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El Niño Can Raise Sea Levels Along U.S. Coast

El Niño Can Raise Sea Levels Along U.S. Coast

The El Niño event underway in the Pacific Ocean is impacting temperature and weather patterns around the world. But its effects aren’t confined to the atmosphere: A new study has found that the cyclical climate phenomenon can ratchet up sea levels off the West Coast by almost 8 inches over just a few seasons. The findings have important… 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

Climate Change May Put Power Grid at Risk in the West

Climate Change May Put Power Grid at Risk in the West

The ravages of climate change could severely hurt the ability of utilities in the 11 Western states to generate power unless they “climate proof” their power grid using renewables and energy efficiency, something they are not prepared for, according to a new study. For nearly half of the West’s existing power plants, climate change could reduce … 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

Transportation, Buildings Hold Key to Calif. Climate Goals

Transportation, Buildings Hold Key to Calif. Climate Goals

California has adopted a new climate target that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, partly by expanding the use of wind, solar and other renewables. But the expansion of clean energy in California isn’t meaningful without an emphasis on the energy efficiency of homes and other buildings, electrifying vehicles across much of the … Read More

Intense Wildfire Season Expected in West

Intense Wildfire Season Expected in West

Amid one the West’s worst droughts in centuries, more than 5,600 wildfires scorched more than 600,000 acres last year in California alone. It could happen again. With drought showing signs of worsening across the West and Upper Midwest, the Forest Service anticipates that it may spend up to $1.6 billion fighting wildfires in 2015, in a fire … Read More

California’s Forests Have Become Climate Polluters

California’s Forests Have Become Climate Polluters

California introduced a world-leading carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program to drive down pollution rates after lawmakers approved an ambitious climate protection law in 2006. It also changed rules affecting utilities, spurring investments in some of the biggest solar power plants the world has yet seen. But an emerging body of research shows it’s … Read More

Pacific Northwest’s ‘Wet Drought’ Possible Sign of Future

Pacific Northwest’s ‘Wet Drought’ Possible Sign of Future

The desiccated soils and barren slopes of California have grabbed news headlines in recent weeks, as the state entered its fourth year of a deep drought that has forced unprecedented statewide water restrictions. But while most eyes have been trained on the plight of the Golden State, its neighbors to the north are also facing a dearth of water… Read More

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Plants and Climate Change A visual look at six plant species that are already being affected by climate change.

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