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Opinion: With San Francisco Bay On Life Support, Newsom Withholds the Cure

San Francisco Bay’s life support systems are unravelling quickly, and a wealth of science indicates that unsustainable water diversions are driving this estuary’s demise.

Yet, with another drought looming, federal and state water managers still plan to divert large amounts of water to their contractors and drain upstream reservoirs this summer. Meanwhile, the state’s most powerful water districts are preparing yet another proposal to maintain excessive water diversions for the long-term.

Report Calls For “Radical Changes” To Colorado River Management

A recent report from Colorado River experts says it’s time for radical new management strategies to safeguard the Southwest’s water supplies. It’s meant to inform discussions on how to renegotiate certain parts of the Law of the River that will expire in 2026. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke about the report with Jack Schmidt, director of the Center for Colorado River Studies at Utah State University.

Something was Killing Baby Salmon. Scientists Traced it to a Food-Web Mystery

The biologists working in a fish hatchery near Shasta Dam grew increasingly concerned last year when newly hatched salmon fry began to act strangely — swimming around and around, in tight, corkscrewing motions, before spiraling to their deaths at the bottom of the tanks.

Certain runs of chinook salmon in California are imperiled; the hatcheries and the fry raised there are the federal government’s last-ditch effort to sustain these ecologically and economically vital fish populations.

San Diego Scientist Gets Closer to Understanding Why the Coast Collapses

Adam Young spent the last three years firing a laser from the back of his truck at Del Mar’s cliffs which are crumbling into the Pacific Ocean.

Cliff collapses along the California coast killed three Encinitas beachgoers in 2019. That same year, another bluff collapse in Del Mar destabilized a set of train tracks regularly carrying passengers between Los Angeles and San Diego. Policymakers need to make big decisions about how best to reckon with earth that seems to fall at random, but scientists still don’t understand what truly causes them to fall.

That’s what Young, a coastal geomorphologist (the study of how the earth’s surface formed and changes) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, wants to know: If we know how ocean waves and winter rains eat away at a cliff face, can we eventually predict where and when it will collapse?

Water Harvesting Tech for PV Panel Cleaning and Cooling

An international research team has proposed to use nighttime radiative cooling to harvest water from PV panels and reuse it for module cleaning during the daytime. According to their findings, the proposed system has, also, a beneficial effect on the modules’ operating temperature.

San Diego Researchers Looking to Grow a Climate Solution

Salk Research Institute Greenhouse manager McKenna Hopwood opened a door to what she jokingly calls “the meat locker.”

“Alright, here we are,” Hopwood said as she pointed to the ceiling.

Bags of drying plants, both stalks and roots, hang from the ceiling, prompting the comparison to a slaughterhouse meat cooler. But, of course, the hanging carcasses here are plants.

From Droughts to Flooding, Here’s How California is Trying to Better Understand Atmospheric Rivers

California weather is rarely average. Historically, the state has well above or well below average rain and snow. One of the keys to prepare for these wild swings is a better understanding of atmospheric rivers. The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes or CW3E is at the heart of this research.

Researchers Predict More Frequent, Severe Megastorms Due to Climate Change

A study last week predicts that massive, often-devastating “hundred-year storms” may occur three times as often and be 20% more severe in the U.S. due to climate change. The researchers, in a paper published in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future, found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at a rapid rate, the continental U.S. would likely see such mega-storms every 33 years.

The occurrence of historic rainfall events, like the ones that caused Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and California’s Great Flood of 1862, are likely to increase faster than lower-magnitude events, which already happen about every decade, according to UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.

Coronavirus Lockdown Caused Dramatic Changes in Water Consumption, Research Finds

New research has found that the coronavirus lockdown led to dramatic changes in water consumption in England and Wales, and that some of these are likely to continue even after the pandemic.

Science Group Issues Valley-Focused Advice on Climate Change

The San Joaquin Valley has received a specially addressed message from the Union of Concerned Scientists about what it thinks people across the region should be doing about looming water shortages, worsening air quality and generally more volatile weather in the years ahead.