Geology 300: Physical Geology

Geology 301: Physical Geology Lab

Geology 305: Earth Science

Geology 306: Earth Science Lab


Instructor: Arthur Reed


March 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)





Officials: tsunami test a success

Del Norte’s test of the tsunami warning system went off without a hitch Wednesday morning, officials said.

Del Norte Triplicate, 3-29-18


When the Plate Tectonic Revolution met coastal Southern California

The Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society is partnering with the Solvang Library to bring you an evening with geoscience educator Dr. Tanya Atwater, who will speak about her land research on the tectonic evolution of western North America.

Santa Ynez Valley News, 3-29-18




Private well owner workshop scheduled for April 6

The Rural Community Assistance Corporation is hosting a private well owner workshop from 9 a.m. to noon April 6.

The Union, 3-29-18


Appeals filed in Measure Z court ruling

Notices of appeals have been filed by both Monterey County and Protect Monterey County over the court decision on Meazure Z, the anti-fracking measure approved by voters in 2016.

The Californian, 3-29-18


(Opinion) Time for change

Fossil fuel-based economies are moving toward renewable—and that's a good thing

New Times San Luis Obispo, 3-29-18




California farmland values decline in 2017

Napa vineyard and Sacramento Valley almond orchards remain at record values as water worries contribute to declines elsewhere

Western Farm Press, 3-29-18




Letter: Bullet Train to Nowhere faces too many challenges

For once, we might all agree on something: the high-cost Bullet Train to Nowhere. Originally proposed at $40 billion, went to $64 billion and just reached $77.3 billion.

East Bay Times, 3-29-18




Will California's earthquake warning system run the risk of alert fatigue?

The choice comes down to seconds — but even that could be the difference between safety and harm. A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey lays out the dilemma facing scientists working on earthquake warning systems: Do you alert early and often, or wait until you know it's a strong temblor and possibly be too late?

Southern California Public Radio, 3-29-18


Family of Montecito mudslide victim files wrongful death lawsuit

Several Montecito residents are suing a major California power company, saying it was responsible for a massive wildfire that stripped the hillside of the vegetation that could have prevented the deadly mudslides.

KEYT-TV (Santa Barbara), 3-28-18




McConnell leads Congress in reconsidering hemp's agricultural potential

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wants a full pardon for hemp. The senator on Monday previewed legislation seeking to free the plant from its ties to marijuana and let it take root as a legitimate crop.

Associated Press, 3-27-18


Carmel Valley planning board objects to building homes in open space

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board approved the new Lighthouse Ridge housing development with the condition that two of the proposed 10 homes are deleted as the board believes the lots are in designated open space land.

Del Mar Times, 3-28-18




Proponents appeal Measure Z ruling

Protect Monterey County, the organization that backed a 2016 anti-fracking ballot initiative called Measure Z, announced it filed an appeal this week challenging a judge’s ruling that invalidated part of the ordinance.

Monterey County Herald, 3-28-18




Unintended environmental consequences of mining regulation being addressed in California

The California State Mining and Geology Board (“Board”) recently took its first step to revise California’s backfill regulation that applies to the reclamation of open pit metallic mineral mines.  On December 14, 2017, the Board voted to review the backfill regulation after hearing public comments as to why the regulation has increased, rather than reduced, environmental impacts associated with mining., 3-27-18




Leaked Memo: EPA Shows Workers How To Downplay Climate Change

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday evening sent employees a list of eight approved talking points on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs ― guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs.

Huffington Post, 3-28-18




Southern California might foot the bill for delta tunnels project — with no promise of reimbursement

Southern California's biggest water agency is considering picking up most of the bill for overhauling the state's waterworks without any guarantee that it will eventually recoup its additional, multibillion-dollar investment.

Los Angeles Times, 3-28-18




Officials want to delay earthquake safety requirement in bid to keep hospital open

In a bid to find another operator for a Long Beach medical center set to close in July, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday urged state officials to extend a deadline for the hospital to meet earthquake safety requirements.

Los Angeles City News Service, 3-27-18


Scared of Earthquakes? New App Lets You Know if You’re on Top of an Earthquake Fault

A new tool from the California Geological Survey (CGS) allows people to check if their property is in a regulatory earthquake hazard zone. As California is no stranger to earthquakes, this app could prove useful for property owners and prospective home-buyers alike.

KNTV (San Jose television), 3-27-18


Can An Earthquake Happen Near You? Find Out Here

Are you worried about the "big one" striking your city? Ever wonder if you live near a fault line? The California Geological Survey this week an online interactive map that allows users to type in any address to find out if they're in an "earthquake hazard zone."

Beverly Hills Patch, 3-24-18




Monterey County conservation group appeals new decision on Measure Z

The people of Monterey County voted strongly in support of Measure Z, but months later most of it was deemed invalid. Two years ago, Measure Z passed, restricting much of what oil companies can do with the land in Monterey County, but those oil companies pushed back with lawsuits.

KION-TV (Salinas), 3-27-18


Anti-drilling sentiment unanimous at Bay Area hearing on Trump oil plan

Lynda Hopkins, a Sonoma County supervisor and mother of two young daughters, said she has two red lines: “Don’t mess with my kids and don’t mess with my ocean.”

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3-27-18


Conservation Groups File Appeal in Lifting of Fracking Ban

In the fight against fracking along the Pacific Coast, conservation groups in Monterey County have filed an appeal to uphold a measure that would block all future oil and gas extraction projects.

Courthouse News Service, 3-26-18




This ancient climate catastrophe is our best clue about Earth's future

Scott Wing had spent more than a decade in the badlands of Wyoming's Bighorn Basin, most of it thirsty, sunburned, and down on his hands and knees, digging endlessly through the dirt. But he had never found anything like the fossil he now held in his hand - an exquisitely preserved leaf embossed on beige rock. Wing let out a jubilant laugh as he uncovered a second fossil and then a third. Each leaf was different from the others. Each was entirely new to him.

