Geology 300: Physical Geology

Geology 301: Physical Geology Lab

Geology 305: Earth Science

Geology 306: Earth Science Lab


Instructor: Arthur Reed


April 2018 Earth Sciences topics/events making news…

 ...with emphasis on California news


Remember the principles of the scientific method when evaluating news stories!


·               (link to 2017 news articles)

·               (link to 2016 news articles)

·               (link to 2015 news articles)

·               (link to 2014 news articles)

·               (link to 2013 news articles)

·               (link to 2012 news articles)

·               (link to 2011 news articles)

·               (link to 2010 news articles)

·               (link to 2009 & older news articles)




Climate change, wildfires transforming biodiversity hotspot in Northern California

A region of forest in northern California and southwestern Oregon known as the Klamath is being transformed by droughts and frequent wildfires, new research confirms.

United Press International, 4-30-18




Is the Bay Area ready for the next big earthquake?

The Bay Area is certainly no stranger to earthquakes both big and small. From the 1906 Quake to the Loma Prieta Quake in 1989, our region has seen its share. But how ready are we for the next big quake?

KRON-TV (San Francisco), 4-30-18


California to Extend Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Through 2030

Oil companies, automakers and alternative fuel producers are all finding something to like in proposed changes to California’s low-carbon fuel standard.

Environment & Energy Publishing, 4-30-17


3.3 magnitude earthquake strikes East Bay, follows series of quakes on Sunday

A 3.3 preliminary magnitude earthquake has struck 2.4 miles northeast of Alamo, California this morning, according to the USGS. The earthquake struck at 4:55 a.m. There are no reports of injuries or damages.

KGO-TV (San Francisco), 4-30-17


Highway 1 at Big Sur set to reopen in September

A seven-mile length of Highway 1 along the southern Big Sur coastline that has been closed for a year, forcing long detours, is expected to reopen in September, Caltrans announced Monday.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-30-18




Calif. agriculture lawyer to lead Region 9 — sources

The Trump administration is expected to name a California agriculture attorney to lead EPA's San Francisco-based regional office. EPA is slated to announce this week that Republican Michael Stoker will take the helm of the Region 9 office that oversees the Pacific Southwest region, sources told E&E News.

Environment & Energy Publishing, 4-30-17




Editorial: Don’t reverse course on Delta twin tunnels project

The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board has no business Wednesday reversing course and committing its ratepayers to pay a minimum of $650 million to help fund Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion twin tunnels project.

Bay Area News Group, 4-30-18




UK, U.S. study Antarctic glacier, hoping to crack sea level risks

Britain and the United States launched a $25 million project on Monday to study the risks of a collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica that is already shrinking and nudging up global sea levels.

Reuters, 4-30-18


Climate change, wildfires transforming biodiversity hotspot in Northern California

A region of forest in northern California and southwestern Oregon known as the Klamath is being transformed by droughts and frequent wildfires, new research confirms.

United Press International, 4-30-18




How Oman’s Rocks Could Help Save the Planet

In the arid vastness of this corner of the Arabian Peninsula, out where goats and the occasional camel roam, rocks form the backdrop practically every way you look.

New York Times,  4-26-18


NID board pushes ahead with mercury removal project

The Nevada Irrigation District board of directors unanimously approved a $5.5 million agreement with the Department of Water Resources' Riverine Stewardship Program for the Combie Sediment and Mercury Removal Project.

Grass Valley Union, 4-26-18


Series of small earthquakes strike near Danville Sunday

Several small earthquakes struck Sunday in the Danville area, two of which were registered as magnitude 3.0, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Bay Area News Group, 4-29-18


A Yellowstone geyser has experienced unusual eruptions lately, and scientists can't explain why

The Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park can spout 300 feet of scalding water into the air, a feature of the world's tallest active geyser. That is known.

Washington Post, 4-29-18




Supervisors to consider allowing cannabis on ag preserves at meeting Tuesday

Cannabis will be considered an agricultural product allowed on agricultural preserves if the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors approves a recommended resolution at its meeting Tuesday.

Santa Maria Times, 4-28-18




In reversal, Santa Clara Valley Water District may provide $650 million to Brown’s Delta tunnels plan

In a dramatic reversal of its stance just six months ago, Silicon Valley’s largest water district has scheduled a vote Wednesday on a plan to commit up to $650 million to Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Bay Area News Group, 4-27-18




Why Exxon isn't enjoying America's big oil party

ExxonMobil missed the invitation to America's big oil party. Booming shale oil production could soon make the United States king of the oil world.

CNN, 4-27-18


Neighborhood Spotlight: Porter Ranch a scenic Valley community under a lingering cloud of unease

One of L.A.'s newest neighborhoods, Porter Ranch remained largely undeveloped until the 1960s, when the first cul-de-sacs and tract homes sprouted up in the flats beneath the Santa Susana Mountains.

Los Angeles Times, 4-27-18


California Oil Dreams Fade as Iconic Beverly Hills Derrick Comes Down

Draped in flower-covered panels, the iconic derrick that towers over Beverly Hills High School has pumped crude for decades. Now, it waits to be dismantled, its demise mirroring the fate of oil drilling in California.

Bloomberg News, 4-26-18


Opportunities and challenges greet Jeff Martin, Sempra's new CEO

After going through perhaps the most momentous year in its 20-year history, Sempra Energy gets a new CEO on Tuesday.

San Diego Union Tribune, 4-29-18




The Secret Weapon That Will Solve Global Warming

A book about ‘the invention that changed the world’ described how radar won World War II, but there are undoubtedly any number who would dispute that, naming instead the atomic bomb, the proximity fuse, the “legendary” M1 Garand rifle, the amphibious landing craft, among others. 

Forbes, 4-29-18


Forced to Move: Climate Change Already Displacing U.S. Communities

Extreme drought pushes rural inhabitants of a Middle Eastern nation into the cities, leading to social stressors and a devastating civil war.

KCET (Los Angeles television), 4-26-18




Cost of high-speed rail jumps by millions for moving power, gas and phone lines

In 2013, when the California High-Speed Rail Authority awarded its first contract for construction of the bullet-train route in Fresno and Madera counties, the cost to move AT&T, PG&E and other utilities out of the way was estimated at about $25 million.

Fresno Bee, 4-28-18




USGS: Recent earthquakes not a sign of "Big One"

A cluster of earthquakes shook the Coachella Valley this week, two 3.9 magnitude earthquakes were recorded, one in Sky Valley, the other near Borrego Springs.

KESQ (Palm Springs TV), 4-26-18


Second-largest earthquake in modern South Korean history tied to geothermal plant

There’s a lot to like about geothermal power. Even in regions devoid of natural hot spots, engineers can harvest energy by injecting high-pressure water deep into Earth, where it’s heated by hot granite crust before being pumped back up to heat homes or generate power.

Science Magazine, 4-26-18


Geothermal power generation may have triggered earthquake

The 5.4 magnitude earthquake that hit the South Korean city of Pohang on November 15, 2017 – one of the strongest to strike the region since instrumental monitoring of seismic activity began there in 1903 – may have been triggered by activities at a nearby geothermal power generation site, according to new studies.

