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 The Sacramento Bee

Trump officials steer clear of climate change issue in tour of Redding fire zone

Two top officials of the Trump administration, winding up a tour of fire-ravaged Redding, insisted Monday that removing dead trees and thinning forests, not addressing climate change, are the keys to dealing with California wildfires.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

‘The president’s right’: Interior chief pushes thinning forests to cut fire risk

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, touring neighborhoods devastated by the Carr Fire, stepped up the Trump administration’s push Sunday to remove more trees from national forests as a means of tamping down fire risks. “We need to manage our forests, we need to reduce the fuels,” Zinke said as he overlooked Whiskeytown Lake in the vicinity where the Carr Fire began July 23.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

2018 is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year. Yet we’re still not prepared for global warming.

This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the futurethat scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change, and it’s revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet. … For Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California Los Angeles, it vindicates the scientific community’s mathematical models.

New Leader Takes Over as the Upper Colorado River Commission Grapples With Less Water and a Drier Climate
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Amy Haas, executive director, Upper Colorado River Commission

Amy Haas, executive director, Upper Colorado River CommissionAmy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.

Yet those challenges will be quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who for the past year has served as deputy director and general counsel of the commission. (She replaced longtime Executive Director Don Ostler). She has a long history of working within interstate Colorado River governance, including representing New Mexico as its Upper Colorado River commissioner and playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Seaside mansion or public beach: Which will the California Coastal Commission save?

As more homeowners try to fight sea-level rise, California must pick a side: Protect private property or the public interest? Save a mansion or a beach for the people?

Aquafornia news The Arizona Republic

Scientists: Declines in Mojave Desert birds linked to climate change

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. 

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Climate change is making California’s wildfires worse. So are humans.

Experts studying the blazes that have ravaged California in recent years have reached a troubling realization: There are several reasons fire seasons are getting worse, and we’re almost completely to blame for all of them.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Karuk Tribe, UC Berkeley nab $1.2 million grant to protect native food sources

The Karuk Tribe and UC Berkeley are launching a $1.2 million study to determine how to best protect native foods and resources in the face of a changing climate and a history of environmental degradation in the mid-Klamath River Basin.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: These teens are trying to save the world — by suing the US government

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the case, which was first brought by a group of 21 young people, can go forward. The result could be a historic climate change decision that will affect every American. The lawsuit dates to 2015, when the young plaintiffs (they now range in age from 10 to 21) first filed suit against the Obama administration.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Trump tweet blaming water diversion for fires baffles experts

When President Trump sent his first tweet about the current California wildfires, which have killed nine people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes, he chose the moment to zero in on water policy — leaving some scratching their heads.

Related Article:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s deadly wildfires to be major focus of attention as Legislature returns to work

A thin layer of smoke has stretched across Sacramento for the past week, coming from the deadly wildfires burning to the north and east. The smoke serves as a powerful reminder of a topic likely to dominate the work of lawmakers returning to the state Capitol this week.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Scientists see fingerprints of climate change all over California’s wildfires

Much of the heat that’s gripped California and hastened the spread of deadly wildfires recently is due to a strange but familiar shift in the jet stream — one that’s haunted the West with threatening fire conditions in the past and could cause more hot, dry spells in the future, especially with a changing climate.

Related Article:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California fires rage, and Gov. Jerry Brown offers grim view of fiery future

As fire crews struggled to gain containment on more than a dozen wildfires raging across California on Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters that large, destructive fires would probably continue and cost the state billions of dollars over the next decade.

Related Article:

Aquafornia news The New York Times

How record heat wreaked havoc on four continents

Expect more. That’s the verdict of climate scientists to the record-high temperatures this spring and summer in vastly different climate zones.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Losing Earth: The decade we almost stopped climate change

Editor’s Note This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Here’s another climate change concern: Superheated bugs in the soil, belching carbon

Rising temperatures that are contributing to wildfires and droughts are also changing the world’s soil so that it pumps out more carbon dioxide, a “feedback loop” that could aggravate climate change, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Common thread in California’s wildfires: heat like state has never seen