Washington Post, 3-27-18




Editorial: Cemex Controversy Nearing An End

It’s taken twenty-eight years, but thanks to the persistent efforts of Congressman Steve Knight and US Senator Dianne Feinstein, Federal Legislation to put a stop to the potential Cemex mega-mine in Santa Clarita has finally been signed by President Trump.

KHTS (Santa Clarita radio), 3-26-18




If China Strikes Back On Tariffs, California Tree Nut Exports Could Take A Hit

California agriculture could find itself caught in the middle of the U.S. — China trade dispute.

Capital Public Radio, 3-27-18




From wildfires to floods, climate change keeps coming for Montecito, California

Montecito came back to life on Friday. The 9,000-person town to the east of Santa Barbara had been empty since Tuesday, when mandatory evacuations forced residents out of their homes for the fifth time in four months.

Wired, 3-24-18


It’s Tsunami Preparedness Week; here are 8 things to know to stay safe

If a tsunami slammed the California coastline, would we be ready? California’s Tsunami Preparedness Week, from Monday, March 26 through Friday, March 30, aims to make sure residents and visitors know what to do if a tsunami threatens or hits the coast. Some communities have been holding educational drills all month to prepare for such a scenario.

Bay Area News Group, 3-26-18




Scientists want to make a climate-friendly fuel from water and air

You might remember this one from science class. Plants absorb water and carbon dioxide, and use sunlight to convert them into energy. Now scientists want to mimic that process using a technique called “artificial photosynthesis”. Dick Co of the Solar Fuels Institute says the goal is to pull water and carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into a liquid fuel.

Yale Climate Connections, 3-26-18




Tsunami warning test set for Wednesday

Humboldt County residents Wednesday are encouraged to review their tsunami evacuation plans as the National Weather Service conducts the annual test of the local tsunami warning system. In addition to testing the efficacy of the tsunami warning system the county department of emergency services will also conduct a test of its Humboldt ALERT system that was put into place last summer.

Eureka Times-Standard, 3-24-18


How effective are earthquake early warning systems?

Earthquake early warning detection is more effective for minor quakes than major ones. This is according to a new study from the United States Geological Survey.

BBC, 3-24-18


The bigger the earthquake, the longer it takes to issue an alert

Earthquake early warning systems can give people crucial seconds to move to safety—but only if they send the message in time. Now, scientists working on such systems have discovered that the bigger the tremor, the longer it takes to issue an alert—giving people little time to prepare for the big one, but lots of time to brace for a ho-hum event.

Science, 3-23-18


House spending bill brings back funding for earthquake early warning

On Wednesday, we wrote about a new study in which some of the realities regarding the future of earthquake early warning. Now, earthquake early warning is back in the news as the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed yesterday brings back funding to the U.S. earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert, originally cut by the Trump administration.

Temblor, 3-23-18


Woman buried alive in La Conchita landslide hopes to help Montecito

Thirteen years ago, 10 people were killed and 27 homes were destroyed when the La Conchita hillside buried the small beach side community. The last survivor of the 2005 landslide feels like she's right there with the victims of the Montecito debris flow.  She hopes by sharing her story, she can help someone in Montecito as they grieve and rebuild. 

KEYT-TV (Santa Barbara), 3-23-18


If the earth shakes, big waves could be coming: Newport learns what to do in case of a tsunami

In Newport Beach, the "Big One" might be an earthquake, or the tsunami that follows one. Tsunami and emergency response experts at a Newport workshop Thursday night offered tips on how to avoid the devastation of the quake-triggered waves.

Newport Beach Daily Pilot, 3-23-18


La Tuna Canyon Reopens After Large Landslide

 La Tuna Canyon road near the 210 Freeway has reopened following a large landslide during last week’s storm that closed it for several days.

KCBS-TV (Los Angeles), 3-26-18




Wilk introduces anti-mine resolution

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, introduced a new Senate resolution Wednesday, asking the federal government to stop the proposed Cemex mine in Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, 3-22-18


Former, current owners of Lava Cap mine on hook for $32M in clean-up costs

A federal judge has handed down a $32 million judgment in a 10-year-long lawsuit over clean-up costs for the defunct Lava Cap gold mine on Banner Mountain.

Grass Valley Union, 3-23-18




Aliso Canyon Disaster Highlights Risks, Inadequate Safety Rules Governing Natural Gas Storage

A recent report spearheaded by researchers at the University of Southern California blames the largest greenhouse gas leak in U.S. history on dysfunctional management and poor regulatory oversight. Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) is the company that operates the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch, which suffered a catastrophic methane leak that lasted from October 2015 to February 2016.

Desmog Blog, 3-23-18


Commentary: Shale boom keeps US economy afloat

The U.S. current account deficit grew a bit at the end of last year, to $128.2 billion in the fourth quarter from $101.5 billion in the third quarter, according to data released recently by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That amounts to 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, which from the perspective of the past 15 years or so isn’t all that big.

Bloomberg News, 3-25-18


Rigs-to-Reefs program continues to address decommissioned oil rigs head on
Last January, the La Jolla Village News featured a story about two Scripps alumnae, Amber Jackson and Emily Callahan, who champion the concept of converting decommissioned oil rigs into sustainable reefs.

San Diego Community News Group, 3-23-18


Texas adds 7 rigs as US rig count increases to 995

he number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five this week to 995. That exceeds the 809 rigs that were active this time a year ago.

Associated Press, 3-23-18


Aliso Canyon Disaster Highlights Risks, Inadequate Safety Rules Governing Natural Gas Storage

A recent report spearheaded by researchers at the University of Southern California blames the largest greenhouse gas leak in U.S. history on dysfunctional management and poor regulatory oversight. Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) is the company that operates the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch, which suffered a catastrophic methane leak that lasted from October 2015 to February 2016.

DeSmog Blog, 3-23-18




Can hacking the planet ward off climate change?

