites lie in the water’s path

Anchored in flood-prone areas in every American state are more than 2,500 sites that handle toxic chemicals, a New York Times analysis of federal floodplain and industrial data shows. About 1,400 are located in areas at highest risk of flooding.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California bakes as winter temperatures set new records across state

Unseasonably warm and dry temperatures blanketed California over the weekend, shattering records across the state and bringing clear blue skies that were expected to linger through next weekend. … Experts expect extreme weather to become the norm in the state as the climate changes and global temperatures rise.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

How a skeptical rancher in rural California embraced green-friendly farming — with help from a popular outdoors brand

Lani Estill’s family ranches on thousands of acres in Modoc County on the border of Nevada and California. Her operation, Bare Ranch, sits in a place called Surprise Valley. It’s a beautiful almost forgotten place “Where the West still lives” — that’s the county’s motto.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Winter heat wave bakes the Southwest, bringing renewed drought worries

For [Celeste] Cantú, who has managed water agencies for more than two decades, the extraordinary winter heat is also a stark reminder of how the warming climate is compounding the strains on water supplies in the West. … The amount of snow on the ground is also far below average across the Colorado River Basin, where a 17-year run of mostly dry years has left reservoirs at alarmingly low levels.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Rafael selected as study city for sea-level rise

San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood has been selected as one of 10 Bay Area sites to get attention from a phalanx of architects, urban planners and environmentalists as part of a competition to battle sea-level rise. Fueled by an almost $5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, teams have been formed to tackle what researchers say is inevitable flooding brought on by climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Following devastating wildfires, governor will examine forestry policies

A new task force of scientists and forestry experts will “review thoroughly the way our forests are managed and suggest ways to reduce the threat of devastating fires,” Gov. Jerry Brown announced in his State of the State speech Thursday. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Governor defends blueprint for California’s future

For a politician who winces at the L-word — “legacy” — Gov. Jerry Brown spent much of his State of the State address on Thursday defending the key projects and policies that will likely define his: the state’s beleaguered bullet train, his Delta tunnel plan and criminal justice reforms reducing California’s prison population.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

In California’s Sierra Nevada, putting the trees to work

This is going to be a big year for one of the state’s smallest agencies. As California redoubles its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, officials are rooting around for new ways to meet the state’s goals. Included in their plan: recruiting billions of redwood, oak and pine trees to help diminish planet-warming gases by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Survey: Mayors view climate change as pressing urban issue

U.S. mayors increasingly view climate change as a pressing urban issue, so much so that many advocate policies that could inconvenience residents or even hurt their cities financially. The annual survey of big-city executives, slated for release on Tuesday by the Boston University Initiative on Cities, also reflected the nation’s sharp political divide.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s proposed budget reveals water, climate priorities

Fro California Governor Jerry Brown and his administration, 2017 was a water year to remember, and one that would figure into the drafting of the state’s 2018-19 budget, which was released early this month. The $190 billion proposed spending plan names California’s drought and the “extreme natural events of 2017” as determining factors in how the cash was divvied up.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA official speaks on risk of climate change to toxic sites

A top manager who supervises the Environmental Protection Agency program responsible for cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated properties and waterways told Congress on Thursday that the government needs to plan for the ongoing threat posed to Superfund sites from climate change.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: Seven ideas for fixing water in the United States

The United States is facing a number of water issues: drought, wildfires, pollution and inequitable distribution. In fact, when it comes to water policy, the U.S. Water Alliance says that the nation is at a “crossroads” of short-term crises – like deadly storms and acute pollution problems – and long-term trends such as climate change and crumbling infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

World Economic Forum sees big risks in water and climate

Following a year in which Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico’s power and water grids and Cape Town stepped to the edge of a water supply disaster, the world’s business, political, and academic elite warn of social and economic upheaval from water and climate hazards.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Climate change is altering lakes and streams, study suggests

To scientists who study lakes and rivers, it seems humans have embarked on a huge unplanned experiment. By burning fossil fuels, we have already raised the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 40 percent, and we’re on track to increase it by much more. Some of that gas may mix into the world’s inland waters, and recent studies hint that this may have profound effects on the species that live in them.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Oil giant seeks to depose Santa Cruz city, county officials

In December, the city and county of Santa Cruz joined a wave of coastal California communities suing fossil-fuel companies for climate-change related damages. On Monday, ExxonMobil pushed back against what it called “abusive law enforcement tactics and litigation,” threatening to file its own legal action and accusing the local jurisdictions of hypocritically omitting reference to climate change damages from their own bond disclosures.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Of 21 Winter Olympic cities, many may soon be too warm to host the games