The northern Sacramento Valley was well on its way to recording the hottest July on record when the Carr fire swept into town Thursday. It was 113 degrees, and months of above-average temperatures had left the land bone-dry and ready to explode.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Despite qualms, Supreme Court refuses to block youths’ climate suit

The U.S. Supreme Court expressed qualms Monday about the scope of a climate-change lawsuit by 21 young people against the government, but rejected the Trump administration’s request to block a trial of the unprecedented suit that accuses federal officials of endangering their futures by failing to act against global warming.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Hot weather, land abuses fueling algal blooms in Western waters

This summer has witnessed an explosion of algae problems in Western water bodies. Usually marked by a bright green mat of floating scum, the blooms are unsightly and unpleasant for water lovers. More concerning are potentially toxic cyanobacteria often produced by the algae, which can be deadly to pets and livestock and cause illnesses in people.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Yosemite fire: Flames threaten park’s giant sequoia trees

As flames from the Ferguson Fire burn closer to some of the world’s oldest and largest trees, firefighters are racing to protect ancient sequoias on Yosemite National Park’s western edge. About 25 Yosemite firefighters have surrounded Merced Grove — whose immense trees tower more than 200 feet tall and date back 1,000 years — with fire hoses.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

‘Tahoe will not be blue.’ Why the lake’s warming trends are worrisome.

Climate change is gradually warming Lake Tahoe, clouding its clarity and threatening its fabled “blueness,” scientists at UC Davis warned Thursday. In its annual “State of the Lake” report, the university’s Tahoe Environmental Research Center said surface water temperatures in July 2017 spiked to an average 68.4 degrees.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s powerful climate change agency will keep most of its leaders through 2020 under new plan

California’s top climate regulator will continue serving through 2020 under a plan set to be voted on Thursday. Mary Nichols, who has led the California Air Resources Board since 2007, would see her term expire at the end of 2020 if the board’s members confirm staff recommendations at the Thursday meeting.

Aquafornia news KLCC NPR for Oregonians

Take 2: Appeals Court denies another government attempt to quash climate case

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Friday denied a second attempt by the Trump Administration to stop a lawsuit brought by 21 young people over climate change from going to trial. 

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Judge tosses out another lawsuit against oil companies but Imperial Beach won’t withdraw

A federal judge on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit filed by New York City that wanted to force oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips to pay for damages related to global warming. The decision comes a little more than three weeks after a federal judge in California dismissed suits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland.

Aquafornia news The New York Times Climate Fwd: newsletter

When did talking about the weather become political?

Even trusting your local weather announcer is political these days. Take the battle in Congress over the renewal of a grant to help television meteorologists incorporate climate change into their weather reporting.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

A tiny beetle has left Yosemite dangerously vulnerable to fire

If the Ferguson Fire currently burning in Mariposa County spreads to Yosemite National Park, a tiny bug resembling a mouse dropping would share some of the blame. An epidemic of bark beetles is devastating billions of pine trees across the West in what has been described as the largest forest insect outbreak ever recorded.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

More bad news for monarch butterflies — study shows climate change’s devastating effect

Rising levels of carbon dioxide from car and factory exhaust — which scientists say is the primary cause of global warming — could contribute to the killing off of monarch butterflies by reducing the medicinal qualities of the plants they eat, a new study has found.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Trump administration seeks to stop ‘climate kids’ lawsuit

The Trump administration has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court in its effort to stop a lawsuit filed by young activists who say the government is failing to protect them from climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Climate change has come to your neighborhood, and the sizzle may never subside

A colleague once observed, many years ago, that California has two seasons. Green and brown. We are in the latter, and death has visited my [Steve Lopez] neighborhood this summer. Half the ground cover in my frontyard has burned to a crunchy crisp. … The Los Angeles-area forecast offers no relief. 

Aquafornia news The San Jose Mercury News

Rising seas and sinking muds doom once-vibrant ghost town

A century ago, the island town of Drawbridge held 90 homes, hotels and cabins, with hunting so bountiful that dead ducks served as currency at its gambling tables. Now — in a rare act of reverse colonization — civilization is ceding to the elements in this windswept marsh, located near Alviso at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. Rising tides flood a dozen or so surviving skeletal structures.