Next month, a Silicon Valley engineer plans to head out on a snowmobile from Barrow, on the northern tip of Alaska, to sprinkle reflective sand on a frozen lake to try to stop it from melting.

San Francisco Chronicle, 3-25-18




Worried about being on top of an earthquake fault? New California maps will let you know on a smartphone

It’s now way easier to find out if you live in a California earthquake fault zone. The California Geological Survey has published an easy-to-use interactive map online — type in your address or share your location on your smartphone, and, voila, you’ll know if you stand in a fault zone.

Los Angeles Times, 3-23-18


Pair of 4.6-magnitude quakes rattle Humboldt County residents

Hundreds of residents across Humboldt County reported feeling two 4.6-magnitude earthquakes on Thursday. The first rattled windows across the region at 9:24 a.m. Thursday morning. The second hit just after 8 p.m.

Eureka Times-Standard, 3-23-18


Earthquake early warning system gets big boost in House budget bill

The earthquake early warning system under construction on the West Coast got a significant boost in its proposed funding for the current budget year, defying a proposal by President Trump to end federal funding of the program.

Los Angeles Times, 3-22-18


4.5-magnitude earthquake rattles Humboldt County

The United States Geological Survey reports a preliminary magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck near Humboldt County in Northern California on Thursday.

San Francisco Chronicle, 3-22-18


Storm triggers landslide in La Tuna Fire burn area

A hillside collapsed overnight Wednesday in La Tuna Canyon, where mandatory evacuation orders had already been in place amid moderate to heavy rain in the recent burn area.

KABC-TV (Los Angeles), 3-22-18


Rain-soaked hillside in La Tuna Canyon gives way

Police and fire officials are on scene today of a landslide in the La Tuna Canyon area of Sun Valley where a rain-soaked hillside gave way.

Los Angeles Newspaper Group, 3-22-18


Mudslide activity reported in Ventura County

Multiple incidents of mud and debris flow were reported Thursday night in Ventura County. 

KEYT-TV (Santa Barbara), 3-22-18


Some Evacuation Orders Lifted as a Second Round of Rain Hits L.A. County

Lighter than expected rainfall Wednesday prompted officials in Los Angeles County to lift some of the mandatory evacuation orders in place for the region’s burn areas, despite another round of showers rolling through Thursday.

KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), 3-22-18


California storm forces flood rescues but spares Montecito

A powerful storm dropped more rain across California on Thursday, swelling rivers, flooding streets and causing some mudslides but so far sparing communities a repeat of the disastrous debris flows that followed a deluge earlier this year.

Associated Press, 3-22-18


People cause climate change, but don’t blame big oil, industry tells judge

In a court hearing billed as one of the most far-reaching legal debates on climate change, attorneys for petroleum giants told a San Francisco federal judge Wednesday that human activities are clearly responsible for global warming, but that the science isn’t sophisticated enough to point fingers at big oil.

San Francisco Chronicle, 3-21-18




In A Methane Hot Spot, Environmental Politics Roil A County Commission

On a map, Durango’s appeal as a gateway to the West is obvious. The seat of La Plata County is just 85 miles from Four Corners monument, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. Its downtown maintains an Old West aesthetic, with cowboy apparel stores and an antique railroad museum.

Huffington Post, 3-22-18


The Water Is Coming, Cities Are Sinking. When Are We Going To Stop The Fossil Fuel Party?

After the hurricane hit Miami in 2037, a foot of sand covered the famous bow-tie floor in the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. A dead manatee floated in the pool where Elvis had once swum.

Huffington Post, 3-22-18




Challenges persist for West Side agriculture

West Side agriculture, the diverse force which drives the local economy, finds itself facing challenges on a number of fronts in 2018.

Water is once again at the forefront of concern, despite a series of late-season storms.

Gustine Press-Standard, 3-22-18




LA to oppose $17 billion water tunnels if its residents must pay more than fair share

he Los Angeles City Council moved Wednesday to officially oppose staged construction of a proposed multibillion-dollar water-delivery tunnel project if it would result in greater costs or a greater portion of the financial burden for Los Angeles ratepayers.       

Los Angeles City News Service, 3-21-18


From Not Enough to Too Much, the World’s Water Crisis Explained

“Day Zero,” when at least a million homes in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, will no longer have any running water, was originally scheduled for April. It was recently moved to July.

National Geographic, 3-22-18




California launches app to check properties for earthquake danger

When brothers Michael and Aaron Bellings have clients from out of town walk into their real estate office on Castro Street, one question always comes up about the properties they show.

KGO-TV (San Francisco), 3-21-18


Battered by fires and floods, beleaguered Montecito braces for more potential destruction

It started four months ago, when the largest fire on record in California history besieged this upscale coastal enclave.

Los Angeles Times, 3-21-18


Earthquake Early Warning: Early and often, or possibly late?

Today, a study released by USGS and Cal Tech scientists in Science Advances outlined a clear reality regarding the future of earthquake early warning: In order to give sufficient warning, the shaking threshold for the alert has to be set very, very low.

Temblor, 3-21-18


Seismologists introduce new measure of earthquake ruptures

A team of seismologists has developed a new measurement of seismic energy release that can be applied to large earthquakes.

Science Daily, 3-21-18


L.A. to explore helping property owners pay for earthquake retrofitting repairs

A Los Angeles City Council committee agreed this week to explore ways of helping property owners finance costly seismic retrofits required by law in roughly 15,000 buildings.

Los Angeles City News Service, 3-21-18


Silver tsunami: Helping Santa Cruz County farmers prep for retirement

Many of Santa Cruz County’s farmers are reaching retirement age, and are facing the question: What to do with the family farm?

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3-20-18


La Conchita residents hope Hydroseeding prevents another landslide

La Conchita residents hope to weather another storm and they are counting on Hydroseeding to help.