Cosmos, 4-27-18


3.9 earthquake near Borrego Springs causes widely felt shaking in San Diego County

A magnitude 3.9 earthquake broke near Borrego Springs at 6:36 p.m. on Wednesday, causing brief shaking that was widely felt around San Diego County, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

San Diego Union Tribune, 4-25-18




New Oil Drilling Approved in Carrizo Plain National Monument

Called "California's Serengeti" as the state's largest remaining open grassland, San Luis Obispo County’s Carrizo Plain National Monument survived last year’s effort by the Trump administration to shrink or revoke national monuments across the country.

KQED (San Francisco radio/TV), 4-26-18


Oil prices could keep rising. Here's why

Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass thinks demand for oil is about to go up."Crude is going to go from a glut to a shortage in the next two years," Bass, the founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, told Richard Quest on CNNMoney's "Markets Now" on Wednesday.

CNN, 4-26-18




Some California Farmers Already Feeling Impacts Of Possible Tariffs

China says it welcomes a planned visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin next week amid trade tensions. Both countries have proposed tariffs of $50 billion on each other's products. That includes steel and aluminum from China and wine, almonds and cherries from California.

Capital Public Radio, 4-26-18




What we know (and don't know) about sea level rise

In 1969, Hurricane Camille, a Category 5 storm, destroyed every structure on the coast of Mississippi, including the beach home of Duke University geologist Orrin H. Pilkey's parents. Previously a specialist in deep-sea sediments, Pilkey began to investigate the relationships among climate, sea level, and beaches., 4-25-18


The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change

One April morning in 2016, Daryl Carpenter, a charter boat captain out of Grand Isle, La., took some clients to catch redfish on a marsh pond that didn’t use to exist. Coastal erosion and rising seas are submerging a football field’s worth of Louisiana land every hour, creating and expanding ponds and lakes such as the one onto which Carpenter had piloted his 24-foot vessel.

Bloomberg, 4-25-18




How bad will a Hayward Fault earthquake actually be, and what you can do to protect yourself

Last week the USGS released the second volume of the HayWired report, a scenario M=7.0 earthquake along the Hayward Fault. This volume focused on the impacts of the earthquake, which includes the estimated losses., 4-25-18




Napa County sets grape crop record amid rain, heat and fire

One of the wettest winters on record, three summer heat waves and massive October wildfires in 2017 didn’t stop Napa County from having a record-setting agricultural year.

Napa Valley Register, 4-24-18


3.4-magnitude earthquake strikes near Moreno Valley

A 3.4-magnitude earthquake struck near Moreno Valley Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

KABC-TV (Los Angeles), 4-25-18





7 things we’ve learned about Earth since the last Earth Day

Earth Day turned 48 on Sunday, April 22, and Google celebrated it with a Google Doodle of conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, who nudged us in a video to “do our part for this beautiful planet.”

Vox, 4-23-18




Long Road Still Ahead for California’s Delta Tunnels Plan

A decision by California’s largest water supplier on April 10 ended months of uncertainty over its role in the funding of California Water Fix, the state’s plan to build new water conveyance infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Water Deeply, 4-24-18




Trump's EPA proposes to block regulators from considering a wide range of scientific studies

The Trump administration launched an attack on the science behind many of the nation's clean air and clean water rules, announcing a proposal Tuesday that would in effect prevent regulators from considering a wide range of health studies when they look at new regulations.

Los Angeles Times, 4-24-18


Salinas Valley wells moratorium gets thumbs up over ag concerns

Despite pushback from agriculture interests, a split Board of Supervisors gave the go-ahead for a moratorium on new farmland irrigation wells in the northern Salinas Valley to battle worsening seawater intrusion.

Monterey County Herald, 4-24-18


LA County, residents slam judge’s ruling allowing SoCalGas to conduct study on Aliso Canyon’s future

Los Angeles County leaders say they have “serious concerns” over a state administrative judge’s ruling that the Southern California Gas Co. can conduct research on the future of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.

Los Angeles Newspaper Group, 4-24-18




The East Coast gets earthquakes – and they're felt more widely than in the West

When one considers earthquakes, her mind generally jumps to the West Coast. It's Earthquake Country. Shakerville. Tremble Town.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-24-18





Judge: SoCal Gas may do key study of its Aliso gas field despite potential conflict

The owner of the site of the nation’s largest ever uncontrolled natural gas leak has been ordered by a judge to conduct a key study that could determine if the facility should remain open or closed.

Southern California Public Radio, 4-23-18


Evidence of an oil spill was obvious, but was it a crime?

An acrid stink of petroleum sent Santa Barbara County firefighters scrambling three years ago in a search of a possible spill. When they arrived at Refugio State Beach, oil was staining the pristine sands and seeping into the surf. Uphill they discovered oil gushing like a fire hose "without a nozzle."

Associated Press, 4-20-18


Three workers burned when fire erupts from natural gas leak in Lost Hills

Three workers were injured when a fire erupted from a natural gas leak in Lost Hills on Monday. The Kern County Fire Department says they arrived and found the workers with burns from the fire.

Bakersfield Now (Bakersfield television), 4-23-18




Tiburon added to earthquake monitoring network

Earthquake activity on the Tiburon Peninsula will be recorded for the first time as part of a U.S. Geological Survey program aimed at improving emergency response.

Marin Independent Journal, 4-23-18


California Publishes EQ Zapp, Online Earthquake Hazard Zone Map

The California Geological Survey has published a new online map, titled the EQ Zapp, so that users can quickly determine the earthquake hazards they face in their respective areas.

KHTS (Santa Clarita radio), 4-23-18


A big quake on the Hayward fault would give Napa a good shaking

A killer quake along one of the Bay Area’s most dangerous, most active faults – some scientists call it a “tectonic time bomb”—is forecast to subject southern Napa County to violent shaking that spares most houses.

Napa Valley Register, 4-23-18




Napa's controversial Measure C: What effects on Napa Valley agriculture?

Measure C election season claims are flying – the initiative is either the much-needed protector of oak woodlands and watersheds or an anti-agricultural mistake that could unintentionally lead to more hillside luxury homes.

Napa Valley Register, 4-21-18




Buckle up, California. Some serious 'precipitation whiplash' predicted for the state

It was the greatest flood in recorded California history, 43 days of rain and snow that swamped the state, killed thousands of people and forced the newly elected governor to take a boat to his inauguration at the Capitol.

Sacramento Bee, 4-23-18

Climate change could leave Californians with 'weather whiplash'

California is known for its Mediterranean climate. Dry summers and wet winters providing the perfect conditions for a robust agricultural economy, world-renowned wineries and idyllic weather make it the top tourist state in the country.

CNN, 4-23-18


Wilder Weather Swings in California's Future Could Spell Disaster

If you think California has seen some wild weather recently, fasten your seat belt. An eye-popping new study from climate scientists at UCLA projects big increases in the frequency of extreme events at both ends of the wet-dry spectrum: big flood-inducing storms as well as droughts.

KQED (San Francisco radio/television), 4-23-18


Three steps we need to take, starting this Earth Day, to avoid a climate catastrophe

A recent report by 30 leading scientists warned of “existential” threats to humanity posed by climate change

Sacramento Bee commentary, 4-20-18




Delta tunnels aside, California’s approach on water is already ‘all of the above’

The Sacramento Bee’s editorial makes an important point about why California needs to embrace an “all-of-the-above” approach to a sustainable water future, resisting the impulse to focus entirely on Delta conveyance (“The Delta is dying. The planet is warming. Is California too focused on the tunnels?” Forum, April 6).