Distill the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to their essence and you get 15 sports that involve gliding on snow or ice.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Governor’s budget focuses on climate change, fire, clean water for disadvantaged communities

Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018 budget continues efforts to combat climate change. A total of $9.8 billion is destined for the Natural Resources Agency for things like groundwater sustainability, flood management and additional funding for expanding the state’s firefighting capabilities.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California budget: Governor’s plan has $19 billion surplus

Starting with the damaged Oroville Dam, California seemed to careen from disaster to disaster in 2017. The dam’s spillway alone is projected to cost more than $500 million to repair. … [Gov. Jerry] Brown maintains that the state will face more weather-related extremes in years ahead because of climate change.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Exxon fires back at Imperial Beach, 6 other California coastal cities over climate change lawsuits

Six months ago, officials in Imperial Beach joined six other California coastal communities in a first of its kind lawsuit: Demanding that 18 energy companies in the oil and coal sectors pay the cities for damages associated with rising sea levels and other effects of a warming planet. Now, one of those companies — ExxonMobil — has fired back with its own aggressive legal strategy.

Aquafornia news USA Today

After a year of disasters, Al Gore still has hope on climate change

For millions of people in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and elsewhere whose lives were upended by hurricanes and for tens of thousands of Californians whose homes or businesses were destroyed by wildfires, climate change hit home in 2017. … Despite all that, Al Gore is optimistic.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

2017 was costliest year ever in U.S. for weather, climate disasters

Last year’s devastating floods and fires in California combined with hurricanes and other natural disasters to wreak unprecedented financial damage on the United States, the federal government reported Monday.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

In New York, drawing flood maps is a ‘Game of Inches’

New York will be the first major metropolis to be remapped taking into account the realities of climate change, like rising sea levels and increasingly powerful storms. … As a result, FEMA and city officials say, New York could be an example for other places around the country.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Interior Department rescinds Obama-era mitigation and climate docs

The Interior Department is dialing back more environmental goals set in the Obama administration, this time through a secretarial order. In a three-page order issued without fanfare Dec. 22, Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt rescinded three Obama-era documents involving environmental mitigation and one involving climate change policy.

Tour Dan Scott

Headwaters Tour 2018
Field Trip - June 28 & 29

Headwaters tour participants on a hike in the Sierra Nevada.

Sixty percent of California’s developed water supply originates high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Our water supply is largely dependent on the health of our Sierra forests, which are suffering from ecosystem degradation, drought, wildfires and widespread tree mortality. Join us as we head into the foothills and the mountains to examine water issues that happen upstream but have dramatic impacts downstream and throughout the state. 

GEI (Tour Starting Point)
2868 Prospect Park Dr.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670.
Tour Dan Scott

Lower Colorado River Tour 2018
Field Trip - April 11-13 (Sold out, please sign up for the waitlist in case tickets are available)

Lower Colorado River Tour participants at Hoover Dam.

Explore the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour.

Hampton Inn Tropicana
4975 Dean Martin Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89118
Tour Dan Scott

Bay-Delta Tour 2018
Field Trip - May 16-18

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

We will travel deep into California’s water hub and traverse the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a 720,000-acre network of islands and canals that supports the state’s water system and is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource. The tour will make its way to San Francisco Bay, and includes a ferry ride.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

AP finds climate change risk for 327 toxic Superfund sites

Anthony Stansbury propped his rusty bike against a live oak tree and cast his fishing line into the rushing waters of Florida’s Anclote River. … Stansbury is among nearly 2 million people in the U.S. who live within a mile of 327 Superfund sites in areas prone to flooding or vulnerable to sea-level rise caused by climate change, according to an Associated Press analysis of flood zone maps, census data and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency records.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

The Energy 202: The biggest environmental and energy stories of 2017

In 2017, tens of thousands of people descended upon Washington to protest an administration skeptical of climate change. President Trump declared his intent to withdraw from the historic Paris climate agreement. In the United States, there were a number of record natural disasters, including the latest spate of wildfires in California that will probably last through early next year.

Announcement

River Report Examines Climate Change Impact on Colorado River Basin

Drought and climate change are having a noticeable impact on the Colorado River Basin, and that is posing potential challenges to those in the Southwestern United States and Mexico who rely on the river.