Aquafornia news NPR

Rising seas could cause problems for Internet infrastructure

The dense network of cables that make up the Internet is likely to be inundated with saltwater as sea levels rise, a new analysis suggests, putting thousands of miles of critical infrastructure along U.S. coastlines underwater in the next 15 years. “It is actually the wires and the hardware that make the Internet run,” explains Ramakrishnan Durairajan, a computer scientist at the University of Oregon and an author of the research.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California prepares for extreme weather by planting trees

For years, there has been a movement in California to restore floodplains, by moving levees back from rivers and planting trees, shrubs and grasses in the low-lying land between. The goal has been to go back in time, to bring back some of the habitat for birds, animals and fish that existed before the state was developed.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

How Brett Kavanaugh could reshape environmental law from the Supreme Court

Long before President Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court on Monday, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh had already made a name for himself as an influential conservative critic of sweeping environmental regulations.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Why California fire season is off to worst start in 10 years

California’s wildfire season is off to its worst start in 10 years. … The reason behind this year’s ominous early trend is something many Californians thought was behind them: the 2012-2017 drought.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week

From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra — or less water for Los Angeles

When dust storms began rising off the dry bed of Owens Lake, authorities in the Eastern Sierra blamed Los Angeles’ thirst. The city had, after all, drained the lake in the 1920s to serve its faucets. Now, as dust kicks up from Mono Lake, authorities in the Eastern Sierra are once again blaming that water-craving metropolis about 350 miles to the south. But this time, they’re also blaming climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California lawmakers may change utility wildfire liability

California lawmakers may make it easier for utilities to reduce liability for wildfire damage as the state braces for more severe blazes in the face of climate change. The changes would apply only to future fires, not the ones that swept across California’s wine country last year — the most devastating in state history.

Headwaters Tour 2018
Field Trip (past) - June 28 & 29

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.

Headwaters tour participants on a hike in the Sierra Nevada.

We headed 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.
Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Progress on environment could slow on Supreme Court without Kennedy

The retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy next month is likely to reshape the high court to the detriment of the environment, legal experts say, potentially limiting progress on such issues as climate change and clean water, even in California, where leaders have long pursued an environmental agenda independent of Washington.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Imperial Beach pushes forward with lawsuit against oil companies

A federal judge earlier this week may have tossed out a lawsuit brought by officials for the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, seeking to hold oil companies such as Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil liable for any costs related to climate change, but the mayor of Imperial Beach says a similar lawsuit his town is taking part in will proceed.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

The world’s wine industry is adapting to climate change

From South Africa’s drought-stricken vineyards, to France’s noble chateaus, to sunny vineyards in Australia and California , growers and winemakers say they are seeing the effects of climate change as temperatures rise, with swings in weather patterns becoming more severe. So they are taking action, moving to cooler zones, planting varieties that do better in the heat, and shading their grapes with more leaf canopy.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Southern California’s coastal communities could lose 130 feet of cliffs this century as sea levels rise

It’s not just beaches and sand that are disappearing as the ocean pushes inland. Sea level rise is also eating away at California’s coastal cliffs. The question is by how much, as Californians have heavily developed and continue to build along the edge of the Pacific.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

A leading climate agency may lose its climate focus

The Trump administration appears to be planning to shift the mission of one of the most important federal science agencies that works on climate change — away from climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is part of the Department of Commerce, operates a constellation of earth-observing satellites.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

New EPA region chief questions climate science but favors CO2 cuts

The Trump administration has appointed Republican Mike Stoker for the position [Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 administrator]. … KQED Science recently spoke with him at his office in San Francisco. He said a top priority for him is to deal with sewage pollution at the US-Mexico border.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US judge throws out climate change lawsuits against big oil

A U.S. judge who held a hearing about climate change that received widespread attention ruled Monday that Congress and the president were best suited to address the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming, throwing out lawsuits that sought to hold big oil companies liable for the Earth’s changing environment.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

California crabbers, Yurok Tribe receive nearly $30 million in fisheries disaster relief

More than two years after the 2015-16 Dungeness and rock crab seasons in California was marred by toxic algae blooms, the federal government this week has allocated $25.8M in disaster funds to relieve fishermen and businesses affected by the closure. The Yurok Tribe was also allocated nearly $4M in disaster relief for its 2016 commercial salmon season, which was closed due to low numbers of returning spawners.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Climate change brought a lobster boom. Now it could cause a bust.