Sacramento Bee commentary, 4-18-18


Delta Stewardship Council, a shill for tunnels, is no longer useful

Over many generations, the Delta has been overtapped and bureaucratically manhandled to provide stability to California’s water delivery system. Roughly a decade ago, the state began the difficult process of trying to develop a credible plan for the future.

Sacramento Bee commentary, 4-20-18


Farming That Uses a Little Water ... And a Whole Lot of Fish Poop

Most farms grow food with soil and water. But at Ouroboros Farm in Half Moon Bay, Ken Armstrong grows food with water and fish.

KQED (San Francisco radio/television), 4-23-18





3.9 magnitude quake rattles Coachella Valley

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.9 struck the Coachella Valley-Palm Springs area Sunday afternoon, according to the USGS. The quake was centered about 8 miles north-northeast of Thousand Palms, with a depth of about 5 miles.

KABC (Los Angeles television), 4-22-18


Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

On May 15, the county Board of Supervisors will consider amending the county zoning ordinance to streamline and speed the gargantuan task of rebuilding Montecito in the wake of a catastrophic debris flow.

Santa Barbara Independent, 4-22-18


Judge recommends Los Angeles County for Thomas Fire, mudslide lawsuits

A Ventura County judge recommended all Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide lawsuits against Southern California Edison be coordinated and sent to Los Angeles County for pretrial purposes.

Ventura County Star, 4-22-18


Bay Area falling behind on quake safety despite booming tech economy

Property values are soaring to stratospheric levels. The tech economy is booming, fueling fast-paced development and spending on home renovations that ranks among the nation’s highest.

Los Angeles Times, 4-22-18


Mudslide survivors find hope in recovered belongings

When a torrent of mud crashed through Mari Mitchel's bedroom in Southern California three months ago, it carried away everything from massive pieces of antique family furniture to a tiny pouch that held her wedding and engagement rings and a beloved pendant.

Associated Press, 4-21-18


Berkeley Must Wait for Data from SF's Tall Building Study Before Authorizing Any New Highrises

“San Francisco lives with the certainty that the Big One will come. But the city is also putting up taller and taller buildings clustered closer and closer together because of the state’s severe housing shortage. Now those competing pressures have prompted an anxious rethinking of building regulations. Experts are sending this message: The building code does not protect cities from earthquakes nearly as much as you might think.”

Berkeley Daily Planet, 4-20-18




More than 1,000 alleged violations lead to record $12.5 million fine for oil firm Greka

A state law approved by the governor in 2016 led to a record-breaking $12.5 million fine levied against Greka Oil & Gas earlier this month following more than 1,000 alleged safety violations at an Orange County oil field.

Northern California Record, 4-21-18


Texas gains 8 rigs as US rig count rises to 1,013

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five this week to 1,013. At this time a year ago there were 857 active rigs.

Associated Press, 4-20-18


Environmentalists ask court to restore oil-gas emission rule

Environmentalists are asking an appeals court to reinstate a rule restricting harmful methane emissions on U.S. lands, at least temporarily.

Associated Press, 4-22-18



Space mining set to produce world’s first TRILLIONAIRE in galactic gold rush

A galactic gold rush has been predicted for some time, with experts saying teams will race against each other to collect precious metals from space rocks.

Daily Star, 4-22-18

River watcher: The quest for gold

Suction dredge-miners want to get the California ban removed as bad as marijuana growers want full reign to grow their weed. When money is involved, mankind makes extraordinary effort to reach paydirt. Presently, the courts have left the suction mining ban stand.

Oroville Mercury-Register, 4-23-18




California and climate change: Jerry Brown’s would-be successors make plans

When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office next year, California will lose a climate advocate who has carried the nation’s fight against global warming as Washington has stood down.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-22-18


America Before Earth Day: Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo

A huge oil spill. A river catching fire. Lakes so polluted they were too dangerous for fishing or swimming. Air so thick with smog it was impossible to see the horizon.

New York Times, 4-21-18

Trump Celebrates Earth Day By Praising Rollback Of Environmental Protections

President Donald Trump commemorated Earth Day on Sunday by applauding his administration’s efforts to roll back key environmental protections. 

Huffington Post, 4-22-18




New website 'EQ Zapp' reveals California earthquake fault zones

A new tool makes it much easier to find out if you live or work in a California earthquake fault zone.

ABC7 News Bay Area, 4-18-18


Earthquake warning: Just how bad is Hayward Fault’s nightmare scenario?

Eight hundred deaths, 18,000 people injured, more than $82 billion in property damage and business losses, and 400 fires that would claim more lives and permanently alter the urban landscape of the San Francisco Bay region.

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4-18-18


Emergency Training Program Expanded To Prepare Residents For Next Big Quake

As San Franciscans this week look back on the 1906 earthquake during its 112th anniversary, the city's Department of Building Inspection announced today it is expanding its emergency training program to help ensure that residents are prepared for the next major disaster.

SFGate, 4-19-18




The Amazing Ability of Pasture Grass to Sequester Carbon

Century-Old Chamberlin Ranch Turns to New Techniques That Improve Rangeland and So Much More

Santa Barbara Independent, 4-19-18





Lawmakers Move to Impede Offshore Oil Leases

Two bills to impede the proposed sale of federal oil leases off California’s coast have passed through committee. Senate Bill 834 prohibits the State Lands Commission from approving new pipelines, piers, wharfs, or other infrastructure on state-controlled lands that could support new oil and gas development in federal waters.

Santa Barbara Independent, 4-19-18




The San Francisco Bay Area has an earthquake 'time bomb' that could devastate the region — and it's worse than we thought

On this day 112 years ago, the San Andreas Fault under San Francisco rumbled apart, causing the devastating 1906 earthquake that swallowed city blocks, broke water mains, and triggered massive fires that burned for days.

Business Insider 4-18-18


'It's only a question of time': California is overdue for a massive earthquake

San Francisco instantly became a hellscape of rubble and ruin 112 years ago today, thanks to a magnitude-7.9 earthquake and subsequent fire that killed thousands of people.

USA Today, 4-18-18


Ceremonies commemorate 112th anniversary of 1906 earthquake in SF

San Francisco dignitaries and firefighters are commemorating the 112th anniversary of the Great 1906 earthquake.

KGO (San Francisco television), 4-18-18


The U.S. Is Finally Getting a System to Warn When an Earthquake Is Coming

Having grown up in Southern California, I’m well-versed in the telltale signs of an advancing earthquake: light fixtures starting to swing, the slight rumbling of furniture, the creaking of walls and door frames.

Slate, 4-18-18


On anniversary of great 1906 quake, California still struggles to prepare for the next 'big one'

The great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 — which occurred 112 years ago Wednesday — awakened California to the dangers of earthquakes.

Los Angeles Times, 4-18-18


Researchers: 7.0 quake similar to Loma Prieta would kill hundreds, trap thousands

If an earthquake larger than the 6.9-magnitude 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake struck directly below the city of Oakland on the Hayward fault line late this afternoon, what kind of havoc would it wreak?

Bay City News Service, 4-18-18




Environmental Group Plans Methane-Tracking Satellite

An environmental organization has unveiled plans to monitor a potent greenhouse gas from space. The Environmental Defense Fund says it will launch a satellite to monitor methane with unprecedented precision.

