Posts

July 31, 2014

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10:59 PM | Even as Spectacular Storms Bring Relief to U.S. Southwest, Drought Conditions Persist — and Worsen in California
After a profound lack of precipitation, parts of the Southwestern United States have finally begun to get some desperately needed relief. New Mexico, where the spectacular photo above was taken yesterday, has been suffering through four years of drought. And while the drought hasn’t ended (not by a long shot), the storms have finally come […]The post Even as Spectacular Storms Bring Relief to U.S. Southwest, Drought Conditions Persist — and Worsen in California appeared first […]
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10:38 PM | Exceptional Drought Blankets 58 Percent of California
Previous week’s values of 36 percent exceptional drought coverage rocketed to 58 percent in just one week. Exceptional drought is the highest drought category for the US Drought Monitor, representing the most extreme conditions in the measure. So most of the state is now sweltering under the nation’s worst drought category with the remainder covered by extreme and severe drought: Continue reading →
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1:15 PM | California’s Biggest Water Source Shrouded in Secrecy
Stanford launches a major investigation of the state's dwindling groundwater resources and finds "alarming" gaps.

July 28, 2014

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8:38 PM | High and Dry
By Sharman Apt Russell Nineteen sixty. I was 5 years old and talking politics with my best friend’s mom. No, I chattered, my mom had never voted for Barry Goldwater, former city councilman and now U.S. senator from Arizona. She just didn’t trust the man. Whoa! My best friend’s mom seemed to expand like a red balloon. Didn’t I know that the future of Phoenix, my hometown, depended on men like Barry Goldwater? Gulp. Well, no, I […]

July 25, 2014

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9:28 PM | ESA Policy News July 25: Senators review EPA power plant rules, rural CA receives drought relief, ESA to aid Interior science group
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy New […]
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9:19 PM | Weekend Reads: Virtual Reality Environmentalism, Climate Cowboys, Are Water Witchers for Real?
By Jason Bittel If a Tree Falls in a Virtual Forest…Imagine you’re a little piece of purple coral. Everything’s going swimmingly until the ocean begins to acidify and your reef starts dropping dead all around you. Then, all of a sudden, you watch yourself losing your purple hue … and then the darkness is closes in. Lucky for you, this is just a virtual reality experiment to see if “experiencing” an environmental […]
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1:37 PM | Blue Whales in the Way, Court Blows ABX Decision, Radioactive Snow Monkeys
By Jason Bittel Take your medicine (oh, what’s the point...): The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is under no obligation to ban the practice of administering antibiotics to healthy livestock as a way of promoting growth—even though study after study shows that the practice is creating drug-resistant superbugs (see "You Want Superbugs With That?"). The U.S. Centers for Disease […]

July 24, 2014

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6:20 PM | How the West was Lost
Just as the settling and development of the arid American West was fueled by harnessing its available fresh water, the growing lack of water availability may well be its undoing. California’s epic drought is just the latest example of what is shaping up to be the new normal out west.  Last year was the driest…
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10:00 AM | Drought Hastens Groundwater Depletion in the Texas Panhandle
Persistent drought in northwest Texas is leading farmers to pump more water from the Ogallala Aquifer, hastening the depletion of this crucial water supply. Over the last decade, from 2004-2014, average underground water levels across the 16-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) have dropped 8.83 feet (2.69 meters), with three counties seeing average…
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4:00 AM | Drought Becomes Top Environmental Priority for Californians
Those surveyed say they favor mandatory restrictions on water use.

July 23, 2014

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2:38 PM | Beetles Eat Beatle Tree, Nestle Chugs Away California’s H20, EPA Goes Kim K. Krazy
By Jason Bittel Liquid loophole: California is in its third year of drought, and by state law districts must report their water consumption and well levels. But Nestle’s Arrowhead bottled water division has found a way around all that silly reporting: it buys its water from the Morongo Tribe, which is technically a sovereign nation and thus, not beholden to California’s laws. So how much water are we talking about? In 2009, the Nestle plant […]
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1:59 PM | Extreme to Exceptional Drought Now Covers Over 80 Percent of California
It’s no longer a question of 100% drought coverage for the stricken state of California. That barrier was crossed months ago. Today, it’s how severe that drought coverage has become. And in a state… Source: robertscribbler.wordpress.com Excellent article.Filed under: Climate … Continue reading →

July 22, 2014

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4:22 PM | Climate Model Shows Australia’s Rainfall Decline Due To Human-Caused Climate Change
Simulating natural and human-caused climate drivers, scientists showed that the decline in rainfall is primarily a response to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases as well as a thinning of the ozone caused by human-caused aerosol emissions. Continue reading →

July 21, 2014

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2:45 PM | Drilling the Atlantic, Germany Wins (Again), Synchronized Swimming with Robots and Hippos
By Jason Bittel Cold calculation: The Obama administration announced Friday that it will open the Eastern Seaboard for offshore drilling, and allow oil and gas companies to use sonic surveying cannons, a technology known to disrupt the communication systems of marine mammals, causing them to beach themselves. But hey, apparently that’s OK with the feds. “The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will […]

