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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

Military Bases Face Hurdles in Climate Change Adaptation

Military Bases Face Hurdles in Climate Change Adaptation

The Department of Defense has 7,600 military installations across all 50 states and 40 foreign countries. They perform diverse functions, but they have one thing in common: climate change could cost them big in the coming decades unless adaptation measures are taken soon. The military has already taken some action. Planning for climate change impa… Read More

Genes Help Plants Handle Rising CO2 Levels

Genes Help Plants Handle Rising CO2 Levels

Biologists in the U.S. have identified the genetic machinery that tells a plant how to respond to more carbon dioxide caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Four genes from three different gene families together control the density of stomata, or breathing pores, on the foliage of the healthy plant. As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, … Read More

Map Shows When Summer Heat Peaks in Your Town

Map Shows When Summer Heat Peaks in Your Town

If you live in the Northeast, the hottest day of the year is likely still to come. However, Tucsonians (Tucsonites?), rejoice! Peak heat is likely behind you according to a new map released by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). With the passing of the summer solstice, the days are now getting shorter in the northern hemisphere. But the dog … Read More

Waves in the Atmosphere Fueling Extreme Weather

Waves in the Atmosphere Fueling Extreme Weather

The pattern of a wavy jet stream was a recurring theme in U.S. weather forecasts this winter as a particularly jagged one essentially split the country in two. While there is a debate over whether climate change causes that pattern, new research shows that the waviness does exacerbate extreme weather. The research, published in Nature Climate Chan… Read More

San Franciscans in the Dark About Flood Hazards

San Franciscans in the Dark About Flood Hazards

A citywide effort is tackling a problem that few residents think about: rising seas and coastal erosion. Ocean Beach, on the western edge of the city, has been offering San Franciscans a place to enjoy nature and water activities, but the shoreline is facing greater erosion due to sea level rise that threatens public safety and vital … Read More