NPR, 4-11-18




Dams and Levees Lead to Slow Underwater Landslides

For thousands of years, the mighty Mississippi River carried sediment downstream as it flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, building out the iconic Mississippi River Delta. As humans have built large dams and levees along the river over the past two centuries, sediment flow has been reduced, resulting in the slow recession of the delta since the 1950s.

San Diego State University, 4-18-18




East Bay fault is 'tectonic time bomb,' more dangerous than San Andreas, new study finds

The San Andreas long has been the fault many Californians feared most, having unleashed the great 1906 earthquake that led to San Francisco’s destruction 112 years ago Wednesday. But new research shows that a much less well-known fault, running under the heart of the East Bay, poses a greater danger.

Los Angeles Times, 4-17-18


Big quake on Hayward Fault could kill hundreds, USGS says

Up to 800 people could die and 400 fires could ignite if the Hayward Fault were to rupture on Wednesday, a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey found.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-17-18


Lesser Known East Bay Fault Is More Dangerous Than San Andreas: U.S. Geological Survey

The San Andreas long has been the fault many Californians feared the most, having unleashed the great 1906 earthquake that led to San Francisco’s destruction 112 years ago Wednesday.

KTLA Channel 5, 4-17-18


Skyscrapers: San Francisco's big seismic gamble

Sailors arriving in San Francisco in the 19th century used two giant redwood trees perched on a hill to help guide their ships into the bay. The redwoods were felled for their lumber at around the time of the gold rush, but San Francisco now has a new beacon: Salesforce Tower, the tallest office building in the West.

SFGate, 4-17-18




Mud near this small Japanese island could change the global economy

A small island in the Pacific Ocean is the site of a huge discovery that could change Japan's economic future. How huge? One economist called it a "game changer." The researchers who helped find it said it had "tremendous potential."

CNN, 4-17-18




'Trump has met his match,' says Gov. Jerry Brown in promoting climate action on a quick trip to Canada

Gov. Jerry Brown told a Canadian audience Monday that he believes President Trump’s efforts to reverse course on climate change policy are a “momentary deviation” as others in the United States seek limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

San Diego Union Tribune, 4-16-18


Bay Area’s air quality near nation’s worst, climate change to blame: Report

California has some of the worst air quality in the nation, both in terms of ozone and particle pollution, and perhaps the biggest factor appears to be climate change, according to a new report.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-17-18


Warming climate could speed forest regrowth in eastern US

Climate change could speed the natural regrowth of forests on undeveloped or abandoned land in the eastern U.S., according to a new study.

Science Daily, 4-16-18




Environmentalists plan logging to restore redwood forests

Environmentalists who have fought loggers for generations have a surprising new strategy to save California’s storied old-growth redwood forests: Logging.

San Jose Mercury News, 4-17-18




North Dakota regulators amend rules aimed at flaring

North Dakota regulators on Tuesday relaxed some rules and offered incentives they hope will further limit natural gas that's being burned off at well sites and wasted as a byproduct of crude production.

Fresno Bee, 4-17-18




Can Dirt Save the Earth?

Agriculture could pull carbon out of the air and into the soil — but it would mean a whole new way of thinking about how to tend the land.

New York Times, 4-18-18




Redondo neighbors put off by oil well work

Neighbors were alarmed last week when an oil rig rose above their homes on the 700 block of North Paulina Avenue, at the site of a demolished home.

Hermosa Beach Easy Reader News, 4-13-18




San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble

Sailors arriving in San Francisco in the 19th century used two giant redwood trees perched on a hill to help guide their ships into the bay. The redwoods were felled for their lumber at around the time of the gold rush, but San Francisco now has a new beacon: Salesforce Tower, the tallest office building in the West.

New York Times, 4-17-18


3.9 earthquake shakes up Alum Rock in San Jose

A 3.9 earthquake rattled the San Jose area Monday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey. The temblor was reported at 9:39 a.m. in Alum Rock and was 8.3 kilometers in depth, the USGS reported.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-16-18


Earthquake, hail, fierce rain rattle Bay Area — but, nope, there’s no link

Hello, Monday! A 3.8 magnitude quake jolted the South Bay this morning, in an area notorious for seismic restlessness, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

San Jose Mercury News, 4-16-18


Magnitude 3.8 Earthquake Rattles South Bay

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck near the Alum Rock area of San Jose Monday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey.

KNTV (San Jose television), 4-16-18


3.8-magnitude earthquake hits Grapevine in Kern County

A 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck near the Grapevine in Kern County on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

KABC (Los Angeles television), 4-16-18




Abandoned mine near Paso produced a fortune in mercury. Now, it's a superfund site

Mercury excited the imagination of alchemists. It is the only metal that exists in liquid form at room temperature. The shimmering beads have an otherworldly appearance, rolling and dancing on a flat surface.

San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4-14-18




When it comes to the California delta, none of Gov. Jerry Brown's potential successors have tunnel vision

Gov. Jerry Brown scored big last week in his tenacious effort to build monstrous twin water tunnels in the California delta. But his legacy project could still collapse. No potential successor supports it.

Los Angeles Times column, 4-16-18


Southern California plans to spend $11 billion on the delta tunnels. Who will end up paying?

When the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted to finance the lion's share of the delta tunnels project, some on the board called it a bold stroke of leadership.

Los Angeles Times, 4-16-18







California Resources Corp. acquires full ownership of Elk Hills oil field

The California Resources Corp. has acquired 100 percent ownership of the Elk Hills oil and natural gas field in Kern County, according to the company.

Bakersfield Californian, 4-13-18


Texas gains 3 rigs as US rig count rises to 1,008

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five this week to 1,008. At this time a year ago there were 847 active rigs.

Associated Press, 4-13-18




Dr. Lucy Jones discusses impact of world disasters in new book 'The Big Ones'

By 2100, the sea water that surrounds the San Francisco Peninsula is expected to rise anywhere from 17 to 66 inches, according to projections by the National Research Council. Just what is at risk in San Mateo County should that happen is the subject of a lengthy study by the county's sustainability office.

KABC-TV (Los Angeles), 4-13-18




Explain the philosophy and science of Measure C

Oh, those pesky property rights! Didn’t we finally get rid of them somewhere back in the '60s? Or was it the '70s?

Napa Valley Register commentary, 4-13-18




Our Ocean Backyard: Mining the sea floor

As an undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara in the early 1960s, I read with enthusiasm and interest the popular magazine articles of the time about how many of the problems and limitations that humanity faced on land would all be solved in the ocean.

Santa Cruz Sentinel column, 4-14-18




Pricey retrofit proposed for sinking Millennium Tower in SF

Engineers have proposed an unconventional solution to the Millennium Tower’s tilting troubles: drilling piles down to bedrock to stabilize one side of the 58-story condo high-rise and then letting the other side continue to sink until the building straightens itself.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-14-18




Two Thumbs Up For EDF's Methane Detecting Satellite

After the 1980 presidential election, I wound up chatting with a Reagan campaign executive who denied my contention that environmentalists had sometimes made a positive contribution.  I was too stunned (and young and naïve) to respond, but it was obviously an example of what is now considered political tribalism, where policies are weighed based on their origin and one’s opponents are demonized. 

Forbes, 2-15-18


Sea level rise could cost area billions, countywide study finds

By 2100, the sea water that surrounds the San Francisco Peninsula is expected to rise anywhere from 17 to 66 inches, according to projections by the National Research Council. Just what is at risk in San Mateo County should that happen is the subject of a lengthy study by the county's sustainability office.