In the just-released Winter 2017-18 edition of River Report, writer Gary Pitzer examines what scientists project will be the impact of climate change on the Colorado River Basin, and how water managers are preparing for a future of increasing scarcity.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz county, city sue fossil-fuel companies over climate change

The city and county of Santa Cruz filed separate suits against 29 oil, gas and coal companies seeking climate-change related damages — the latest in a wave of suits filed in recent months by a coastal California communities.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Struggle to manage future wildfires as climate grows more unpredictable

California’s recent wildfires have been nearly unprecedented in terms of their destructiveness and size and the season in which they burned. The Thomas Fire, for example, has grown into one of the largest wildfires in the state’s history, devouring thousands of acres daily as it moves from Ventura to Santa Barbara at a time of year more prone to gray skies and cold rain than burning forests.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Climate change will displace millions in coming decades

By the middle of this century, experts estimate that climate change is likely to displace between 150 and 300 million people. If this group formed a country, it would be the fourth-largest in the world, with a population nearly as large as that of the United States. Yet neither individual countries nor the global community are completely prepared to support a whole new class of “climate migrants.”

River Reports

Winter 2017-18 River Report
A Warmer Future and Increased Risk

Rising temperatures from climate change are having a noticeable effect on how much water is flowing down the Colorado River. Read the latest River Report to learn more about what’s happening, and how water managers are responding.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

The athletes’ half-hour commute in the Swiss Alps — up two gondolas, then through a tunnel in the world’s highest underground train to a glacier at 11,000 feet — served up daily grim reminders that global warming is threatening their line of work. … Americans once had little need to swap continents to guarantee offseason access to snow.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Commentary: McNerney’s step toward global cooling

In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted and blanketed the stratosphere with sulfur dioxide particles. The earth cooled 0.7 to 0.9 degrees for two years. It’s theoretically possible for humankind to do something similar as a way to counteract climate change. And Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, wants scientists to explore the possibilities.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

In California’s wildfires, a looming threat to climate goals

Beyond the devastation and personal tragedy of the fires that have ravaged California in recent months,  another disaster looms: an alarming uptick in unhealthy air and the sudden release of the carbon dioxide that drives climate change. As millions of acres burn in a cycle of longer and more intense fire seasons, the extensive efforts of industry and regulators to protect the environment can be partly undone in one firestorm.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Southern California is burning—Is climate change to blame?

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?

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Kids’ climate change lawsuit goes to San Francisco court

A novel and potentially precedent-setting lawsuit in which 21 young people are suing the Trump administration for failing to address climate change advanced one step closer to a trial on Monday.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

San Francisco federal court takes up young people’s climate change suit

Spot quiz: who said this? “This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through…a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.” Time’s up.

Western Water Magazine

The Colorado River: Living with Risk, Avoiding Curtailment
Fall 2017

This issue of Western Water discusses the challenges facing the Colorado River Basin resulting from persistent drought, climate change and an overallocated river, and how water managers and others are trying to face the future. 

Aquafornia news The New York Times

In a warming California, a future of more fire

Severe wildfire seasons like the one that has devastated California this fall may occur more frequently because of climate change, scientists say. … The reason is an expected impact of climate change in California: increasing year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation that will create greater contrast between drought years and wet years.

Aquafornia news Reuters

Just subtract water—how a dry spell allowed winds to lash California with flames

Hot, dry Santa Ana winds will likely whip up the unseasonably fierce wildfires ravaging Southern California on Thursday, forecasters said. The gales have come at the worst time, at the end of a long dry spell.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Why 2017’s record wildfire season keeps getting worse

Even before the dramatic Southern California wildfires began their harrowing path this week, California was already experiencing its deadliest and most destructive fire season ever. And it’s only getting worse. … For Californians who welcomed one of the wettest, drought-busting winters early in 2017, the fury of the fires is startling. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Obama talks at climate change summit as mayors sign charter

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday told a summit of mayors driven to act after President Donald Trump rejected the Paris climate accord that cities and states are the “new face of American leadership” on climate change. … Mayors from 51 cities including Paris, Mexico City, San Francisco and Phoenix attended the summit.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Six ways we can adapt to climate change

As our climate changes, human creativity has been turning to solutions to problems ranging from restoring water supplies to rebuilding failing ecosystems. In interviews, six scientists discussed their efforts to slow or even reverse changes brought by warming.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate scientists see alarming new threat to California

California could be hit with significantly more dangerous and more frequent droughts in the near future as changes in weather patterns triggered by global warming block rainfall from reaching the state, according to new research led by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Rising seas could threaten important historical landmarks in the Americas

