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Large Wildfires Are Now More Common and Destructive

Large Wildfires Are Now More Common and Destructive

The West continues to be a fiery inferno as August starts to fade into September. Wildfires have exploded across the region this month. There have been 115 large wildfires to date including 66 large fires that are still burning. Those fires along with thousands of smaller blazes have contributed to 7.7 million acres burned in the U.S. That puts … Read More

U.S. Summers Bringing More and More Heat

U.S. Summers Bringing More and More Heat

It’s officially summer! We have now passed the points that mark the traditional start to summer (Memorial Day), the meteorological start (June 1), and now the astronomical start, or summer solstice (June 21) — so break out those flip-flops and beach towels! Though June, July, and August usually bring the heat, for parts of the country spring felt … Read More

Ocean Species Set for Reshuffle Unseen in 3 Million Years

Ocean Species Set for Reshuffle Unseen in 3 Million Years

The world’s oceans could face a massive reshuffling by the end of the century, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in as many as 3 million years, due to warming waters. Changes are already afoot in the oceans. Roughly 93 percent of the heat trapped by human greenhouse gas emissions is ending up in the world’s seas and already contributing to … Read More

Will The West Ever Be Able To Live With Fire?

Will The West Ever Be Able To Live With Fire?

Scientific progress and more than a century of living with wildfire have boosted Western resilience to the threat. But improvements in how wildfire dangers have been managed have fallen far short of the reimaginations of landscapes that are needed. “We’ve made good progress, but not good enough,” Jan van Wagtendonk, a retired Yosemite National Par… Read More

With Climate Change, Ticks Marching Farther and Earlier

With Climate Change, Ticks Marching Farther and Earlier

You might not be aware of it, but May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, devoted to reminding people who spend time in wooded areas to cover up. Otherwise, a bite from a black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis, a.k.a. a deer tick) could lead to joint and muscle pain — and in some cases, to chronic arthritis, mental confusion and even heart problems.… Read More

Pacific Winds Tied to Warming Slowdown, Dry West

Pacific Winds Tied to Warming Slowdown, Dry West

To understand why the West has been so dry since the turn of the century, cast your eye further west — to the natural waxing and waning of Pacific Ocean winds. Strong trade winds have been forcing heat into ocean depths, contributing to a temporary slowdown in land surface warming over the past 15 to 20 years that some have called a warming hiatus… Read More

Experimental Forecast Projects Tornado Season

Experimental Forecast Projects Tornado Season

The 2011 tornado season wasn’t supposed to happen, not in our modern era of advanced technology and storm warnings. Those warnings had led to a steady drop in the death tolls as people received more accurate information and earlier warnings than in the past. But the 1,691 tornadoes in 2011 — the second most for any season going back to the 1950s… Read More

Maps Show El Niño Won’t Help the West’s Water Woes

Maps Show El Niño Won’t Help the West’s Water Woes

El Niño has finally proved the haters wrong. After months of being derided as “El Limbo” and “El No Show,” scientists declared the phenomenon here almost a year to the day after declaring an El Niño Watch. Sure, it’s later and wimpier than initial forecasts, but better late and weaker than never. Unless of course you’re suffering from drought in … Read More

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Planting Zones Heading North As temperatures rise, planting zones are on the move.

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