Menlo Park Almanac, 4-14-18


A Floating Offshore Wind Farm Is Coming to California

The waves crashing along the coast of Humboldt County, California, make visible just how much energy exists offshore. If all goes well, within a decade the Pacific Ocean in Northern California will be generating electricity from the first offshore floating wind farm set to be built in the United States.

Oceans Deeply, 4-13-18


Climate Change Is Messing With Your Dinner

The world’s dinner tables are seeing the impact of climate change. As cold regions become warmer, and warm places hotter still, farming and fishing are shifting. An evolving climate means big changes for people who grow, catch and rear for a living, and everyone else who buys and eats what they produce.

Bloomberg News, 4-13-18




Dreaded tunnels start looking real

L.A.’s mammoth water district voted Tuesday to rescue the twin tunnels from oblivion. Which could mean condemning the San Joaquin Delta and our regional economy.

Stockton Record column, 4-12-18


Editorial: Keep fighting the delta tunnels

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted Tuesday to take on nearly $11 billion of the projected $17 billion construction costs of the governor’s twin delta tunnels to move Sacramento River water south of the delta to cities and farms. We had hoped this wasteful, divisive and environmentally damaging project was dead. It should be.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-12-18





City Council makes statement on Cemex controversy

Santa Clarita City Council formally expressed support at its April 10 meeting for Senate Resolution 96, a bipartisan effort to urge national officials to stop the proposed Cemex mining project in Soledad Canyon.

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, 4-11-18




Controversial $1-billion Hollywood high-rise project relaunched by developer

The developer of a stalled $1-billion real estate project near the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood will try again with a new proposal that prioritizes housing over commercial uses.

Los Angeles Times, 4-12-18


Seismic Cloak Successfully Deflects Earthquake Waves

For an experiment with such ambition, the setting couldn’t have been more humble. Yet scientists from across Europe converged here—a dirt lane between a farmer’s field and a small wood in southern France—in the fall of 2016 to test a provocative idea: could they make the seismic waves of an earthquake disappear?

PBS, 4-11-18


James Reilly to Take the Helm at USGS

The U.S. Senate has confirmed a former astronaut and petroleum geologist as the next director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Senate approved James F. Reilly by a voice vote on Monday to be the director, taking over from William Werkheiser, who has served as acting director since 2017.

EOS, 4-11-18




Oil company with checkered history hit with $12.5M fine

A California oil company with a long history of safety violations and regulatory lapses was hit with a record $12.5 million fine by state regulators Wednesday for nearly 1,500 violations in the past year at an oil field in Orange County.

Associated Press, 4-11-18


State Fines Oil Driller $12.6M

State regulators fined Greka Oil & Gas $12.6 million for safety violations related to the Richfield oil fields northeast of Anaheim.

Orange County Business Journal, 4-11-18


Gov. Brown urged to phase out state’s fossil-fuel industry

More than 750 environmental, labor, health and social justice groups on Wednesday urged Gov. Jerry Brown to stop issuing permits for oil drilling and begin the phase-out of fossil-fuel production within the state, calling the move necessary to stop climate change.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-11-18

Oil ‘is killing us.’ Activists call on Jerry Brown to halt California drilling

Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown are pressuring him to take a stronger stance on an issue that has come to define his legacy – climate change and the environment.

Sacramento Bee, 4-11-18




Can California avert a citrus apocalypse?

I don't usually just wave agents of the state into my house. But when a nice lady from the California Department of Food and Agriculture showed up at my door last week, I welcomed her with a genuine smile.

Los Angeles Times, 4-11-18


Napa County Measure C proponents say ag preservation needs oak woodlands protection

High-quality soils and the right climate played important roles in attracting wine grape growers to Napa County a generation ago. But it is the community’s commitment to protecting our shared natural resources that secured this path for our region.

North Bay Business Journal, 4-10-18


Napa County’s Measure C goes too far in attempt to curtail future agriculture: opponents

Measure C, the “Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative,” is a deeply-flawed, confusing and anti-agricultural land use initiative that will appear on the June ballot throughout Napa County.

North Bay Business Journal, 4-10-18




Understanding What the ‘New Normal’ Means for Water in the West

April is often a time of abundance in the mountains of the American West, when snowpack is at or near its peak, and forecasters work to determine how much runoff will course through our rivers and fill reservoirs later in the season.

Water Deeply, 4-11-18


Low water supplies leave farmers in a bind

With reservoirs at or above average storage levels and the Sierra Nevada snowpack improved by storms in March and early April, farmers await word from federal and state water agencies about whether water allocations might improve.

Ag Alert, 4-11-18


Editorial: Stop the madness! Californians deserve Delta tunnel vote

It’s time to stop the madness. California voters should demand the right to have a say on the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the lynchpin of the state’s water system.

Bay Area News Group, 4-12-18


The delta tunnels plan is costly, risky and unfair to L.A. It's also the right thing to do

In voting Tuesday to pay two-thirds of the cost of building two tunnels to divert river water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and direct it southward, the Southern California Metropolitan Water District's board bought into a plan that's costly, risky, uncertain and unfair. And it is taking its ratepayers with it, because they will have to shoulder the costs on their water bills.

Los Angeles Times editorial, 4-12-18


Voter intent on Proposition 1 was clear as water, but the state’s bogged down in mud

Nearly four years ago, in the midst of the worst drought in recent memory, California voters approved a $7.5 billion water bond measure that allocated $2.7 billion for water storage — dams and reservoirs, for example.

Orange County Register editorial, 8-12-18



Jerry Brown's work to seal his climate legacy is only half done

It seems a little churlish to prod Jerry Brown on carbon issues. He's done as much as any leader in the world to move forward on the climate and energy crises that are the defining challenges of our time.

Los Angeles Times commentary, 4-11-18





Coalition hopes to ban drilling new oil wells, fracking in the county 

April 30 is the deadline to get the additional 3,000 valid signatures from registered residents of San Luis Obispo County for the ballot initiative sponsored by The Coalition to Protect San Luis Obispo County to ban the drilling of new oil wells and prevent fracking in the county. The initiative will allow existing oil pumping to continue.

Paso Robles Daily News, 4-10-18


California oil firms had nearly 400 violations

Oil and gas companies drilling in state waters off Southern California violated regulations nearly 400 times in the past three years, according to a report being released Wednesday by an environmental group.

Associated Press, 4-11-18




In Napa, Watershed and Woodlands Initiative Clashes With Wineries

After years of trying to save the oak trees he loves in Napa County, California, Jim Wilson may be about to realize his dream. He’s part of the team behind Napa’s Measure C, an initiative on the June ballot with the twin goals of preserving oak woodlands and protecting water.

KQED (San Francisco TV/radio), 4-10-18




California's air regulator says state could back some emissions rule changes

California’s top clean air regulator told Reuters on Monday the state is willing to give automakers more flexibility to comply with vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions rules even as her agency prepares to fight the Trump administration over car and truck pollution standards.

Reuters, 4-10-18


EPA gives North Dakota power to regulate CO2 wells

The Trump administration on Tuesday gave North Dakota the power to regulate underground wells used for long-term storage of waste carbon dioxide captured from industrial sources such as coal-fired power plants.

Associated Press, 4-10-18




Southern California water agency votes to fund controversial plan to build two delta tunnels

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted Tuesday to shoulder most of the cost of revamping the system that delivers water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta to the Southland, committing nearly $11 billion to building two massive tunnels.