Sea-level rise this century may threaten Jamestown in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas; the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which launches all of NASA’s human spaceflight missions; and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina, the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States, a new study finds.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

How climate change is impacting the American West right now

Scientists have calculated future scenarios for the coming decades that include sea-level rise, more severe rainfall and an increase in the frequency of heatwaves. Some areas will get drier, others wetter. No matter what the future brings, one thing is clear: Impacts from a warming climate are already being felt across the American West, with changes to ecosystems and water supply.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: California’s water solutions discussed at international climate talks

I [Kirsten James, who oversees the California policy program at Ceres] recently returned from the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany … Amid the talk of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, I couldn’t help but notice how often water resources came into the equation – and rightfully so. In fact, at the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23), there was a day devoted to Water Action and a buzz on Twitter around #bluelineBonn. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

How climate change is affecting California

California could one day be uninhabitable. Fire. Heat. Floods. … Decamping for the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change, California academics and political leaders were mulling how to better deploy the distressing projections to give unwary citizens a better understanding of what’s at stake and compel them to see the wisdom of embracing sustainability.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Congress hears ideas on altering clouds to offset climate change

[Philip J.] Rasch and [Joseph] Majkut are two climate specialists who testified Wednesday before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which held a subcommittee hearing on the potential for “geoengineering” — a catchall for proposals to directly cool the atmosphere or pull carbon emissions from it.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Climate change sucks moisture from the West, adding to droughts, fires, federal study reveals

The Trump administration released a sweeping report Friday that pegged man-made climate change to droughts and wildfires in California and the West, but for reasons you may not expect.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Winemakers warming to reality of climate change, but issue is sensitive

Droughts. Soaking winters. Heat waves. Wildfires. The last several years have whipsawed West Coast winemakers such as David Graves, who produces that oh-so-delicate of varietals, pinot noir. It is also prompting vintners to ponder whether climate change — once seen as distant concern — is already visiting their vineyards.

Aquafornia news NPR

Massive government report says climate is warming and humans are the cause

It is “extremely likely” that human activities are the “dominant cause” of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California plans for climate change: fires, heat and flooding

California efforts to prepare for climate change already have begun. In the Sierra Nevada, scientists and forestry management experts burn and thin acres of forest to cut back on fuel for intensifying wildfires. Down south in San Diego County, they replenish beaches, repair sand dunes and plant thousands more shade trees.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

GAO: Climate change already costing US billions in losses

A non-partisan federal watchdog says climate change is already costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year, with those costs expected to rise as devastating storms, floods, wildfires and droughts become more frequent in the coming decades.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How NASA tracks carbon emissions from space to better understand—and deal with—climate change

Fires, drought and warmer temperatures were to blame for excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the 2015-2016 El Niño, scientists with NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 say.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

‘Dice were really loaded’ for wildfires exploding in California

A cascade of extreme weather events fed Northern California’s wildfires that exploded Sunday: Unusually high winds blew flames through unusually dense and dry vegetation, which sprung up following last winter’s heavy rains and then were toasted by months of record hot temperatures.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

West’s wildfires taking toll on reservoirs

Around California, the country and the world, reservoirs are silently filling with sediment, and only a few people are thinking about it. … According to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey, in many regions erosion rates are now accelerating thanks to wildfires and climate change. The western U.S., which relies on reservoirs for vital water storage and flood control, will be particularly impacted.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco, Oakland sue major oil companies over rising seas

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing some of the world’s largest oil companies over climate change, joining an emerging legal effort to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the damages wrought by rising seas.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

From heat waves to hurricanes: What we know about extreme weather and climate change

Back-to-back hurricanes raked Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. A Labor Day heat wave broke temperature records in San Francisco and strained California’s electricity grid. Wildfires continue to rage in the Pacific Northwest.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Fires, droughts and hurricanes: What’s the link between climate change and natural disasters?

With Hurricane Irma smashing into Florida so soon after Hurricane Harvey flooded southeastern Texas — and as wildfires burn through the western United States — extreme events have been hitting the U.S. from all sides. To what extent does climate change influence them?