KEYT-TV (Santa Barbara), 3-20-18


Emergency responders keep close eye on Montecito as storm intensifies in Santa Barbara County

Steady rainfall across Santa Barbara County on Wednesday was causing roadway flooding and fallen trees as emergency responders kept their eyes on recent burn areas, especially the Montecito and Carpinteria communities below the Thomas Fire.

Santa Barbara Noozhawk, 3-21-18




Laser-based system offers continuous monitoring of leaks from oil and gas operations

Researchers have conducted the first field tests for a new laser-based system that can pinpoint the location of very small methane leaks over an area of several square miles. The new technology could one day be used to continuously monitor for costly and dangerous methane leaks at oil and gas production sites.

Science Daily, 3-23-18




Court papers spell out Napa grand jury accusations against Tuteur (DLRP)

The Napa County Grand Jury accuses long-time Assessor John Tuteur with making agricultural land assessment decisions that are sloppy at best and self-serving at worst, but either way possibly costing the county tax revenue.

Napa Valley Register, 3-21-18


Solano planners put off hearing on expanded hazardous waste operation (DLRP)

The Solano County Planning Commission approved a lot line adjustment for Hudson Greer Corp., but postponed until April 19 consideration of a use permit for the continuation and expansion of a hazardous waste storage operation east of Vacaville.

Fairfield Daily Republic, 3-21-18




The Dinosaur That Wouldn't Die 

California already has the technology to convert to 100-percent renewable energy. But fossil fuel companies, utilities, and state regulators are still trying to keep an old, dirty industry alive.

East Bay Express, 3-21-18


On trial for causing climate change, oil companies don’t plan to deny it’s happening

A federal judge in San Francisco Wednesday will preside over the nation’s first-ever court hearing on the science of climate change, but don’t expect it to be a “Scopes Trial” for global warming research.

Sacramento Bee, 3-20-18




Interactive Map: See Areas Most Vulnerable to Landslides in California

Southern California's dramatic and varied landscape can be breath-taking, but at the same time vulnerable to dangerous landslides.

NBC Los Angeles, 3-15-18


35,000 Ventura County residents told to evacuate as powerful storm builds

Authorities ordered evacuations, deputies knocked on doors, and Ventura County residents stacked sandbags and packed cars as a storm neared the coast Tuesday.

VCStar, 3-20-18


A vendetta that's shaking California

This has all the symptoms of a classical political vendetta: At every opportunity, President Trump does whatever he thinks might harm California, which does more to resist his agenda than any other state and provided the margin that saddled him with a popular vote loss in 2016.

VCStar, 3-20-18




California farm district drops water lawsuit, seeking to settle dispute

Last year, farmers who lead the irrigation district in Blythe sued the biggest urban water district in the country to challenge what they called a “water grab.

Desert Sun, 3-20-18


Santa Barbara County supervisors decide cannabis is a crop to clear path for ag preserve cultivation

Cannabis is a crop, which means it can be grown as a primary use on agricultural preserves, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.

Santa Maria Times, 3-20-18


Solano planners put off hearing on expanded hazardous waste operation

The Solano County Planning Commission approved a lot line adjustment for Hudson Greer Corp., but postponed until April 19 consideration of a use permit for the continuation and expansion of a hazardous waste storage operation east of Vacaville.

Daily Republic, 3-21-18


Sustainability at heart of Stubbs Vineyard’s philosophy

Is Stubbs Vineyard in Petaluma or is it in West Marin? Driving past the Marin French Cheese factory of Petaluma doesn’t help much, nor does the Petaluma address or the 707 phone number.

Marin Independent Journal, 3-20-18


To stay Farm-to-Fork capital, Sacramento must grow agriculture leaders

As we celebrate California’s agricultural community on California Ag Day on Tuesday, we must consider what it really means for Sacramento to be America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.

Sacramento Bee, 3-20-18




Sweet science: Putting corn syrup to work on Earth's origins

How has the Earth evolved, and what's in store for the future? It's a sticky question that has graduate student Loes van Dam covered in corn syrup by the end of a day in the lab.

SFGate, 3-20-18




Fracking: More harm than good?

Fracking has been in the news for the past decade or so, causing controversy between those who feel it is detrimental and damaging to the environment, and those who see it as untapped potential in recovering gas and oil.

San Diego Entertainer magazine, 3-19-18


We don’t need Trump’s offshore oil and gas drilling. Californians, speak out

The Trump administration recently announced a plan to open California’s coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling. This decision threatens hundreds of coastal communities and could have a devastating impact on our state’s environment and economy.

Sacramento Bee commentary, 3-15-18




Santa Barbara County orders mandatory evacuations amid 'high' threat of rock falls and mudslides

Residents in Santa Barbara County were ordered to evacuate — for the third time this month — ahead of a powerful storm that's expected to drench Southern California starting Tuesday night.

Los Angeles Times, 3-19-18


LA City Council committee approves exploration of seismic retrofitting fund

A Los Angeles City Council committee agreed Monday to explore ways of helping property owners finance costly seismic retrofits required by law in roughly 15,000 buildings.

Los Angeles, 3-19-18


Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

As a powerful storm nears the South Coast, the pre-evacuation advisory for “anyone who lives near a burn area in Santa Barbara County” conveys a painful reality: No one knows when or where the next torrent of mud and boulders will come surging down the scorched mountainside into town.

Santa Barbara Independent, 3-19-18


Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

For anyone who hasn’t signed up at and missed the blaring klaxon text this afternoon, South County fire areas are under a mandatory evacuation order as of Tuesday noon.

Santa Barbara Independent, 3-19-18




Sierra Club, others sue San Diego County to block carbon credit plan for new development

Several environmental groups joined the Sierra Club over the weekend in suing the county of San Diego for its plan to use carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions from new housing and commercial developments.

San Diego Union Tribune, 3-19-19


What Exxon Knew and When They Knew It: Climate Science in S.F. Federal Court

It's not a trial, nor is it quite a debate, but what's happening Wednesday in Judge William Alsup's federal courtroom is an unusual and possibly unprecedented proceeding. That's because Alsup has ordered a four-hour tutorial on climate change – what scientists know about global warming, and when they knew it.