Los Angeles Times, 4-10-18


Southern California water agency backs 2 Delta tunnels in breakthrough vote

After a decade of planning and debate, the controversial Delta tunnels project got a huge cash infusion Tuesday and took a giant step toward becoming reality.

Sacramento Bee, 4-10-18




Bullet train colliding with reality

Reality may finally be catching up with the vision – or pipedream – of a 200-mile-per-hour train connecting California’s northern and southern regions.

CalMatters, 4-11-18




Bay Area water agencies upgrading infrastructure in anticipation of catastrophic earthquake

Water agencies, once worried only about their own supplies and territories, now embrace mutual aid, especially for earthquakes and droughts.

KTVU (Oakland television), 4-7-18




Born in controversy, Napa County's ag preserve celebrated on its 50th anniversary

Happy 50th birthday, Napa County agricultural preserve. On April 9, 1968, Napa County supervisors decided to create the preserve widely credited with staving off growth that could have turned Napa Valley into a sprawling city. They decided grapes and other crops would continue to dominate.

Napa Valley Register, 4-8-18


California's Lost Wetlands Get Help From Sacramento Valley Rice Farms

Before the Gold Rush, the Central Valley in California was like a bathtub. Rivers full of water from the mountains meandered through the valley, spreading the water far and wide across a vast expanse of natural wetlands.

KQED (San Francisco television), 4-6-18


Battle for Napa Valley’s future: Proposed curb on vineyards divides county

Fifty years ago Monday, Napa County passed an ordinance that has defined the course of its history and, one could argue, determined the history of California wine.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-8-18




Two tunnels? One? None? Water agency to decide how much to spend on Delta fix

Even as many cities in Southern California push back against the state’s “sanctuary state” policies, the famously conservative enclave of Orange County soon might help Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown realize a long-sought dream: A pair of tunnels that will run beneath the central Delta, ferrying more-reliable water to the state’s parched southern region even as they protect wildlife.

Orange County Register, 4-9-18


If Delta ‘tunnels’ are built, we’re the biggest losers

A million people live in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. If Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to siphon water to Los Angeles is completed, all of us are going to suffer.

Modesto Bee editorial, 4-7-18


Vote on Southern California's investment in delta tunnel project could be a nail-biter

With the city of Los Angeles and Orange County on opposite sides, Southern California's role in financing a massive water delivery project is likely to hinge on a few smaller agencies.

Los Angeles Times, 4-9-18


Gov. Jerry Brown urges 'yes' for both Delta tunnels. Will that sway crucial vote?

Gov. Jerry Brown, in a last-minute bid to forge ahead with one of his legacy projects, urged Southern California's big water agency Monday to support a plan to build the two Delta tunnels simultaneously.

Sacramento Bee, 4-9-18



Sea Level Rise Could Add Up to Gridlock, and Sooner Than You Think

The severe coastal flooding brought by storms in January and March has drawn renewed attention to the issue of sea level rise, and how prepared or unprepared we are for it.  

NPR, 4-9-18


California's air regulator says state could back some emissions rule changes

California’s top clean air regulator told Reuters on Monday the state is willing to give automakers more flexibility to comply with vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions rules even as her agency prepares to fight the Trump administration over car and truck pollution standards.

Reuters, 4-9-18


Researchers trying to turn carbon into things they can sell

What if the billions of tons of carbon dioxide pumped out by the world’s power plants could be converted into something that’s more useful? Ten teams will split $5 million to test ways to do just that.

Bloomberg, 4-9-18




'Bucket Brigade' Volunteers Still Digging California Homes Out After Mudslides

When a massive debris flow slammed into the Santa Barbara County community of Montecito along California's coast, Peri Thompson of San Diego, Calif. was shocked to see the drama was unfolding at her own house. She watched the televised helicopter rescue of a young family who rented her Montecito house.

NPR, 4-7-18


Magnitude 3.5 earthquake strikes north of Santa Rosa overnight

An magnitude 3.5 earthquake struck early Saturday morning about 12 miles south of Clear Lake.

San Francisco Chronicle, 4-8-18


New, interactive map shows Sonoma County's earthquake fault zones

Do you know if your home is in an earthquake fault zone? It's now easier than ever to find out the information, thanks to a new, easy-to-navigate interactive map published by the California Geological Survey.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4-5-18


Privacy Setting Could Affect Initial Accuracy of Early Quake Warning on Mobile Devices

All over metropolitan LA, as seismic waves were spreading from offshore, warnings started appearing on computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices connected to the ShakeAlert early warning system.

KNBC (Los Angeles television), 4-6-18


When Earthquakes Strike, Few Californians are Covered

Thursday's magnitude 5.3 earthquake near the Channel Islands served as a reminder for all Californians to be earthquake-ready. But the vast majority of homes in the shake-prone state do not have any kind of insurance for quake damage.

KNTV (San Jose television), 4-7-18


California’s Earthquake Warning System A Work In Progress

When Thursday’s 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the Ventura Coast, researchers at Cal Tech got a very early warning.

KOVR (Sacramento television), 4-6-18


'Rocks falling everywhere' when earthquake shook Santa Cruz Island, visitors recount

Nowhere was the magnitude-5.3 quake that hit Southern California on Thursday felt more strongly than on Santa Cruz Island, near the epicenter of the strongest temblor to hit the region in several years.

Los Angeles Times, 4-6-18


Sounds of Eruptions Used to Describe Volcanoes

A new case study done by a team of international scientists led by UC Santa Barbara geophysicist Robin Matoza examined data from the 2015 eruption of the Calbuco volcano in Chile using a network from the United Nations’ International Monitoring System (IMS), to track volcanic eruptions in remote locations.

U.C. Santa Barbara Daily Nexus, 4-6-18


Here's What Will Happen After a Huge Earthquake Inevitably Hits California

California is the land of beaches, mountains, and all the legal marijuana you can stomach. It’s also, inconveniently, a dangerous minefield riddled with nasty fault lines that rupture without much warning, generating massive earthquakes that can level buildings, pulverize roads, and kill lots of people in the span of seconds.

Vice, 4-8-18


Minor Quake Rattles The Inland Empire Overnight

A minor earthquake woke up some residents in the Inland Empire early Monday morning, just a few days after Southern California was rattled by a bigger temblor.

KCBS (Los Angeles television), 4-9-18


3.0-magnitude quake reported near Lake Pillsbury

A magnitude 3 earthquake was reported northwest of Lake Pillsbury on Sunday morning. The quake was recorded at 8:48 a.m. Sunday just inside the Mendocino County line, according to the US Geological Survey.

Lake County News, 4-8-18




San Luis Obispo county group pushes for anti-fracking measure

A San Luis Obispo county organization says the county's water, agricultural lands, and environmental quality could be threatened. The coalition is currently gathering signatures for an initiative aimed at protecting those resources. 

KEYT (Santa Barbara television), 4-6-18


Oklahoma gains 5 rigs as US rig count rises to 1,003

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 10 this week to 1,003. At this time a year ago there were 839 active rigs.

Associated Press, 4-6-18




Farmers to Trump: No trade war, please

President Donald Trump has promised to shield farmers from the sting of China’s trade retaliation, but that embattled portion of Trump’s rural base says they just want to sell on the open market, without tariffs slapped on their products amid escalating tensions.