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Hurricanes Irma, Harvey restart debate on climate change and warmer oceans

Hurricanes Harvey and now Irma became monster storms while swirling over two separate stretches of unusually warm ocean water, a feature that has reignited debate on climate change and the degree it is adding to the intensity of hurricanes.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California passes bill to protect scientific data from federal censorship

Soon after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a page on climate change vanished from the White House website, sending a chill through the scientific community. Within weeks, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, proposed a bill to protect whistleblowers and safeguard data collected by scientists …

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Heat wave, fires, hurricanes bear the ‘fingerprints of climate change,’ scientists say

Wildfires from the Oregon border to Los Angeles. Temperatures hitting 100 degrees in San Francisco, and higher in Sacramento, capping off the hottest summer in California history. … State climatologist Michael Anderson, who works for the Department of Water Resources, said Californians should start getting used to this kind of weather.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Climate change spells extinction for pikas of Lake Tahoe

One of north Lake Tahoe’s cutest residents, the American pika, has disappeared. UC Santa Cruz researchers have discovered an extinction spanning from Tahoe City to Truckee, the largest pika die-off in the modern era.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Climate change serves as central concern at annual Lake Tahoe Summit

The 21st annual Lake Tahoe Summit brought together federal, California and Nevada elected officials to discuss the importance of continued partnership in the basin-wide fight against tree mortality, invasive species, declining lake clarity — and the global issue of climate change.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Former Interior Secretary Babbitt to speak at Lake Tahoe Summit today

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt will deliver the keynote address — a responsibility performed in 2016 by former President Barack Obama. … Additional remarks will be delivered by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.); Reps. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and John Garamendi (D-Calif.); Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.); and Joanne Marchetta, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

Trump has broad power to block climate change report

Earlier this month, someone involved in the government’s latest report on climate change provided The New York Times with a copy of the version submitted to the Trump administration for final approval. The main intent of the leak, according to several people tracking the report, was to complicate any attempt to suppress the study or water down its findings.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Record heat in 2016 broke lake temperature records too

An annual analysis of the planet’s climate reaffirms what researchers knew was the case: that 2016 was the hottest year since at least 1880, when reliable global measurements were first kept. … The atmosphere is not only the place with incremental warming: the world’s freshwater lakes are also heating up.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

9 takeaways from the National Climate Report

3. Bad news for California. Warming will probably bring further reductions in winter and spring snowpack, which the state depends on for much of its water supply.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Science report: Who gets hotter, wetter with climate change

SOUTHWEST (California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona) -The average annual temperature has already gone up 1.56 degrees since 1901-1960 and is projected to rise another 4.8 degrees by mid-century and 8.65 degrees by the end of the century if carbon pollution continues unabated.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Government report finds drastic impact of climate change on U.S.

The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Pummeled by drought and climate change, beloved Lake Tahoe in hot water

Intense seasonal changes in 2016 — hallmarks of climate change — killed huge swaths of forest around the lake and nourished invasive species, according to the annual Tahoe State of the Lake Report released Thursday by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Warming to worsen dead zones, algae blooms choking US waters

Projected increases in rain from global warming could further choke U.S. waterways with fertilizer runoff that trigger dead zones and massive algae blooms, a new study said.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lake Tahoe’s waters continue to warm, and thousands of trees are dying

Lake Tahoe’s famously clear waters continue to warm, and the surrounding forests face dire threats due to drought, disease and insects, according to the annual Tahoe State of the Lake report by researchers at UC Davis. The second deepest lake in the United States after Crater Lake, Lake Tahoe has warmed by half a degree Fahrenheit each year for the past four years — 14 times faster than the historic rate, the report said.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Californians put high priority on environment, poll shows

As California emerges as a force on climate change and a counterweight to President Donald Trump, residents of the green-minded state widely support environmental actions taken by leaders in Sacramento, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Aquapedia background

Weather

The atmospheric condition at any given time or place, measured by wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness and precipitation. Weather changes from hour to hour, day to day, and season to season. Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, during a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years.

Aquapedia background

Natural Variability

Variations in the statistical analysis of the climate on all time and space scales beyond that of individual weather events is known as natural variability. Natural variations in climate over time are caused by internal processes of the climate system, such as El Niño, and phenomena such as volcanic activity and variations in the output of the sun.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Severe, chronic flooding will devastate California coast as sea levels rise, experts say

Seaside cities are starting to prepare for the worst, conducting vulnerability studies and considering a suite of options. Among other measures, they can try to armor their coastlines using seawalls, move critical infrastructure and even retreat farther inland. Elected officials could update zoning rules to discourage future building along the water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Climate change could mean a much wetter California

Californians have been bracing themselves for a drier future accompanying a warming climate. But research by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, suggests that the state may actually get wetter in the event of severe climate change.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin sues energy companies over climate risks

Marin County sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies Monday asserting the companies knew their fossil fuel products would cause sea level rise and coastal flooding but failed to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution. The lawsuit was part of a coordinated litigation attack by Marin, San Mateo County and the city of Imperial Beach.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Intensifying heat waves highlight deeper concerns about climate change