KQED (San Francisco television), 3-19-18




Time is running out for Gov. Brown to shut down Aliso Canyon

2018 is Gov. Jerry Brown’s last chance to do something meaningful for the environment and set his legacy. His current record is less green that his reputation assumes. 

Los Angeles Newspaper Group, 3-18-18




Cannabis: Drug or crop? Board of Supervisors to consider several regulations at Tuesday's meeting

Whether cannabis is a crop or a drug may determine which option Santa Barbara County supervisors choose to allow cultivation on agricultural preserve lands when they consider a number of cannabis regulations Tuesday.

Lee Central Coast News, 3-18-18


Measure A money helping to secure West Marin farmland

The preservation of West Marin land for agriculture is proceeding apace through a combination of Measure A funds and private donations to the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.

Marin Independent Journal, 3-17-18


Community Leaders Launch Conservation Blueprint for County

On March 14, community leaders throughout the county unveiled the Santa Barbara County Conservation Blueprint.

Santa Barbara Noozhawk, 3-17-18


Sonoma County crafting strategy to protect its open lands

Sonoma County is making progress on its strategic vision for regional land-conservation efforts over the next decade and more, putting particular emphasis on agricultural lands, riparian corridors and properties that will one day become new public parks.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3-17-18




Stashing cash for a rainy day isn't as easy as it sounds for California government

Few ballot measures have ever been more resoundingly embraced by Californians than Proposition 2, the 2014 constitutional amendment championed by Gov. Jerry Brown requiring that more state tax money be put aside for rough economic times.

Los Angeles Times, 3-18-18




Millions Own Gas And Oil Under Their Land. Here's Why Only Some Strike It Rich

The U.S. is one of only a few countries in the world that allow private individuals to own the minerals under their land, a policy that dates to the Founding Fathers as they sought to elevate private interests over those of the British Crown.

NPR, 3-15-18




The business of climate change, in market terms

When it’s 5 degrees Fahrenheit out, even politically divided Americans can agree on one thing: It’s cold. But that’s where it ends. President Donald Trump used this winter’s frigid East Coast temperatures to Tweet: “We need more global warming!”

High Country News column, 3-12-18




Interactive Map: See Areas Most Vulnerable to Landslides in California

Southern California's dramatic and varied landscape can be breath-taking, but at the same time vulnerable to dangerous landslides.

KNBC (Los Angeles television), 3-15-18




California needs new laws to boost earthquake safety, assemblyman says

A Los Angeles lawmaker says California needs new statewide laws that boost earthquake safety, and wants to toughen rules on how strong new buildings should be and require cities to identify buildings at risk of collapse.

San Diego Union-Tribune, 3-14-18


School district drops Old Sonoma Road site for Stone Bridge School

The Napa Valley Unified School District has decided not to move Stone Bridge School — which sits atop an earthquake fault — to a new location off Old Sonoma Road after discovering a fault beneath the proposed site.

Napa Valley Register, 3-14-18


County Offers Guidance to Montecito Property Owners Rebuilding After Jan. 9 Debris Flow

Displaced residents encouraged to wait for updated mapping and other analysis of the changed landscape

Noozhawk, 3-14-18


Mudslide triggers closure on Topanga Canyon Boulevard

An early-morning mudslide triggered a closure on Topanga Canyon Boulevard on Thursday that is expected to last for 24 to 48 hours.

Los Angeles Times, 3-15-18


Early morning Malibu mudslide traps vehicles, closes Topanga Canyon

A mudslide triggered by overnight rain trapped several vehicles and forced the closure of a section of Topanga Canyon Boulevard this morning in Topanga near Malibu.

Los Angeles Daily News, 3-15-18


Lori Dengler: Recovery slow seven years after Japan quake, tsunami

Sunday marked seven years since a magnitude 9.1 earthquake spawned a tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region of Japan. It’s an in-between remembering, halfway between the major memorial activities of five years and the decade one. The date was recognized by a smattering of articles, mainly in the Japanese press, noting progress in the ongoing struggle to recover. For the coastal cities and towns in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, it has been a time once again to remember all that was lost.

Times-Standard, 3-14-18





Agricultural business leaders from throughout the state met in Napa, California this past week for Agricultural Council of California’s Annual Meeting, which was held March 7 and 8 in conjunction with CoBank’s Pacific West Customer meeting.

Oakdale Leader, 3-14-18


Fast-growing church buying 52 acres in Clovis for expansion project

A historic piece of Clovis farmland that for decades grew sweet-tasting peaches could soon be growing a different kind of crop.

Fresno Bee, 3-14-18



Lack of snowpack leaves the West hung out to dry

The lack of snow across the West this winter points to a parched summer ahead.

Grist, 3-13-18


California Almonds Are Back After Four Years of Brutal Drought

This year’s California almonds have had their share of turmoil. Frost and high winds at the end of February damaged parts of the crop, grown throughout the state’s Central Valley. Farmers tried to limit the losses, running water to heat the ground and, in some cases, flying helicopters over trees to keep cold air from settling. The full impact won’t be known until later this month.

Bloomberg, 3-14-18




When 'The Big One' Strikes, New Earthquake Warning System Could Reduce Deaths

On September 8, 2017, sirens rang out across Mexico City. A minute later, the ground began trembling from a major earthquake off Mexico’s southern coast. The shake killed at least 60 people, but that minute may have saved a few lives.

Newsweek, 3-13-18


Zinke: Oil and gas exploration off the Pacific coast might not happen

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke expressed doubt Tuesday that oil and gas exploration will happen off the Pacific coast as part of the Trump administration’s proposal to dramatically expand offshore leasing, saying California, Oregon and Washington have “no known resources of any weight” for energy companies to extract.

Washington Post, 3-14-18


New slide closes Hwy. 1 in Big Sur as rain continues to soak SLO County

The storm that moved through the Central Coast on Tuesday packed less of a punch than expected, but it was enough to cause a new landslide that closed Highway 1 in Big Sur.

