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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

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

Record-Setting Drought Intensifies in Parched California

Record-Setting Drought Intensifies in Parched California

The relentless heat that has plagued the western half of the country this summer has ratcheted up California’s terrible drought once again, bringing it to record levels. More than half of the state is in “exceptional” drought, the highest category recognized by the U.S. Drought Monitor, which released its latest update on Thursday. “The heat has… Read More

Six Months In and Sizzling California Sets Record

Six Months In and Sizzling California Sets Record

The record exemplifies a temperature pattern that has held across the country for much of the year, with above-average temperatures in the West and below average in the East. The pattern has kept monthly average temperatures for the entire U.S. -- as well as the average temperature for the year-to-date -- in the middle of the pack record-wise, but … Read More