Politico, 4-6-18



A Besotted Mining Town is Laid to Rest...Underwater

The small mining settlement of Whiskeytown got its name from an incident involving a mule and, unsurprisingly, some booze.

KQED (Sacramento television), 4-6-18




Land suitable for certain California crops expected to shrink

California growers should start to look seriously at how to adapt to a changing climate, which could shrink the land available for many of the state’s most popular crops, a new study has found.

AgriPulse, 4-5-18


Rolling back fuel economy standards could mean bigger cars — and less progress on climate change

Gas prices have been so low in recent years that more Americans are choosing to buy bigger vehicles, a trend that has stymied efforts to cut auto emissions.

Los Angeles Times, 4-6-18


Why Green Groups Are Split on Subsidizing Carbon Capture Technology

At first glance, it sounds like something cooked up after too many martinis by a K Street lobbyist for the fossil fuel industry: Take legislation making it more profitable for oil companies to pump oil, and easier for coal-fired power plants to continue to operate — and then sell it as a climate change remedy.

Yale Environment 360, 4-9-18




Recent years prove we need more water storage

The first thing to remember about precipitation in California is that it’s unpredictable, as the past several winters have once again shown us.

CalMatters, 4-8-18


California zigzags on ambitious water-delivery project, puts two-tunnel concept back on the table

Four days after Southern California's biggest water agency dropped a plan to pay for most of a major water delivery project, the funding proposal is back on the table.

Los Angeles Times, 4-7-18


Southern California might pay for two Delta tunnels after all

A powerful Southern California water agency has breathed life back into the twin-tunnels Delta water project, a plan that appeared dead just a few days ago.

Sacramento Bee, 4-6-18


The Delta is dying. The planet is warming. Is California too focused on the tunnels?

For far too long, too many leaders in California have had tunnel vision – Gov. Jerry Brown, local elected officials, water district executives.

Sacramento Bee editorial, 4-6-18




Earthquake early-warning system gave heads-up before 5.3 temblor hit L.A. area

Officials said the magnitude-5.3 earthquake that rattled Southern California on Thursday proved to be another successful test of the state's nascent earthquake early-warning system.

Los Angeles Times, 4-5-18


Earthquake that rattled L.A. was most powerful in years

The magnitude-5.3 earthquake that rattled Southern California on Thursday was the strongest in the area several years.

Los Angeles Times, 4-5-18


Dramatic photos show earthquake shaking cliffs at Santa Cruz Island

The 5.3 magnitude off the coast of Southern California didn't do damage on the mainland, but it appears have caused some earth movement on Santa Cruz Island.

Los Angeles Times, 4-5-18


'When you see mountains, think earthquakes in California,' seismologist says

Earthquake activity in California's Channel Islands shouldn't be all that surprising. After all, earthquakes created the Channel Islands. In fact, mountains throughout California are generally creations of earthquakes, seismologist Lucy Jones said.

Los Angeles Times, 4-6-18


Earthquake near Channel Islands today rattles much of Los Angeles County

A magnitude-5.3 earthquake jolted Southern California on Thursday afternoon, sending tremors across the region but resulting in no reports of serious damage.

Southern California Newspaper Group, 4-5-18


M=5.3 earthquake strikes offshore Southern California

At 12:29 p.m. local time, a M=5.3 earthquake hit off the coast of California, within the Santa Cruz Basin, approximately 140 km west of the city of Los Angeles.

Temblor, 4-5-18


How Did an App Know an Earthquake Was Hitting California Before It Happened?

Some people in Los Angeles knew about today's earthquake before it even hit. Those who had the beta Quake Alert application on their smartphones got about a 30-second warning before the shaking hit at 12:29 p.m. PDT (19:29 UTC).

Live Science, 4-5-18


No Damage Reported as 5.3 Earthquake Shakes Santa Barbara County

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale shook Santa Barbara County Thursday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but there were no immediate reports of damage. 

Santa Barbara Noozhawk, 4-5-18


Early Earthquake Warning Mobile App Told Users Quake Was Coming From Ventura Coast Before It Arrived

Long-awaited earthquake early warnings has come a long way since the last time a magnitude 5-plus quake shook SoCal.

KNBC-TV (Los Angeles), 4-5-18


Santa Monica Rattled as Temblor Hits Southern California

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake rocked and rolled through Southern California on Thursday, a nerve-rattling reminder from Santa Monica to Palmdale and Bakersfield and down to Orange County that the Big One, or permutations thereof, could strike at any time.

Santa Monica Lookout, 4-6-18


USGS maps changes to beach, seafloor after Montecito Mudslides

Driving northbound on the 101 Freeway from Ventura is a far different experience now than it was prior to Jan. 9, when a storm rolled through, mud slid from the hillsides, and 21 lives were lost.

Ventura County Reporter, 4-4-18


Growing Crack Provides Evidence That East Africa Could Be Splitting in 2

A large crack, stretching several kilometres, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya.

CNN, 4-5-18




In bellwether decision, water board orders McKittrick oilfield disposal pond operator to monitor pollutants

Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board members voted Thursday to require an oil wastewater dump site operator in McKittrick suspected of polluting nearby groundwater to install a network of wells monitoring contamination. That falls short of environmentalists’ demands for the board to shutter the operation.

Bakersfield Californian, 4-6-18


Oil Beneath San Mateo County? You Betcha

Oil. Since Americans first understood its capacity to make all kinds of machines run, they began to dig under the soil. Now, when you think of oil drilling in California, you probably think of Southern California and the Inland Empire. But did you know there are oil fields in the Bay Area?

KQED (San Francisco radio/television), 4-5-18


How Residents of One California County Are Taking on Big Oil

San Luis Obispo is a biologically unique and diverse county on the central coast of California, renowned for its magnificent coastline, pine and oak-covered mountains, and extensive vineyards and wineries.

Alternet, 4-5-18




In Napa, Watershed and Woodlands Initiative Clashes With Wineries

After years of trying to save the oak trees he loves in Napa County, California, Jim Wilson may be about to realize his dream. He’s part of the team behind Napa’s Measure C, an initiative on the June ballot with the twin goals of preserving oak woodlands and protecting water.

Water Deeply, 4-5-18




Vandals blocked out of iconic Hawver Cave near Auburn

They tried welding torches, bolt cutters and winching the Hawver Cave gate’s heavy iron bars to a vehicle to try to pull it off its hinges and get in.

State Parks countered with giant boulders set around the gate and now, a solid wall of giant, concrete blocks — a seemingly unmovable barrier to prevent the curious and the criminal from squeezing in.

Auburn Journal, 4-5-18




Greenland Ice Sheet is Melting at its Fastest Rate in 400 years

Greenland. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Greenland ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in 400 years at a pace that has nearly doubled since the end of the 19th century, according to a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

KQED (San Francisco radio/television), 4-4-18


In 1998, Shell Predicted It Would Be Sued Over Climate Crisis Someday

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell was well aware of the world-altering climate risks associated with carbon dioxide emissions by at least the mid-1980s, according to a trove of internal company documents recently uncovered by a European journalist.

Huffington Post, 4-5-18




Earthquake warning system expands with the help of federal funding

The earthquake warning system, known as ShakeAlert, will be receiving more than $22 million from the federal government. This money is part of the spending bill signed by President Donald Trump last week.

KBAK-TV (Bakersfield), 4-4-18


Earthquakes: A fight to protect infrastructure

The images of California’s powerful earthquakes over the years have been vivid — the shattered buildings, the collapsed bridges, the buckled highways.