San Luis Obispo Tribune, 3-13-18


Napa district drops Old Sonoma Road site for Stone Bridge School

The Napa Valley Unified School District has decided not to move Stone Bridge School — which sits atop an earthquake fault — to a new location off Old Sonoma Road after discovering a fault beneath the proposed site.

Napa Valley Register, 3-14-18




Supervisors fund new jail locks, approve easements for Swainson's hawk

About 448 vulnerable locks on jail cells in Lerdo Jail’s pre-trial facility that are being exploited by inmates will be replaced after Kern County Supervisors approved more than $1.7 million Tuesday.

Bakersfield Californian, 3-13-18




California rewrites climate change ballot measure in response to GOP lawmaker's lawsuit

State officials have rewritten a climate change measure that will appear on the ballot in June, in response to a lawsuit arguing the original language for Proposition 70 would have confused people into voting against it.

Palm Springs Desert Sun, 3-12-18


California keeps breaking solar records. How long before it's a problem?

Less than 2 percent of U.S. electricity comes from the sun. But last week, on a cool Sunday afternoon when there was plenty of sunlight and no need for air conditioning, the bulk of California briefly got 50 percent of its electricity from solar power.

Palm Springs Desert Sun, 3-12-18


U.S. government needs to do more to climate-proof communities, say experts

The U.S. government urgently needs to do more to protect Americans from the worst impacts of climate change by preparing both people and infrastructure to better withstand hurricanes, floods and rises in sea level, experts say.

Reuters, 3-9-18


The government is nearly done with a major report on climate change. Trump isn’t going to like it

The country’s top independent scientific advisory body has largely approved a major climate report being prepared by scientists within the Trump administration — suggesting that another key government document could soon emerge that contradicts President Trump’s skepticism about climate change and humans’ role in driving it.

Washington Post, 3-12-18


Researchers issue first-annual sea-level report cards

Researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science are launching new web-based "report cards" to monitor and forecast changes in sea level at 32 localities along the U.S. coastline from Maine to Alaska. They plan to update the report cards in January of each year, with projections out to the year 2050., 3-12-18




Montecito Water District Provides Facts On January 9 Debris Flow

Since the debris flow that occurred on January 9th, widespread reporting of inaccurate information has occurred. In advance of last week’s rain, Montecito Water District (MWD) responded to numerous customer inquiries about the functionality and condition of District infrastructure. The District provides this press release in an effort to alleviate concerns and disseminate accurate information.

Santa Barbara Edhat, 3-10-18


Potent Mexico City earthquake was a rare ‘bending’ quake, study finds – and it could happen again

Six months have passed since a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City, toppling 40 buildings and killing over 300, but the memory remains fresh.

The Conversation, 3-12-18


3.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Gilroy

A 3.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Gilroy area Sunday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey. At 11:10 a.m. the quake struck about nine miles southeast of Gilroy.

KRON (San Francisco television), 3-11-81


Storm triggers evacuations in Santa Barbara County: 'Don't be fooled into thinking that this can’t happen again'

Santa Barbara County authorities ordered mandatory evacuations Monday for residents below fire-ravaged mountains ahead of a "fast-approaching" storm that could cause flooding and mudflows.

Los Angeles Times, 3-12-18


Some Evacuations Issued For Thomas Fire Burn Areas Ahead Of Tuesday Rain

Ventura County authorities issued a voluntary evacuation for areas north of Ojai due to the possible risk of debris flow from rain on Tuesday.

Ventura County Star, 3-12-18


New plans for Seaport Village unveiled (CGS)

An earthquake fault line under Seaport Village has led to a major rework of plans for what will likely become a San Diego landmark.

San Diego Union Tribune, 3-13-18


What lies in the depths of Lake Tahoe’s waters? (video)

Tahoe Daily Tribune, 3-12-18                     




New Report Sparks Debate: Delta Tunnels Could Help Save Fish Species

One of California’s foremost experts on freshwater fish believes there may be hope for restoring native salmon to abundance – but there’s a catch: California must build the controversial Delta tunnels, he says.

KQED (San Francisco television), 3-12-18


Editorial: No reason for smugness on water savings

When water conservation numbers for January were released last week by the state, there’s no question a number of Chicoans wrapped a bit of smugness around themselves. They probably shouldn’t have.

Chico Enterprise-Record, 3-11-18




A "New Ocean" Is Emerging at the Top of the World

As the planet warms, the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast. As ice cover is disappearing, average summer sea ice has declined by more than a third since 1979. That’s roughly equal to the entire area of the Western U.S.

KQED (San Francisco television), 3-12-18



What happens to Los Angeles when we survive the Big One but our buildings don't?

When the Big One — or even just the next Northridge-sized quake — hits Los Angeles, you will probably survive it. Between existing seismic codes for new construction and the ongoing mandatory retrofitting of concrete and soft-story wood buildings in the city of Los Angeles and beyond, most buildings should withstand a catastrophic earthquake well enough for you to make your way out of the wreckage when the shaking stops.

Los Angeles Times editorial, 3-10-18


American Canyon school preparing to move off earthquake fault

Having run a school that is more than 60 years old, difficult to access, and sits atop an active earthquake fault, Principal Donna Drago is as excited as anyone by the idea of the new Napa Junction Elementary School.

American Canyon Eagle, 3-12-18


L.A. mayor proposes mandatory seismic retrofits for steel buildings, daycare centers, private schools

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed a seismic retrofit requirement for vulnerable steel buildings built before the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Building Design and Contruction, 3-12-18


It took a deadly earthquake to get Taiwan's attention, but now it's demanding safer buildings

Eliot Shen, project manager for a property developer in Taipei, has installed buffers under a new corkscrew-shaped, high-end apartment tower. The goal is to stop Taiwan’s frequent earthquakes from sending destructive energy upward into the building.