Since the early 1980s, climate change had warmed the Gulf of Maine’s cool waters to the ideal temperature for lobsters, which has helped grow Maine’s fishery fivefold to a half-billion-dollar industry, among the most valuable in the United States. But last year the state’s lobster landings dropped by 22 million pounds, to 111 million.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Trump administration reverses Obama ocean-protection program

An executive order signed by President Trump late Tuesday eliminates an uncelebrated but far-reaching review process put in place eight years ago among state, tribal and federal agencies to better coordinate ocean policy in the wake of the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Announcement

Annual Water Summit to Focus on Critical Issues from the Headwaters to the Delta
Registration now open for Sept. 20th event in Sacramento; some sponsorship opportunities still available

Our annual Water Summit, being held Sept. 20, will feature critical conversations about water in California and the West revolving around the theme: Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta. 

As debate continues to swirl around longer-term remedies for California’s water challenges, the theme reflects the need for straightforward dialogue about more immediate, on-the-ground solutions.

Aquafornia news NPR

As carbon dioxide levels rise, major crops are losing nutrients

As the level of carbon dioxide in the air continues to rise because of climate change, scientists are trying to pin down how the plants we eat are being impacted. Mounting evidence suggests that many key plants lose nutritional value at higher CO2 levels, and scientists are running experiments all over the world to try to tease out the effects.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Looking for signs of global warming? It’s all around you.

David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist. More than 40 years ago, the University of Maryland biologist started studying when wildflowers, birds, bees and butterflies first appeared each spring on this mountain.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Many coastal properties may be flooded out by 2045, climate report warns

That oceanfront property in Stinson Beach you’ve dreamed about may not be so perfect after all. A report published Monday finds that nearly 4,400 homes in Marin County might not make it beyond a 30-year mortgage because of encroaching seawater.

Domino Effect: As Arizona Searches For a Unifying Voice, a Drought Plan for the Lower Colorado River Is Stalled
EDITOR'S NOTE: Finding solutions to the Colorado River — or any disputed river —may be the most important role anyone can play

Nowhere is the domino effect in Western water policy played out more than on the Colorado River, and specifically when it involves the Lower Basin states of California, Nevada and Arizona. We are seeing that play out now as the three states strive to forge a Drought Contingency Plan. Yet that plan can’t be finalized until Arizona finds a unifying voice between its major water players, an effort you can read more about in the latest in-depth article of Western Water.

Even then, there are some issues to resolve just within California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Judge shows skepticism to New York climate change lawsuit

New York City’s attempt to hold five of the world’s biggest oil companies responsible for damage from global warming didn’t seem to impress a judge during oral arguments Wednesday to determine if a lawsuit can proceed. … The January lawsuit came after similar litigation was filed by the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Cruz in California.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Q&A: Scripps scientist worries how Antarctic climate change may affect San Diego

Helen Fricker is worried. She says cities throughout the world, including San Diego, could be affected by the climate change that’s unfolding in the Antarctica.

Aquafornia news Longmont Times-Call

CU Boulder researcher harbors hope in face of recent wildfire trends

The U.S. record $18 billion wildfire season of 2017 was triggered by the coincidence of three primary factors that came into play or persisted longer than anticipated, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado. Those “switches,” according to study leader Jennifer Balch, were ignition, aridity and fuel. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Bay Area project tackles sea-level rise and water quality

This small rectangle of wetland near the San Francisco Bay in San Lorenzo doesn’t look particularly visionary. Above ground, it’s an appealing – if unusually orderly – array of meadows, cattails and willows. But there’s far more here than meets the eye. This modest strip of land, just 38 by 150 feet, in the Oro Loma Sanitary District promises to help solve two of the Bay Area’s most pressing concerns: sea-level rise and nutrient pollution.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

The heat is back on high: May smashes US temperature records

Record heat returned to the United States with a vengeance in May. May warmed to a record average 65.4 degrees in the Lower 48 states, breaking the high of 64.7 set in 1934, according to federal weather figures released Wednesday. May was 5.2 degrees above the 20th century’s average for the month.

