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Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

Calif. Plans Nation’s Most Detailed Sea Level Database

To help adapt to the increased flood-risks affecting people and property in these landscapes, California is about to compile the nation’s most elaborate sea level rise planning database. The task won’t be easy. California’s bureaucracy can be as bewildering as its hydrology. Which is one of the reasons its lawmakers are directing a single agency t… Read More

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

The remnants of two tropical systems — one from the Gulf of Mexico, the other just west of Baja California — are expected to serve as wells of moisture fueling rains this weekend over portions of the country’s two main drought hotspots, namely parts of the Southern Plains and Southern California. But while those rains could make dents in the Plains… Read More

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

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

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

California Has Hottest Start to Year While Midwest Chills

California Has Hottest Start to Year While Midwest Chills

The heat records keep falling for California. The state has had its hottest first seven months of the year, crushing the previous mark. Neighboring states have also baked, though not quite at record levels, helping contribute to both the spread of drought and large wildfires. At the same time, cool weather had a number of Midwest states … Read More

Putting a Climate Context on SoCal’s Flash Floods

Putting a Climate Context on SoCal’s Flash Floods

A confluence of extreme atmospheric conditions over Southern California, possibly with an assist from the intense drought in the state, set the stage for the torrential rains and flash flooding that washed away cars and homes in some areas like Mt. Baldy on Sunday. And while the U.S. Southwest is expected to increasingly dry out in a warming… Read More