On June 19, the National Weather Service branch in Sacramento, Calif., tweeted a photo of bacon and cookies baking on the dashboard of a car, ending the post with “#heatwave.” … The West, known for hot summers, is getting a glimpse of what the future might hold if climate change continues at the current pace.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: How climate change could threaten the water supply for millions of Californians

When it comes to California and climate change, the predictions are staggering: coastal airports besieged by floodwaters, entire beaches disappearing as sea levels rise. Another disturbing scenario is brewing inland, in the sleepy backwaters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Trump’s plan to gut EPA gets cool reception on Capitol Hill

Lawmakers concerned about curbing pollution and a warming planet gave a cool reception to President Donald Trump’s environmental chief on Thursday as he defended the administration’s proposal to sharply reduce the budget of his own agency.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Climate change could burn a hole in Forest Service budget

Climate change appears to be fueling more wildfires as forest service officials are increasingly concerned they don’t have the funds to effectively handle another devastating season.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US bucks trend amid increases for clean energy research

Energy ministers from around the world gathered in Beijing this week to report increased spending to help counter climate change. Yet one prominent voice, that of U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, delivered a starkly countervailing message as the Trump administration seeks to roll back spending on clean energy and promote fossil fuels.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Climate change raises new risk — Are inland bridges too low?

Even as President Donald Trump has announced his intention for the U.S. to withdraw from a global climate agreement, many of the nation’s river communities are responding to climate change by raising or replacing bridges that suddenly seem too low to stay safely above water.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

States seek to fill the void after Trump dumped the climate pact

Along with the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, California in 2015 helped organize the Under2 Coalition, made up of state and local governments worldwide … Many in the coalition are concerned about how the effects of climate change, including rising seas, could affect their coastal cities, agriculture and ecosystems. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California and Canada are teaming up to fight climate change — again

As President Donald Trump dithers on the fate of the Paris climate deal, California and other western states are banding together to reduce carbon emissions and save hundreds of millions of dollars — and now a Canadian province will join them. … BC Hydro operates 31 hydroelectric power plants, which could help California and other western states bring more solar and wind power online.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Lake Tahoe clarity on the decline; experts blame climate change (with video)

UC Davis scientists from the Tahoe Environmental Research Center have been measuring the lake’s water clarity for nearly 50 years. The latest data shows a big drop in how far down the human eye can see into the lake.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Climate change taking toll on clarity of Lake Tahoe water

Climate change is causing Lake Tahoe to warm sooner in the spring than it has historically, disrupting the normal mixing of shallow and deep water and undercutting gains made in reversing the loss of clarity of the cobalt mountain lake, scientists say.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Sobering’: How sea level rise could swamp Stockton

A worst-case sea level rise increase of 10 feet to 12 feet by the year 2100 would utterly transform Stockton as we know it today. Climate Central, a New Jersey-based climate science nonprofit, recently published maps depicting what this unlikely, yet still “plausible,” scenario might look like. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Extreme weather linked to greenhouse gases, global warming, Stanford study says

Weird weather and climate warming are two separate things, but a Stanford team is linking them. Using math, powerful computers and historical records, research led by Noah Diffenbaugh found that climate change has boosted the odds of extreme heat, drought, punishing rainstorms and retreating sea ice.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: Man-made extreme weather has hit all over the world

Most people on Earth have already felt extreme and record heat, drought or downpours goosed by man-made global warming, new research finds.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Why the menace of mosquitoes will only get worse

When the health effects of climate change are discussed, the planet-scale impacts get the attention: rising temperatures, which can cause death from overheating; earlier springs, which pump more pollen toward the allergic; runoff from violent storms, which washes fecal bacteria out of sewer pipes; changing airflows that trap ozone near the ground, stressing the systems of people living with heart disease. The unpredictable weather patterns stimulated by climate change affect infectious diseases, as well as chronic ones.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sea-level rise in California could be catastrophic, study says

A state-commissioned report on climate change released Wednesday raises the stakes for fighting global warming, offering a clearer and, in some cases, more catastrophic picture of how much sea levels will rise in California. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

From extreme drought to record rain: Why California’s drought-to-deluge cycle is getting worse

California’s climate has long been dominated by cycles of intense dry conditions followed by heavy rain and snow. But never before in recorded history has the state seen such an extreme drought-to-deluge swing.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Governor lifts drought emergency