Announcement

Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman to be Keynote Speaker at Water Summit
Registration now open for Sept. 20th event in Sacramento

Reclamation Commissioner Brenda BurmanBrenda Burman, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, will give the keynote lunch address at our 35th annual conference, the Water Summit, to be held Sept. 20 in Sacramento.

The daylong event will feature critical conversations about water in California and the West revolving around the theme: Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Californians appear poised to reject measure controlling how climate change funds are spent

Four statewide ballot propositions were passing in California on Tuesday, while an effort to control spending of funds collected through the state’s climate change program appeared headed toward a defeat.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tahoe deputies help find missing UC Davis research robot that resembles torpedo

Deputies with a Lake Tahoe patrol crew helped recover a malfunctioning robot deployed by UC Davis researchers to study climate change, Placer County Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday on Facebook. And it’s a good thing they picked it up before someone else did, because the yellow-and-blue device bears a fairly strong resemblance to a torpedo.

Aquafornia news InsideClimate News

In rebuke to Pruitt, EPA Science Board votes to review climate policy changes

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, in a rebuke to the Trump administration’s retreat on environmental protection, voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of a full board review of the agency’s most important actions to dismantle climate policy.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate movement tries to outmaneuver Trump a year after his exit from the Paris accord

In an interview, Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged the hope felt by many climate activists because of efforts from states like his and by private companies. But he also said the world is only just beginning to feel the environmental harm inflicted by the Trump administration.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Like it or not, the water is coming: Will Bay Area defend against rising seas, or embrace them?

You can shove water back from the land, or let the land flood, but either way, San Francisco Bay is getting higher. Along more than 400 miles of bayfront, in at least forty communities that touch water, the once-sneaky problem of sea level rise is revealing itself as it accelerates.

Aquafornia news Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

National parks report on climate change finally released, uncensored

Backing away from attempts at censorship, the National Park Service today released a report charting the risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Drafts of the report obtained earlier this year by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting showed park service officials had deleted every mention of humans causing climate change. But the long-delayed report, published today without fanfare on the agency’s website, restored those references.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

A new type of public power is growing in California, and raising alarms

Eight years ago, Marin County created a new kind of public power agency in California — over the strenuous objections of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. … Community choice allows local governments to band together in something like a buyer’s club for electricity, purchasing in bulk from operators of power plants, wind farms, hydroelectric dams and solar facilities. Each community choice program’s governing board sets its own electricity rates.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Oil companies want San Francisco, Oakland climate lawsuits dismissed

Five of the world’s largest oil producers urged a federal judge Thursday to dismiss lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland that seek to hold the companies liable for climate change, arguing that the issue is one for Congress, not the courts.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

By getting serious about limiting global warming, the world could save itself more than $20 trillion

Fighting global warming is starting to sound like a lucrative investment. A new study out of Stanford University finds that keeping global warming a half-degree beneath the Paris climate agreement’s 2 degree Celsius target could potentially save more than $20 trillion globally.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A little extra global warming will mean a lot more habitat loss for plants and animals, study says

What difference does half a degree Celsius of global warming make? To many plants and animals, and especially insects, it could mean the difference between life and death, according to a new study.

Tour

Bay-Delta Tour 2018
Field Trip (past) - May 16-18

Sacramento-San Joaquin DeltaWe traveled 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 made its way to San Francisco Bay, and included a ferry ride.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Congressman: Sea levels rising due to falling rocks, dirt along ‘white cliffs of Dover, California’

For years now, thousands of studies have linked rising sea levels to climate change. But one Republican congressman had an alternate explanation he floated this week during a meeting of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology with leading climate scientist Philip Duffy.