Los Angeles Times, 3-9-18


Aid reaching cut-off Papua New Guinea villages devastated after big quake

Aid is finally reaching remote communities cut-off by a major earthquake that hit Papua New Guinea’s highlands two weeks ago as the relief chief on Monday described devastating scenes of buried homes and collapsed mountains.

Agency France Presse, 3-12-18


Seven years after tsunami, Japanese live uneasily with seawalls

When a massive earthquake struck in 2011, Japanese oyster fisherman Atsushi Fujita was working as usual by the sea. Soon after, a huge black wave slammed into his city and killed nearly 2,000 people

Reuters, 3-8-18


Small earthquake rattles desert communities

A small earthquake was recorded six miles northeast of Ocotillo Wells on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Los Angeles City News Service, 3-11-18


3.4-magnitude earthquake in Salton City felt as far as East County

A 3.4-magnitude earthquake shook the Salton Sea region early Sunday. The quake hit just after 5:30 a.m. Sunday a little more than 8.5 miles southwest of Salton City, Calif., with a depth of about 6 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey.

KGTV (San Diego television), 3-11-18


Back-to-Back Quakes Strike Near Gilroy, Hollister: USGS

Back-to-back earthquakes struck near Gilroy and Hollister Sunday morning, according to the USGS.

KNTV (San Jose television), 3-11-18


Montecito is being rebuilt after the mudslide — very, very slowly

Two months later, January 9th still plays in Brent Larson's mind like a movie. That early morning, mud was rushing down the hill behind the home in Montecito where Larson was living with his two kids, crashing into the big glass windows facing the back patio.

Southern California Public Radio, 3-9-18


Property Values Plummet Over $1.3 Billion in Wake of Montecito Debris Flows, Thomas Fire

Beyond the death, destruction and disruption caused by the Jan. 9 flash flooding and debris flows in Montecito, there will be a staggering decline in assessed property values — one that likely will negatively affect local communities for years to come.

Santa Barbara Noozhawk, 3-11-18




A new generation of activists, born next to an oil refinery

Ask any native of Wilmington, California, for directions, and you’ll get a quick glimpse of what daily reality is like here. “I live on the side of town where Phillips 66 is, or where the Tesoro refinery is. Or where the container yards are; the side of town with the ports,” says resident Sylvia Arredondo, rattling off the various ways a local might tell you how to get to his or her house.

High Country News, 3-7-18


Texas adds 7 rigs as US rig count increases to 984

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by three this week to 984.

Associated Press, 3-9-18




Hazardous waste permit on Solano Planning Commission agenda

The Solano County Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing Thursday on a use permit application to continue and expand a hazardous waste storage and transfer facility east of Vacaville.

Fairfield Daily Republic, 3-11-18


Local agriculture has a couple of prime worries at the present

There’s always worry in the world of agriculture – especially in a state that feeds the world. There are a couple issues out in front right now.

Marysville Appeal-Democrat editorial, 3-10-18


Ukiah declines to support ag protection for Lovers Lane vineyards

The Ukiah City Council Wednesday declined to support barring development on more than 100 acres of vineyards along Lovers Lane.

Ukiah Daily Journal, 3-10-18


Supervisors should do right thing by preserving farmland and threatened Swainson's hawks

If there is one thing that motivates many volunteer environmentalists to keep on plugging away, it is the outrage we feel when we bump into an atrocious scheme like this one: Five years ago, Kern County took $14.3 million from a solar developer to help preserve farmland and the threatened Swainson’s hawk, and it has been trying to absorb these millions into its general fund without doing the mitigation. Let me explain.

Bakersfield Californian commentary, 3-12-18


Neighbors challenge increased visitors at Caldwell Vineyard in east Napa

Caldwell Vineyard winery will have to rethink its visitor growth ideas in the latest dispute over proposed winery tourism expansion in an off-the-beaten-path area.

Napa Valley Register, 3-11-18




Tourism is booming in California's desert. So why is Trump opening it up to mining?

Starting Friday, the Trump Administration is opening more than a million acres of desert lands in Southern California to possible new mining claims.

Southern California Public Radio, 3-9-18




An Alternative Approach to Managing the Delta

The State Water Board is updating the water quality plan for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. This plan sets flow and water quality standards for the Delta and its watershed, affecting water supply to more than 25 million Californians and millions of acres of Central Valley farmland.

Public Policy Institute of California, 3-8-18


California water use back to pre-drought levels

California’s water conservation habits, refined and improved over five years of drought, are quickly evaporating.

Bay Area News Group, 3-10-18




Fleet of sailboat drones could monitor climate change’s effect on oceans

Two 7-meter-long sailboats are set to return next month to California, after nearly 8 months tacking across the Pacific Ocean. Puttering along at half-speed, they will be heavy with barnacles and other growth. No captains will be at their helms.

Science, 3-8-18



Papua New Guinea Hit by Powerful Aftershock as Quake’s Toll Mounts

Papua New Guinea, which is still recovering from a deadly earthquake last week, was hit by a powerful aftershock Wednesday that left an estimated 18 people dead or injured, adding to a mounting toll from the quakes, officials said.

New York Times, 3-7-18


U.S. Geological Survey Marks 139 Years of Scientific Advancement

Created by Congress on March 3, 1879, the U.S. Geological Survey was originally dedicated to exploring the geology and mineral potential of western lands, but over its 139-year-history, it has evolved to dramatically expand our knowledge of natural science.             

Sierra Sun Times, 3-7-18


Belmont Shore Native Remembers ’33 Earthquake As Scary, Exciting

It’s hard to imagine Dottie May Frazier, now a feisty and fearless 95-year-old with a lifetime of legendary achievements behind her, as ever being scared.

The Grunion, 3-7-18


3.7 magnitude quake shakes SLO/Kern County line

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck at about 10:05 a.m. and was centered near the San Luis Obispo-Kern county line, about 22 miles southeast of Cholame.