Gov. Jerry Brown declared the end of California’s drought emergency on Friday, stressing that water conservation must be a permanent part of life as the state adapts to climate change and prepares for the next drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Governor declares California drought emergency is over

tartlingly green hills, surging rivers and the snow-wrapped Sierra Nevada had already signaled what Gov. Jerry Brown made official Friday: The long California drought is over. Brown issued an executive order that lifts the drought emergency in all but a handful of San Joaquin Valley counties where some communities are still coping with dried-up wells.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study predicts significant Southern California beach erosion

More than half of Southern California’s beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100 as the sea level rises, according to a study released Monday.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

California water regulators expand focus on climate change

California’s water regulators are looking to strengthen their focus on climate change, adopting policies aimed at helping the state prepare for more severe floods, more extreme droughts and shrinking snowpack.

Aquafornia news New York Times

EPA head stacks agency with climate change skeptics

To friends and critics, Mr. [Scott] Pruitt seems intent on building an E.P.A. leadership that is fundamentally at odds with the career officials, scientists and employees who carry out the agency’s missions. That might be a recipe for strife and gridlock at the federal agency tasked to keep safe the nation’s clean air and water while safeguarding the planet’s future.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Global warming is slamming California. Will Trump take notice?

The drought has been declared over in most of California, with heavy winter rains sending water over the Oroville dam and forcing the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. But climate change is still in the air, and the recent weather pattern is a harbinger of what’s to come.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Study shows how a warming world is changing the Colorado River

Above-average snowpack in the Rocky Mountains this year may bring some relief to the Colorado River Basin, which has been in a drought since 2000. But the long-term picture for the region is less rosy after a newly published study found just how much higher temperatures are impacting river flow.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Will the crisis at Oroville Dam become a catalyst for change?

Jeffrey Mount, a leading expert on California water policy, remembers the last time a crisis at the Oroville Dam seemed likely to prompt reform. It was 1997 and the lake risked overflowing, while levees further downstream failed and several people died.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

‘Dangerously false’: Oroville Dam isn’t prepared for global warming, 2008 lawsuit says

For nearly nine years, two California counties have been waging a legal fight with the state’s Department of Water Resources over how the agency manages Oroville Dam.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

2016 was the warmest-ever year; what does it mean for Lake Tahoe?

Top scientists announced in January that last year was the hottest year on record — an announcement they’ve made three years in a row, with 2014, 2015 and now 2016 each being declared warmer than the previous year.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Trump official says climate-change skeptic is no longer part of NOAA transition

The Trump administration moved Tuesday to distance itself from a leading climate-change skeptic who was part of the team leading the transition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – an appointment that had alarmed NOAA employees.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Another alarm for scientists: Trump’s pick to guide NOAA transition

President Donald Trump is taking aim at one of the federal government’s main agencies for climate change research – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – and NOAA employees are girding for drastic changes in how they conduct science and report it to the public.

Western Water Gary Pitzer Gary Pitzer

Climate Change Impacts Here to Stay for California Farmers, Grower Says

California agriculture is going to have to learn to live with the impacts of climate change and work toward reducing its contributions of greenhouse gas emissions, a Yolo County walnut grower said at the Jan. 26 California Climate Change Symposium in Sacramento.

“I don’t believe we are going to be able to adapt our way out of climate change,” said Russ Lester, co-owner of Dixon Ridge Farms in Winters. “We need to mitigate for it. It won’t solve the problem but it can slow it down.”

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Storms preview sea-rise damage to California roads, cities

Ocean rise already is worsening the floods and high tides sweeping California this stormy winter, climate experts say, and this month’s damage and deaths highlight that even a state known as a global leader in fighting climate change has yet to tackle some of the hardest work of dealing with it.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

New California dam proposed to combat climate change concerns

Americans have had one primary reason for building dams over the past century: capturing water for growth, whether on farms or in cities. Now a new dam proposed on California’s Bear River offers another reason: adapting to climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Global warming data that riled doubters is confirmed

A new independent study shows no pause in global warming, confirming a set of temperature readings adjusted by U.S. government scientists that some who reject mainstream climate science have questioned.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Rafael China Camp oyster die-off documented in new study

Powerful storms often hailed for bringing drought-busting rains to California also served to virtually wipe out a healthy growth of native Olympia oysters at China Camp near San Rafael, raising concerns about climate change, according to a new study.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Florida’s climate scientists worry as Trump picks his Cabinet and sea levels rise

