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El Niño helps drive steep increase in CO2

Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are predicted to grow at a record pace this year, projected to blow past a symbolic benchmark of 400 parts per million and creating conditions irreversible for any time scale relevant to modern society, according to a new study.

The report was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change as a collaboration between the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services in England and UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which maintains the world’s longest stretch of measurements for atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.

Salton Sea May Get New Lease on Life

An ongoing effort to preserve the quality of life around California’s largest lake is taking on a renewed emphasis.

A series of public hearings and workshops will continue through the summer under the auspices of the Salton Sea Task Force which was created last year. The immediate emphasis is on dust control. The task force says managing the Salton Sea’s natural, agricultural, and municipal water inflows to maximize bird and fish habitat and minimize fine-particle air pollution will allow California to protect regional health, ecological wealth and a stable water supply.

BLOG: North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program: A New Water Source for Valley Farmers

Anthea Hansen, general manager of the Patterson, Calif.-based Del Puerto Water District, described the exciting work to bring more water stability in the form of recycled water to multiple Central Valley cities—in our five-part series on the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program (NVRRWP)

“After six and a half years of effort,” Hansen said, “we have fully completed all of our environmental documentation, and most of the permitting is in hand.” Recently, the partners have interviewed and selected the preferred firm to construct the Modesto component of the project, so that process is underway.”

BLOG: Surprising Way Climate Change Is Impacting Water

To understand what the future holds, sometimes we have to look at the past, Bruce Daniels has learned. Daniels is trying to help Californians understand future water availability by examining 85 years of daily precipitation records. His analysis has shown that water managers (and the rest of us) have some reason to be concerned.

Daniels holds a PhD in hydroclimatology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, although he originally started his career in computer science, including working on the first Macintosh computer.

How Long Can Droughts Last? Los Angeles County’s Trees May Have the Answer

If trees could talk about the weather, Dave Meko would be out of a job. Meko, a professor from the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, has made a career out of interpreting stories about rainfall, stream flows, climate patterns and most importantly, droughts silently hidden within California’s ancient pine trees.


California’s 58 Million Trees Have Suffered a Water Deficit

For two weeks in August, the researchers flew a plane called the Carnegie Airborne Observatory over forests throughout the state and aimed a laser-guided sensor at the trees to measure the water content of their canopies.up to 58 million trees have suffered a water deficit classified as extremely threatening to long-term forest health. California’s years-long drought is not only having a distressing impact on humans but also on vegetation, as years of little or no rain is taking a big toll on the state’s forests, a new study revealed.

The ‘Third Age’ of Water: Stretching Every Drop Efficiency Plus Conservation is Smarter, Cheaper than Dams and Desal, Experts Say

If you were thirsting for some good news about the water crisis, the panelists at the Lobero Theater on Sunday had some.

It’s true, they said, that 700 million people around the globe are without access to safe drinking water. Polluted rivers still catch on fire. People still get sick from water-borne diseases such as cholera, and from lead poisoning, as in Flint, Michigan. In California, where aqueducts crisscross the state, every source of water, including rivers, lakes, and underground basins, is over-committed, both legally and physically, the experts said. Even absent the drought, there is not enough water.

The Weird Weather That Entrenched California’s Drought

Several months after storms fueled by a fierce El Niño exploded over the northern Sierra Nevada, California’s mountain snowpack has nearly disappeared.

Scientists bid adieu last week to an El Niño that had been among the strongest on record, but that brought disappointingly few wintertime snowflakes and raindrops to the Southwest. Snow that bucketed down in northern California during a string of March storms has largely withered during a sunny and warm spring.

California Grape Production Continues to Set the Bar High


Fresh grape production in California continues to supply global consumers with a premium standard that has set the bar high.

Looking at production during 2015, Barry Bedwell, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association told The Produce News, “We had 110.5 million boxes of grapes.” This bodes well for an industry, which set a record for 2014 value of production of $1.83 billion. For 2016, Bedwell said estimates are that 117 million boxes of grapes will be produced.

Heat Wave — ‘One for the Record Books’ — to Slam LA

Haven’t these chilly mornings and evenings felt nice? Don’t take the drizzle and gray for granted. That marine layer is expected to dissipate this weekend as a serious heat wave threatening to break high-temperature records lands in Los Angeles.

“There is a very real chance that this heat wave will be one for the record books,” says the National Weather Service. Temperatures will start rising steadily Friday. They’ll reach the 90-degree range on Saturday, creep into the mid-90s on Sunday, and peak Monday, when max temperatures in the valley will soar somewhere between 110 and 118 degrees, according the Weather Service.