Another Atmospheric River is Coming, Ranked 2 to 3 … But What Does That Scale Mean?

Another atmospheric river approaches this Tuesday. It is ranked on a scale of 2 to 3 … but what does that ranking mean and why do we have it?

And, as the climate crisis drives increasingly extreme weather, communicating just how extreme that weather actually is can also be challenging. From extreme heat to atmospheric rivers, weather hazard scales are no longer just for hurricanes and tornadoes.

Senators Urge Agriculture Secretary to Help Western States in ’22-Year Mega-Drought’

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is leading a letter signed by 14 other senators urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to help Western states survive what they are calling a “22-year mega-drought” that is threatening farms and ranches across the West.  “The American West is in crisis. Across the major basins of the American West … farm and ranch families hang in the balance as they grapple with a 22-year mega-drought,” they warned.

The Scary Big Picture of Having Less Water

As a society we constantly hear the “drought warning.” Then we endure some water conservation efforts and a couple of years later everything seems to go back to normal. As a result, we have become numb to the word “drought.” Wildfires are brutal and get our immediate attention, but we expect they will also burn out.

Proposal to Place Solar Panels Over LA Aqueduct Advances

A proposal to place solar panels over the 370-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct in an attempt to reduce evaporation and add capacity for renewable energy for residents was approved by a council committee this week. Around one-tenth of the water in the aqueduct is lost from evaporation each year due to the length of travel for water to make it through the aqueduct, according to the office of Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who introduced the motion. O’Farrell is the chair of the council’s Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River committee.

The West Just Experienced an Aspect of the Climate Crisis That Scientists Have Warned of for Years

The West saw an aspect of the climate crisis play out this month that scientists have warned of for years.

In the middle of a prolonged, water shortage-inducing megadrought, one area, Yellowstone, was overwhelmed in mid-June by drenching rainfall and rapid snowmelt that — instead of replenishing the ground over a matter of weeks or months — created a torrent of flash flooding that ripped out roads and bridges and caused severe damage to one of the country’s most cherished national parks.

Governor Outlines Climate Action Spending in Budget Proposal

Gov. Gavin Newsom called for $22.5 billion in state spending to combate climate change next year, offering a suite of solutions that mirror climate action and decarbonization efforts now underway in San Diego.

In a presentation Monday on his proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-23, Newsom announced a projected surplus of $45.7 billion and unveiled his proposals to use the windfall to combat COVID-19, climate change, homelessness, high costs of living and crime.

Opinion: Federal Investment in Clean Energy Will Mean Good Jobs for San Diegans

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 represents over 3,600 electricians, power professionals and working families in San Diego and Imperial Counties, and we have long advocated for a future that involves clean energy to help tackle the climate crisis. The need for urgent action on climate change is everywhere. We see it daily as our communities experience record-breaking heat, historic wildfires, dangerous droughts and more. We cannot ignore the increasing public health and economic threats to our state.

California Increases Salmon Spawning to Make Up for Drought

In an effort to blunt the devastating toll California’s extended drought has taken on the state’s chinook salmon population, state and federal fish hatcheries in Northern California are spawning millions of additional salmon smolts in order to increase their odds of survival.

The state’s prolonged drought has left many of its dams and rivers unable to supply the cold water currents wild salmon require for their eggs to survive. So, hatcheries are trying to make up for nature’s dry spell with human intervention.

Opinion: California Must Act Urgently on Climate

A delegation of 15 state lawmakers is joining a conference of world leaders in Scotland to discuss climate change solutions. As leaders of the world’s 5th largest economy, their participation is important, but it’s more urgent for them to act once they return.

The latest research reveals California’s climate crisis overwhelms policies to stop it, and our low-income communities, communities of color and seniors face the most harm. If unchecked, this mismatch will undo decades of work Californians have dedicated to preserve a healthy environment and build an equal society.

Lake Tahoe Water Level Hits Four-Year Low as Drought Pummels Tourist Spot

Lake Tahoe’s water level dropped to a four-year low on Tuesday as gusty winds and the impacts of California’s devastating drought hit the popular tourist destination.

After days of high winds increased evaporation rates, water levels fell to the basin’s natural rim for the first time since 2017, the end of the state’s last drought. The lake normally sits above the rim, which allows for water to flow into the Truckee River. Levels will probably continue to drop, receding below the rim this week, sooner than expected.