The world’s leading global-warming scientists, many of them living and working on the front lines in Florida, are hoping against hope that President-elect Donald Trump and his top advisers will not take the country backward in the fight against rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and looming environmental dangers.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arctic’s year of crazy extremes as warming hits overdrive

Warming at the top of the world has gone into overdrive, happening twice as fast as the rest of the globe, and extending unnatural heating into fall and winter, according to a new federal report.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Trump names climate change skeptic and oil industry ally to lead the EPA

Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling the president-elect will deliver on his vow to disassemble President Obama’s landmark effort to fight climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America’s forests

Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Get used to heat records; Study predicts far more in future

The United States is already setting twice as many daily heat records as cold records, but a new study predicts that will get a lot more lopsided as man-made climate change worsens.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

UN report: Human footprint ‘increasingly visible’ in climate

Hot and wild and with an “increasingly visible human footprint” — that’s how the U.N. weather agency sums up the global climate in the past five years. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: On the Colorado River, climate change is water change

How low can the Colorado go? When will we get back to “normal” winters? Can we blame it all on climate change? To address some of these questions, the Colorado River Research Group recently released a concise four-page paper explaining how climate change is affecting the river.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Court rules species can be protected if agencies can use global-warming models to show habitat loss

In a ruling that has ramifications for land-use and water policy across the United States and California, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that scientists can draw on long-range climate projections to determine whether a species should be listed as threatened.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Court: US agency acted reasonably to protect seals

An appeals court panel on Monday ruled that a federal agency acted reasonably in proposing to list a certain population of bearded seals threatened by sea ice loss.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Species may be listed as threatened based on climate change projections, court says

Federal authorities may list a species as “threatened” based on climate models that show habitat loss in the coming decades, an appeals court decided Monday.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Forest fires have doubled in West due to climate change, study finds

Climate change from human activity nearly doubled the area that burned in forest fires in the American West over the past 30 years, a major new scientific study has found, and larger, more intense fires are all but guaranteed in the years ahead.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Human-caused warming doubled how much of the West has burned since 1984, study finds

Human-caused warming in the West has nearly doubled the area burned by wildfires over the last three decades, researchers reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wildfires getting worse due to climate change, study finds

Wildfires in California and across the West have become twice as destructive over the past three decades due to climate change, taking a toll that will only continue to escalate, according to research published Monday.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency: Lake Tahoe faces major challenges from climate change

The Lake Tahoe Basin saw continued environmental improvement over the last four years, but faces major challenges from climate change, according to a draft 2015 Threshold Evaluation Report released by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA).

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Disappearing Yosemite glacier becomes symbol of climate change

When naturalist John Muir explored Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park about 150 years ago, the river of ice stretched as far as 10 football fields between the peaks of the Lyell Canyon, a glacier one might expect to see in Alaska, not California.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Global warming could make the drought last for a century, says UCLA study

Released today, the study in Scientific Reports — part of the Nature Publishing Group — found that carbon dioxide and methane emitted from the burning of fossil fuels may be mimicing the effects of some catastrophic environmental phenomena the planet has previously experienced.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Record temperatures are making wildfire season worse. And it’s only getting hotter.

As Southern California firefighters battled the Blue Cut Fire last month, there was nothing they could do to fend off an unfortunate reality: Global warming is already lengthening wildfire season and increasing the likelihood of extreme fires across the West. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

The surprising science of wildfires and tree-killing beetles

So far this 4,636 wildfires in California have burned more than 200,000 acres. That’s more fires than this time last year and more fires than the five-year average. … California has an added challenge of dealing with a five-year drought.

Aquapedia background

Meadows

While less a scientific term than a colloquial one, meadows are defined by their aquatic, soil and vegetative properties.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Obama’s first visit to Lake Tahoe, vows to return (with audio)

President Barack Obama called Lake Tahoe a pristine environment that must be protected.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Obama rips climate science skeptics in Tahoe visit: ‘You don’t have to be a scientist’

President Barack Obama, fixed against a pristine backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, issued a forceful defense Wednesday of his administration’s policies to address climate change, warning that rising temperatures could lay waste to decades of conservation efforts at Lake Tahoe and throughout the United States.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

At Lake Tahoe, Obama links conservation to climate change

Standing beneath the forest-green peaks of the Sierra Nevada, President Barack Obama drew a connection Wednesday between conservation efforts and stopping global warming, describing the two environmental challenges as inseparably linked.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

White House promises more federal aid for Lake Tahoe region

The White House on Wednesday announced a series of new funding and environmental programs to address the deteriorating health of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding forests caused in part by the increasing temperatures brought about by climate change.

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