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Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear alto… Read More

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Coming soon to a farm near you: just about every possible type of pest that could take advantage of the ripening harvest in the nearby fields. By 2050, according to new research in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, those opportunistic viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpi… Read More

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Grapevines march across wires strung along rolling hills, their little trunks improbably supporting heavy black fruit. Cindy Steinbeck’s family has been farming this land since 1920. They grow Zinfandel, Viognier, Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Syrah grapes but are best known in this area of Central California for a blend called The Crash, named afte… Read More

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the fate of the planet’s coastlines is dangling from its underbelly. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has long been a relatively minor factor in the steady ascent of high-water marks, responsible for about an eighth of the 3 millimeters of annual sea-level rise. But when it comes to climate change… Read More

Depths of Atlantic May Hold Key to Global Warming Hiatus

Depths of Atlantic May Hold Key to Global Warming Hiatus

The key to the slowdown in global warming in recent years could lie in the depths of the Atlantic and Southern oceans where excess heat is being stored – not the Pacific Ocean as has previously been suggested, according to new research. But the finding suggests that a naturally occurring ocean cycle burying the heat will flip in around 15 years’ ti… Read More

What Iceland’s Volcanoes Can Teach Us about Climate

What Iceland’s Volcanoes Can Teach Us about Climate

It’s not quite a sharknado, but the possible impending eruption of a mile-high volcano under Iceland’s largest glacier represents a fascinating example of a real-life natural disaster combo—quite literally fire and ice. Seismologists have detected some 3,000 tremors in the vicinity of Bárðarbunga since Saturday, a sign that the mountain might just … Read More

Epic Drought in West is Literally Moving Mountains

Epic Drought in West is Literally Moving Mountains

Some parts of California’s mountains have been uplifted up to 15 mm in the last 18 months because the massive amount of water lost in the drought is no longer weighing down the land, causing it to rise a bit like an uncoiled spring, a new study shows.… Read More

What Climate Change in the Rockies Means for its Water

What Climate Change in the Rockies Means for its Water

A new report by Colorado’s state water authorities showing how climate change will affect water supply there is important because how much water is going to be coursing down these rivers in a warming world is highly uncertain, and that means the millions of people downstream of Colorado have a lot at stake.… Read More