California wildfires as of September 1st.
Posts tagged california.
Flames consume trees along US Highway 120 as a fire burns out of control in Buck Meadows, California | image by Justin Sullivan
13 parks around the world that are providing innovative and effective interpretation on climate change ›
New report: Climate in the Parks—Innovative Climate Education in Parks, looks at 13 parks around the world that are providing innovative and effective interpretation on climate change.
Download here: Climate in Parks report
Mark Bittman visits an industrial tomato farm in California. I like that he swipes at ‘heirloom’ tomatoes. But his admiration for sustainable farming permeates the entire piece.
I’VE long wondered how producing a decent ingredient, one that you can buy in any supermarket, really happens. Take canned tomatoes, of which I probably use 100 pounds a year. It costs $2 to $3 a pound to buy hard, tasteless, “fresh” plum tomatoes, but only half that for almost two pounds of canned tomatoes that taste much better. How is that possible?
The answer lies in a process that is almost unimaginable in scope without seeing it firsthand. So, fearing the worst — because we all “know” that organic farming is “good” and industrial farming is “bad” — I headed to the Sacramento Valley in California to see a big tomato operation.I began by touring Bruce Rominger’s farmin Winters. With his brother Rick and as many as 40 employees, Rominger farms around 6,000 acres of tomatoes, wheat, sunflowers, safflower, onions, alfalfa, sheep, rice and more. Unlike many Midwestern farm operations, which grow corn and soy exclusively, here are diversity, crop rotation, cover crops and, for the most part, real food — not crops destined for junk food, animal feed or biofuel. That’s a good start.
Finally, some good news about the effects of climate change. It may have triggered a growth spurt in two of California’s iconic tree species: coast redwoods and giant sequoias.
Something isn’t right about this story. The researchers are quoted as saying they don’t really know the source of the sequoia’s growth spurts.
The “Safe Climate Caucus" comprises 27 congressman and women. They vow to bring state-by-state climate issues to House floor in one-minute speeches. Here is Cal. Rep. Alan Lowenthal speaking on the impacts to coastal California and over 6 million people, July 31, 2013.
David McNew, A firefighter watches from a rooftop as the Powerhouse fire closes in around the Canyon Creek Complex sports camp, June 1, 2013
Powerhouse Fire in rural Los Angeles was put out last month. Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency a few days ago for federal assistance.
What’s the best job ever? After watching this AMAZING video, we think you’ll agree: sea otter aquarist!
Really cool job.
“Our climate is changing, the weather is becoming more intense…It’s going to cost a lot of money and a lot of lives…The big issue (is) how do we adapt…because it doesn’t look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we are going to have to adapt. And adapting is going to be very, very expensive.”
…in an airplane hangar filled with trucks, airplanes and helicopters used by the state to fight fires.
Scary video of rapidly spreading wildfire near LA from someone’s backyard. You can here father and daughter talking about animals running from the flames.
Tough year ahead guys.
Southern California wildfire spreads to Naval Base Ventura County
Photo: NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin
Seriously, it’s going to be a real rough year!
Wildfires have begun several months early this year due to drought (and mismanagement) in Idaho, California, Colorado, and Minnesota. There may be others, but that is all I could find in a short time frame.
An agency that watches for wildfire conditions (see below) predicts 2013 will be a killer season. On a personal level, news about wildfires and floods hit me hardest. It’s when good people come together to help their neighbors in such visual, visceral, and gut striking way.
First responders, like firemen, who are usually unpaid volunteers, put their lives on the line for us. They are great people. These types of disasters are at once heartening, because they impact regular people so hard, and frustrating, because our government is partially responsible for mismanaging land and not providing adequate equipment. I fear that 2013 will be the year of tears - let’s hope that I’m wrong.
BOISE, Idaho—Two small but unseasonably early fires burning in northern California’s wine country and another wind-whipped blaze farther south likely are a harbinger of a nasty summer fire season across the West.
Officials with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said Wednesday in their first 2013 summer fire outlook that a dry winter and expected warming trend mean the potential for significant fire activity will be above normal on the West Coast, in the Southwest and portions of Idaho and Montana.
"We’re looking at a combination of a low-moisture winter and a warming and drying pattern in the West that will increase the fire potential," said Ed Delgado, predictive services manager.
If that sounds familiar to the region’s residents, it should.
In 2012, record-setting fires raged in New Mexico and Oregon, while destructive Colorado blazes torched hundreds of homes amid one of the state’s worst seasons in years.
Just like last year, Colorado experienced some of its first 2013 wildfires in March.
Outside the West, however, much of the U.S. is expected to experience normal fire conditions, with below-normal danger in the South where significant, long-duration rains saturated the landscape since Jan. 1, Delgado said.
In California, wine-producing counties Napa and Sonoma experienced early-season blazes Wednesday, as warm temperatures, low humidity and gusting winds through already-dry foothills areas east and north ofSan Francisco led to warnings of extreme wildfire conditions.
Both were more than half-contained, according to crews.
And a fast-moving fire east of Los Angeles grew Wednesday afternoon to at least 1,500 acres near Banning in the San Bernardino Mountains, where winds from the east were blowing at nearly 30 mph. Some evacuations were ordered.
Evacuations were ordered for residences on two streets but the number of people was not immediately known. A KCAL-TV helicopter showed at least one structure engulfed by flames.
On my bucket list.
Now, we are facing another rise in sea level of 1 to 4 feet. A rise of just 16 inches would be enough to endanger roads, highways and airports in San Francisco and Oakland. It could contaminate crucial groundwater in Los Angeles.
Heat is already the leading cause of weather-related deaths, and the expected temperature increase will mean longer and hotter heat waves, like the one that killed 164 Californians during a blistering week in 2006.
That’s the bad news contained in the National Climate Assessment. The good news is we can do something to prevent these dire outcomes.
The report should be a wake-up call for leaders in Washington to overcome gridlock and start working on solutions. For models of how to proceed, they need only look to California and other states and cities that have begun to move forward in a bipartisan way.
The first step for policymakers — and for ordinary citizens too — is to understand the situation we face, which means carefully reading the National Climate Assessment. It may not be as gripping to look at or have the provocative appeal of a raging wildfire or another act of God, but the knowledge in this report is crucial to understanding how to change, to adapt, to prevent and to prepare for future disasters.
It’s our duty to pay attention.
If you can believe it way back in 1990(!), President George HW Bush signed America’s first climate change law called the Global Change Research Act. The act ordered the Federal Government to study the impacts and issues of climate change in America.
There are several elements of the act, but most important is that every four years, the government is supposed to issue a climate change report called the National Climate Assessment. You can read previous NCA reports, here.
The next NCA is due to be published within the next few months.
Chemical companies get permits from the government to dump pollution into our rivers and lakes. But, as this PBS investigation shows, companies can and do dump chemicals in violation of environmental laws. And get away with it.
In part one of a two-part series, PBS NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien travels to Hinkley, CA — the town whose multi-million dollar settlement for groundwater contamination was featured in the movie “Erin Brockovich.”
Now, almost 30 years later, O’Brien explores the reasons why the groundwater in Hinkley still has dangerous levels of the chemical chromium and its link to cancer.
(And, can we pause to reflect just for a minute that Miles O’Brien is one of America’s great modern journalists. I really admire his work.)