July 18, 2014

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6:16 PM | Numerous Wildfires Rage in Hot and Dry Pacific Northwest
| Updated 7/19/14, 10 a.m. MDT: see new image below | Ignited by lightning strikes on hot and tinder dry forests, more than a dozen large wildfires are raging throughout the Pacific Northwest of the United States and up into British Columbia. In Oregon and Washington alone, more than 310,000 acres were ablaze as of yesterday […]The post Numerous Wildfires Rage in Hot and Dry Pacific Northwest appeared first on ImaGeo.
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4:39 PM | Weekend Reads: Much Ado About Ducks, Enviro Spy Games, Saving the World—from Space
By Jason Bittel Duck Dynasty What if I told you about a government program that raked in $25 million last year despite having just three employees? And this very same program has conserved more than 6 million acres of wetlands since 1949, and wait for it … it's based exclusively around artistic renderings of ducks. Don’t call me crazy—it’s Bryan Kevin’s story—and it’s probably one of the weirdest, and coolest, […]

July 17, 2014

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4:55 PM | California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895
I didn’t think that the release today of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report would bring significant news about California. As the report says, with much of the state categorized as being in extreme or exceptional drought, and May through September being normally dry anyway, “there is not much more room for further deterioration, at […]The post California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895 appeared first on ImaGeo.
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4:55 PM | California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895
I didn’t think that the release today of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report would bring significant news about California. As the report says, with much of the state categorized as being in extreme or exceptional drought, and May through September being normally dry anyway, “there is not much more room for further deterioration, at […]The post California Experiences Warmest, 3rd Driest Year Since 1895 appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 16, 2014

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2:20 PM | I Brake for Humpbacks, West Nile Season, the Chillest Commute Ever
By Jason Bittel All systems go?: Japan is getting ready to flick a nuclear power plant back on for the first time since the Fukushima disaster. The 2011 meltdown led to the country shutting down 54 reactors and with them about a quarter of its energy supply. Japan's nuclear regulator says two reactors have met safety approval and are ready to send 1.78 gigawatts to the grid. The next step is to get public approval, which ... will be a tough sell. In a […]
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12:59 AM | California Regulators Approve Fines for Wasting Water
Watering your lawn or washing your car may become a lot more expensive. State regulators have approved new fines aimed at water wasters, hoping the penalties will lead to a reduction in water use.

July 15, 2014

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1:54 AM | Australian Drought Is Likely Result of Rising Greenhouse Gases
A new paper in Nature Geoscience has found that the increasing drought in Australia is very likely due to rising greenhouse gases, and dropping levels of stratospheric Ozone in the atmosphere, and NOT a normal climate fluctuation. Model data also showed that it will likely get worse as greenhouse gases increase over the next century. Key Findings (from GFDL release-see link below) An important new tool for prediction of regional-scale …

July 14, 2014

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2:17 PM | GOP Raises Stink Over Eco Toilets, Peak Protection, Canada's Big Blemish
By Jason Bittel Shout it from the mountaintops: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday when it concluded that the new review process for mountaintop removal permits was well within the agency’s authority under the Clean Water Act. West Virginia and Kentucky had argued that the new rules made acquiring mountaintop mining permits too difficult. (Uh, guys, that’s kind of the point.) The […]

July 11, 2014

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11:35 PM | Drought Drives Hungry Bears to Lake Tahoe
Nevada wildlife officials say they're increasingly responding to a new kind of troublemaker they've started calling "drought" bears.
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6:59 PM | Lake Mead Shrivels to Historic Low Level. In Just Two Years, the Change is Dramatic Enough to be Visible from Space
Not that it was any surprise, but thanks to continuing drought, Arizona’s Lake Mead is projected to shrivel this week to its lowest level since it first filled behind Hoover Dam in the 1930s. All told, 40 million people in seven states depend on water from the Colorado River Basin. Lake Mead is the giant […]The post Lake Mead Shrivels to Historic Low Level. In Just Two Years, the Change is Dramatic Enough to be Visible from Space appeared first on ImaGeo.
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6:59 PM | Lake Mead Shrivels to Historic Low Level. In Just Two Years, the Change is Dramatic Enough to be Visible from Space
Not that it was any surprise, but thanks to continuing drought, Arizona’s Lake Mead is projected to shrivel this week to its lowest level since it first filled behind Hoover Dam in the 1930s. All told, 40 million people in seven states depend on water from the Colorado River Basin. Lake Mead is the giant […]The post Lake Mead Shrivels to Historic Low Level. In Just Two Years, the Change is Dramatic Enough to be Visible from Space appeared first on ImaGeo.

July 09, 2014

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10:15 PM | State Officials Consider Mandatory Limits on Outdoor Watering
Wasting water outdoors amid the state's drought will begin hitting Californians in the wallet under get-tough restrictions being proposed by state regulators.

July 02, 2014

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2:50 PM | Climate Change Joins Lions and Livestock in an Unlikely Partnership
In the coming years, climate change will transform the world in ways that we have not predicted. The king of the big cats has already survived two major periods of change, but with humans quickly taking over valuable grassland habitat, will they be able to survive another? On the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania, lions have…
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