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Denver Still Without Snow but Climatologists Say They’re More Concerned by Snowpack Levels Out West

With each passing, snowless day, Denver extends its new record of the latest date at which the first measurable snow falls, busting through the old record of Nov. 21, set in 1934.

Climatologists are watching as the record climbs, estimating Denver’s dry spell could last until early December. But that’s not nearly as worrisome as the lagging snowpack levels in southwest Colorado, they say, specifically in the Sangre de Cristo, San Juan and San Miguel mountains.

State Addresses Urgency to Prepare Roads, Water Systems for Rising Sea

Guidelines for how cities and local agencies should adapt roads, railways and water systems to accommodate rising seas were unanimously approved Wednesday by the state Coastal Commission.

The 230-page document sets a controversial benchmark by urging communities to prepare for the Pacific Ocean to rise 10 feet by 2100, a projection so far beyond current calculations that climate scientists haven’t yet determined the probability of it occurring.

What La Niña Means for California’s Drought

For California, the arrival of winter means the beginning of our rainy season, at least relatively speaking.

However much precipitation California is going to receive in a year, the bulk of it typically falls between December and March. And given the severity of our state’s ongoing drought, the amount of rain we get this winter couldn’t be of more importance.

As Climate Talks Put Focus on Water Crisis, the Colorado River Provides a Stark Example

As world leaders meet in Scotland this week to discuss efforts to address the climate crisis, experts are urging greater focus on adapting to fundamental shifts in the planet’s water supplies — and they’re pointing to the Colorado River as a prime example.

The river, a vital water source for about 40 million people from Denver to Los Angeles, has continued to shrink and send reservoirs declining toward critically low levels after years of extremely dry conditions compounded by hotter temperatures.

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.

San Diego Leaders Unveil ‘Our Climate, Our Future’ Initiative

Mayor Todd Gloria and other civic leaders Wednesday unveiled the “Our Climate, Our Future” initiative, intended to address climate change, improve San Diego’s public health and quality of life and increase innovation in the economy.

“Our vision is for San Diego to be a global leader on inclusive climate action and Our Climate, Our Future is an invitation to join in building that vision,” Gloria said.

From Sky to Bedrock, Researchers Near Crested Butte Are Resetting What We Know About Water in the West

Eight white shipping containers, instruments spouting from the tops of some and a generator humming away in another, sit in the East River valley, on the outskirts of this mountain town, pulling data out of the air.

The containers, a “mobile atmospheric observatory,” will gather bits of information over the next two years about the winds and clouds and rain and snow and heat and cold above the silvery and serpentine waterway as it slides past the gray granite dome of Gothic Mountain on its way to the Colorado River.

Unchecked Oil and Gas Wastewater Threatens California Groundwater

California has a reputation as a leader on climate and environmental policy. So it doesn’t advertise the fact that it allows the oil and gas industry to store wastewater produced during drilling and extraction in unlined pits in the ground, a practice that began in the early 1900s.

Now, though, researchers have revealed the environmental costs of California’s failure to regulate how its $111 billion oil and gas industry manages the wastewater, known as produced water.

California Records Driest Year in a Century

In a year of both extreme heat and extreme drought, California has reported its driest water year in terms of precipitation in a century, and experts fear the coming 12 months could be even worse.

The Western Regional Climate Center added average precipitation that had been reported at each of its stations and calculated that a total of 11.87 inches of rain and snow fell in California in the 2021 water year. That’s half of what experts deem average during a water year in California: about 23.58 inches.

La Niña Arrives, Threatening to Stoke Droughts and Roil Markets

A weather-roiling La Niña appears to have emerged across the equatorial Pacific, setting the stage for worsening droughts in California and South America, frigid winters in parts of the U.S. and Japan and greater risks for the world’s already strained energy and food supplies.

The phenomenon—which begins when the atmosphere reacts to a cooler patch of water over the Pacific Ocean—will likely last through at least February, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said Thursday. There is a 57% chance it be a moderate event, like the one that started last year, the center said.