The tornado-like condition, lasting an hour and a half and fueled by extreme heat and intensely dry brush as California heats up to record levels, was captured in dramatic videos that have come to symbolize the destructive power of what is now California’s sixth-most destructive fire.
Scientists have discovered 240 cubic miles of semi-molten magma below the Long Valley Caldera, a supervolcano in eastern California near Mammoth Mountain. The long-dormant supervolcano is currently a 20-mile-long caldera, or a crater that forms after an eruption forces the mouth of a volcano to collapse.
Bird populations in the Mojave are plummeting for lack of water, in an imbalance driven by climate change. A new study from UC Berkeley finds shrinking rainfall has led to the loss of more then 40 percent of bird species, in a habitat that relies heavily on birds for basic functions such as pollinating plants and acting as both predator and prey.
At the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, Dr. [Mark] Finney and other researchers are recreating and studying whirls, as well as the paths that out-of-control blazes cut through millions of acres of forests and grassland in the West. The scientists are racing to develop a deeper understanding of the combined effects of a warmer climate, massive tree die-offs that feed the wildfires, and developments encroaching into the wilderness.
The effort to save South Florida’s largest coral colonies will soon extend beyond the intensive care unit and into the maternity ward. The colonies are being killed by a disease of unknown origin — sometimes called white plague or white blotch — first identified off Virginia Key in 2014.
Historically, water managers throughout the thirsty state of California have relied on hydrology and water engineering — both technical necessities — as well as existing drought and flood patterns to plan for future water needs. Now, climate change is projected to shift water supplies as winters become warmer, spring snowmelt arrives earlier, and extreme weather-related events increase.
The question arose, as it often does, at Monday’s news meeting: How much should be made of President Trump’s latest provocative tweet? This one was a doozy, oozing with ignorance, suggesting that the wildfires ravaging California were being “made so much worse” because “readily available water” is being “diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”
In the long, hot, smoky California summer of 2018, as we camp under ash-hued sunset skies, the scariest thought is that the future has arrived, and more intense weather extremes will continue to wreak havoc in years to come. Not just in summer, but with drought-deluge cycles and higher temperatures even in cooler months.
Using an unprecedented number of satellite radar images, geophysicists at Caltech have tracked how the ground in Southern California rises and falls as groundwater is pumped in and out of aquifers beneath the surface.
What’s really alarming about President Trump’s preposterous tweets about the California wildfires is not what he gets wrong, which is plenty, but what they say about his stubborn refusal to grasp the basics of climate change and, perhaps worse, his administration’s contempt for the science that is drawing an ever-tighter link between a warming globe and extreme weather events around the world.
Today [August 9], the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grants to three organizations in California: Tejon Ranch Conservancy in Kern County, Save The Bay in Oakland, and Trust for Public Land in Los Angeles. The funding will help restore wetlands, provide environmental stewardship and science education, and improve stormwater management. … The grants were among 59 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded, totaling $2.2 million, to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
July 2018 was an extraordinary weather month across most of California. Early in the month, a searing heatwave brought all-time record heat to some locations in Southern California. … In the coming weeks, I’ll [Daniel Swain] be transitioning into a new role as a climate scientist with simultaneous appointments at three separate institutions: the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and The Nature Conservancy.
In 1908, biologist Joseph Grinnell began leading hundreds of research expeditions throughout California to collect animals as museum specimens and catalog the wildlife in the forests, mountains and deserts. The meticulous notes he and his colleague took over four decades captured scientific snapshots of the wildlife in the first half of the 20th century, including surveys of birds in many areas of the Mojave Desert.
Scientist Daniel Swain will address climate whiplash and the challenging road ahead for Western water managers during a morning keynote address Sept. 20 at the Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit in Sacramento. Swain, who is widely quoted about his research and observations on drought, fires, rising temperatures and climate change, will provide the backdrop for this year’s summit theme, Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman will be the summit’s keynote luncheon speaker.
In February, 2018, the USGS began the first phase of airborne geophysical surveys in a series of high-resolution flights near Greenwood, Mississippi, to acquire large-scale airborne geophysical data in support of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP) Regional Water Availability Study. The contract was awarded to CGG, and the USGS is working in partnership with multiple state agencies to conduct the research. The geophysical instruments used in this study are able to map aquifer properties below ground, to depths of up to about 1,000 feet.
Both physically and rhetorically, wildfires dominated this year’s Tahoe Summit. Physically, smoke from some of the largest and deadliest wildfires in California history hazed-over the normally stellar view from Nevada’s Sand Harbor State Park, where the 22nd edition of the summit was held.
Adam Feinberg had no sooner made a bright yellow thin sheet of plastic than he had to shred it into little pieces. He chose an “I”-shaped mold for the logo of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he is a chemist. Then, he filled it with the plastic bits and stuck it in a hot oven.
Researchers are using a rover to explore the depths of the ocean off Marin’s coast, looking for corals, sponges and other life forms that have adapted to the lightless environment and crushing pressures at the bottom of the sea.
The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964.
Signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, the WRRA established a Water Resources Research Institute in each state and Puerto Rico.
A new global geologic map of Mars –the most thorough representation of the “Red Planet’s” surface – has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey. This map provides a framework for continued scientific investigation of Mars as the long-range target for human space exploration.