Aquafornia news KQED

Study projects massive northward shift of species as oceans warm

Marine life across North America will experience a substantial shift northward over the next few decades, according to a new comprehensive report that looks at how climate change will alter the habitats of 686 marine species.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

NASA study finds major shifts in water supplies worldwide

Using measurements from Earth-observing satellites, NASA scientists have tracked changes in water supplies worldwide and they’ve found that in many places humans are dramatically altering the global water map. … Their findings in a new study reveal that of the 34 “hotspots” of water change in places from California to China, the trends in about two-thirds of those areas may be linked to climate change or human activities, such as excessive groundwater pumping in farming regions.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Climate change is making droughts worse in the Western US

A new study from NASA reinforces the idea that droughts are getting worse and could become more frequent in the Western U.S. The culprit is human-caused climate change. Droughts aren’t just about precipitation, said NASA scientist and the study’s co-author Benjamin Cook.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Facing climate and water pressures, farmers return to age-old practice

This spring in California several orchards around Solano and nearby counties sported a new look: lush carpets of mixed grasses growing as tall as 3ft beneath the trees’ bare branches. By summer the scene will change as farmers grow and harvest their nut crops, but the work of the grasses will continue unseen. Cover cropping, an agricultural technique as old as dirt, is taking root in California.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Climate change and California’s water

Imagine the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains as a giant reservoir providing water for 23 million people throughout California. During droughts, this snow reserve shrinks, affecting water availability in the state.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

6 charts from new report show how much California’s climate has already changed

Warmer days — and nights. Rising sea levels. Less water available in summer. A report released Wednesday by state officials says climate change is affecting California’s ecosystem already in ways great and small.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Gathered in Santa Rosa, officials proclaim new level of wildfire danger

Some 950 wildfires have burned more than 5,800 acres of California so far this year, and residents need to recognize that fire, as a result of a host of factors including climate change, is now a year-round threat, Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Climate change ruining California’s environment, report warns

Bigger, more intense forest fires, longer droughts, warmer ocean temperatures and an ever shrinking snowpack in the Sierra Nevada are “unequivocal” evidence of the ruinous domino-effects that climate change is having on California, a new California Environmental Protection Agency report states.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arizona utility tries to end multi-state Colorado River feud

Arizona’s largest water provider tried Tuesday to defuse a multi-state dispute over the Colorado River, saying it regretted the belligerent-sounding words it used to describe its management strategy for the critical, over-used waterway. … It also pledged to cooperate on drawing up a multi-state plan for possible shortages in the river, which appear more and more likely because of the drought and climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A Hawaiian island got about 50 inches of rain in 24 hours. Scientists warn it’s a sign of the future.

Since the 1940s, the Hawaiian island of Kauai has endured two tsunamis and two hurricanes, but locals say they have never experienced anything like the thunderstorm that drenched the island this month. “The rain gauge in Hanalei broke at 28 inches within 24 hours,” said state Rep. Nadine Nakamura of the North Shore community.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Will rising seas eventually devour California’s beachfront homes?

State regulators are urging local elected officials to brace for retreat as scientists continue to predict sea levels will rise in coming decades and pummel beachfront communities from San Diego to Arcata.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: As climate change zaps their snow, winter sports fans seek to change Washington, D.C.

A world-class snowboarder, former Navy SEAL Josh Jespersen served for four years in Afghanistan and Iraq. … Now he’s undertaking a different kind of expedition — urging mountain-state politicians to take seriously the threat of climate change, and working to vote them out of office if they don’t.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: California Delta a flash point for conflict as climate change unfolds

California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is vital to water supplies for 25 million people and 4 million acres of farmland. It is linked to the Pacific Ocean via San Francisco Bay, which makes this water supply uniquely vulnerable to sea level rise. Yet understanding sea level rise in the Delta is complicated.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Q&A: A smorgasbord of solutions for global warming

A primary goal of Drawdown is to help people who feel overwhelmed by gloom-and-doom messages see that reversing global warming is bursting with possibility: walkable cities, afforestation, bamboo, high-rises built of wood, marine permaculture, multistrata agroforestry, clean cookstoves, plant-rich diet, assisting women smallholders, regenerative agriculture, supporting girls’ ongoing education, smart glass, in-stream hydro, on and on.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Fossil fuels on trial: Where the major climate change lawsuits stand today

A wave of legal challenges that is washing over the oil and gas industry, demanding accountability for climate change, started as a ripple after revelations that ExxonMobil had long recognized the threat fossil fuels pose to the world.

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

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.

Headwaters Tour 2018
Field Trip - June 28 & 29 (Sold out! Join Waitlist)

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.

Headwaters tour participants on a hike in the Sierra Nevada.

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

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
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.

Commands