Capitol Weekly, 4-4-18


Drenching rain on the way turns focus to Sonoma County burn scars

A drenching, late-season rainstorm expected to batter the North Coast over the next several days could cause localized flooding and is expected to present the stiffest test so far to burn scars left by October’s wildfires.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4-4-18




Sign here -- Do you like clean energy, air, and water?

It rolls trippingly off the tongue: An Initiative To Amend The County General Plan And County Code To Prohibit Petroleum Extraction And Well Stimulation Treatments, Including Hydraulic Fracturing And Acid Well Stimulation, On All Lands Within The Unincorporated Area Of The County.

San Luis Obispo New Times, 4-5-18




New planting of olive trees on former Roddy Ranch golf property

Brentwood native Sean McCauley was raised on a farm and his family’s collective 200 acres of olive orchards grow along Deer Valley Road, Briones Valley Road and throughout Brentwood, but there is something sacred about the 40 acres that McCauley Olive Groves recently acquired.

East Bay Times, 4-4-18




Northern California could be home to first U.S. floating wind farm

California's Redwood Coast Energy Authority RCEA) has selected a consortium of companies — Principle Power Inc., EDPR Offshore North America LLC, Aker Solutions Inc., H. T. Harvey & Associates, and Herrera Environmental Consultants Inc.— to enter into a public-private partnership to pursue the development of an offshore wind energy project off the Northern California coast.

Marine Log, 4-4-18




California’s Nearly Dismal Snow Year a Harbinger of Things to Come

Californians may collectively be breathing a sigh of relief, but not elation, this week, after the state’s latest snowpack reading. A wet and cold March saved California from a near record-low snowpack, but it proved too little too late to bring a full recovery. And worse, climate scientists say we should start getting used to these low snowpack years.

Water Deeply, 4-4-18




Early April rain to return risk of flooding, mudslides to California

A double-barreled storm will take aim at California with drenching rain, high-country snow and the risk of flooding and mudslides later this week. The first of two rounds of rain and high-country snow is scheduled to roll ashore into Northern California during Thursday night.

AccuWeather, 4-4-18


Mexico earthquake was California’s wake-up call

A number of cities big and small in Southern California are taking steps to identify seismically vulnerable buildings for the first time in a generation, acting in part on the devastating images of earthquake damage in Mexico and elsewhere around the world.

Los Angeles Times, 4-4-18




State Mining and Geology Board will meet locally, visit Teichert plant

The California State Mining and Geology Board will be in Marysville next week to conduct a regular meeting and to visit the site of a planned project near the Teichert Aggregates Hallwood plant. The project – the Hallwood Side Channel and Floodplain Restoration Project – will essentially restore and repair salmon habitat to about 1 mile of the lower Yuba River that is located directly adjacent to the Hallwood plant, said Jeffrey Schmidt, executive officer for the board.

Marysville Appeal-Democrat, 4-3-18




Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets Are “Largely Symbolic,” says ARB

At a recent California Air Resources Board (ARB) meeting, the board adopted regional greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020 and 2035, as required by S.B. 375. Each region was assigned a target–ranging from a three to fifteen percent reduction in per capita passenger vehicle greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2005 by 2020–with the amount increasing by 2035.

Streetsblog Cal, 4-3-18


Connection of sea level and groundwater missing link in climate response

About 250 million years ago, when the Earth had no ice caps and the water around the equator was too hot for reptiles, sea level still rose and fell over time. Now, an international team of researchers has developed a way to track sea-level rise and fall and to tease out what caused the changes in the absence of ice sheets., 4-3-18




Deep Water in Deep Trouble: Can We Save California’s Drying Aquifers?

It may not be a true meteorological “March Miracle,” but it’s close enough for government work, as government workers are wont to say.  The series of storms that have battered California in recent weeks have pumped up the snowpack in the Sierra and swelled streams at lower elevations.

California Magazine, 4-2-18


Stronger together: The Bay Area’s newly linked water lifelines

The Bay Area’s deeply unequal cities, home to mansions and shacks alike, are linked by one thing: thirst. Banding together, the region’s water agencies on Tuesday unveiled the latest upgrades to a vast network that connects six million people and provides mutual aid in a crisis, such as an earthquake or severe drought.

Bay Area News Group, 4-3-18



Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes Bolivia

A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Bolivia on Monday, but it was so deep that there were no reports of injuries or damage.

Associated Press, 4-2-18


Montecito mudslides have come out to nearly $422 million in insurance claims

The Montecito mudslides have caused more than $421 million in damages, according to the latest string of insurance claims.

KABC-TV (Los Angeles), 4-2-18


Mudslide losses top $421 million in Montecito

More than $421 million in claims have been filed since deadly mudslides tore through the coastal community of Montecito during extremely heavy January rains, California's insurance commissioner said Monday.

Associated Press, 4-2-18


Montecito mudslide costs insurance companies more than $421 million in claims

Residents, business owners and others have filed more than $421 million in insurance claims as a result of the Montecito mudslide in January, adding to an already massive bill from a series of natural disasters that hit California over the last year.

Los Angeles Times, 4-2-18


Insurance Claims Top $421 Million for Montecito Debris Flows

Montecito-area residents and business owners have filed nearly $422 million in insurance-claim losses since the deadly Jan. 9 debris flows, the California Department of Insurance announced Monday.

Santa Barbara Noozhawk, 4-2-18




API Asks to Intervene in Lawsuits Over Rescinded BLM Fracking Rule

The American Petroleum Institute (API) made its first foray into the legal battle over an Obama-era rule governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public and tribal lands, asking a federal district court in San Francisco to allow it to intervene in a pair of lawsuits filed after the Trump administration rescinded the rule.

NGI Shale Gas Daily, 4-2-18


Editorial: Trump’s pursuit of offshore oil is wrongheaded

Marin’s staunch opposition to offshore oil drilling should come as no surprise. It is a long-standing, strong and wise stance to take.

Marin Independent Journal, 4-2-18




Trump administration moves on two fronts to challenge California environmental protections

The Trump administration openly threatened one of the cornerstones of California's environmental protections Monday, saying that it may revoke the state's ability under the Clean Air Act to impose stricter standards than the federal government sets for vehicle emissions.

Los Angeles Times, 4-2-18


Calling Car Pollution Standards ‘Too High,’ E.P.A. Sets Up Fight With California

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday took steps to challenge California’s decades-old right to set its own air pollution rules, setting up a showdown between the federal government and a state that has emerged as a bulwark against the Trump administration’s policies

New York Times, 4-2-18




Metropolitan Water District backs away from plan to finance both delta tunnels

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is dropping plans to push ahead with a two-tunnel proposal to revamp the state's water delivery system, opting to pursue a scaled-back version instead.

Los Angeles Times, 4-2-18


Californians Go Back to Using About as Much Water as Before the Drought

Since Gov. Jerry Brown called off California's drought emergency a year ago, we Californians seem to have gotten a little lazy when it comes to water conservation.

Southern California Public Radio, 4-2-18




Trump administration sues California again, this time over rights to sell public land

In its latest legal salvo against California, the Department of Justice announced Monday it is filing suit against what it branded an “extreme’’ state law that tries to give California power to veto sales of federal land to private interests.

McClatchy News Service, 4-2-18






(news updated as time permits…)




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