KSBY, 3-7-18


More rain on the way for Bay Area: 'The storm door is opening'

A series of storms are in the forecast for the San Francisco Bay Area, bringing unsettled weather with a mix of cloudy and rainy days over the next week.

SFGate, 3-7-18


Report shows economic impact of Montecito mudslide

A report is out with a preliminary assessment of the economic impacts of the Montecito mudslide.

KSBY Santa Barbara TV, 3-7-18


Arsenic levels in soil complicate Fountaingrove cleanup

Before Jim Roatch could rebuild his Fountaingrove home, the semi-retired contractor needed to prove his hillside property was clean.

Press-Democrat, 3-7-18


John Lindsey: Could storms like those of 1861-62 drown California again?

My mother’s ancestors came to California by covered wagon over the Sierra Nevada in the summer of 1847, a few months after the Donner Party tragedy.

Santa Ynez Valley News, 3-7-18


Gold panning at Porterville Historical Museum

On Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, the Porterville Historical Museum will host Gold Rush Mining and Refining Co., a life-size gold panning rig, an interactive attraction and educational tool, designed to give people the adventure and excitement of panning for real river gold, an activity for all ages yearning for an adventure finding genuine natural gold and gems.

The Recorder, 3-6-18




(OPINION) CEQA isn’t stopping housing, it’s protecting health

California needs affordable housing. But legislators must follow the data, not anecdotal evidence from monied interests, to find a legislative fix that will encourage development consistent with California’s priorities.

Sacramento Bee, 3-7-18


(OPINION) Marin Voice: Setting the record straight on the San Geronimo Golf Course

Perhaps you had the experience growing up of seeing cherished woods and meadows you enjoyed as a kid targeted for development. It always makes us sad to lose play spaces we treasured. And so, the loss of the golf course is understandably tough for golfers.

Marin Journal, 3-7-18


Farmers feeling betrayed after Northern California county takes tax money, then bans marijuana cultivation

Dennis Mills peered over his shoulder at the green hills below, where marijuana farms dotted the Calaveras County landscape.

East Bay Times, 3-6-18




New Offshore Drilling Analysis Shows What Trump’s Plan Puts At Stake

The proposal threatens more than 2.5 million coastal jobs for roughly two years worth of oil, an ocean conservation nonprofit reports.

Huffington Post, 3-7-18




Judge shoots down Delta tunnels foes' request to halt key hearing

A Sacramento County judge on Monday declined to temporarily stop the hearings that will decide the fate of Gov. Jerry Brown's Delta tunnels project after its opponents sued alleging the process had been tainted by secret meetings.

Sacramento Bee, 3-5-18




California Sets Two New Solar Records

Mild temperatures and sunny skies helped California set two new solar records in recent days.

Greentech Media, 3-6-18




Federal court will hold first-ever hearing on climate change science

A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered parties in a landmark global warming lawsuit to hold what could be the first-ever U.S. court hearing on the science of climate change.

McClatchy DC Bureau, 3-7-18


BLM considers amending desert conservation plan

In order to meet renewable energy goals set by California and in order to comply with executive orders from President Donald Trump, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering making changes to its Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).

The Daily Independent, 3-7-18




Los Angeles mayor promotes mandatory earthquake safeguards for buildings

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed a program of mandatory retrofits to make steel buildings, daycare centers and private schools more resilient to earthquakes, according to the Los Angeles Times

Construction Dive, 3-7-18


Papua New Guinea quake death toll at 55 as aftershock hits

A powerful earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea last week has left at least 55 people dead and authorities fear the toll could exceed 100, as survivors faced more shaking early Wednesday from the strongest aftershock so far.

Associated Press, 3-6-18




Rich People Are Ruining Wine … and Napa Valley is forever changing as a result

Seven years ago, Donald Trump bought a vineyard and winery in Albemarle County, Virginia, a few miles south of Monticello. The property had belonged to the ex-wife of John Kluge, the late founder of Metromedia (which later transformed into Fox News) and once the richest man in America.

The Atlantic, 3-6-18


Farmers file formal complaint against Oceanside ag initiative backers

Farmers opposed to a proposed ballot measure that could help preserve Oceanside’s disappearing agricultural land have filed a complaint with the Oceanside city clerk, the county district attorney, and the state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

San Diego Union Tribune, 2-6-18


Land Trust looking to protect much of Ukiah Lovers Lane vineyards

The Ukiah City Council Wednesday will be asked to support putting nearly 134 acres of vineyard property owned by the Dolan family along Lovers Lane into protective status.

Ukiah Daily Journal, 3-6-18




Friday is the last day to comment on California coast oil-drilling; new leases backed by Rohrabacher and Walters

With the comment period for a new oil-drilling proposal set to close Friday, March 9, Democratic senators are calling for an extension to the deadline to get more feedback. Additionally, two of Orange County’s Republican Congress members are being called on to rescind support for new leases, with a demonstration scheduled for Huntington Beach Pier at noon Thursday.

Orange County Register, 3-6-18


Lawmaker slams approval of SoCal Gas’ request to expand use of Aliso Canyon gas field

A California lawmaker has accused the California Public Utilities Commission of secretly granting the Southern California Gas Company permission to withdraw gas from Aliso Canyon. In his March 5 letter sent to the commission, state Sen. Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park, said the agency allowed the gas company to dramatically expand the usage of Aliso Canyon without public notice or appropriate approval.

Los Angeles Newspaper Group, 3-6-18


California Is Fighting Trump's Offshore Drilling Plan but Exxon, Koch Already Drill There

Public officials throughout the state of California have made headlines for loudly opposing Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's decision to approve offshore drilling in California and throughout the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf region. 

DeSmog Blog, 3-6-18


Oil industry pushes back on electric vehicles

The oil business has a message for electric vehicles and their backers: Not so fast. CEO Amin Nasser of Saudi Aramco argued here yesterday that oil's future is widely misunderstood.

Energy and Environment Publishing, 3-7-18


Zinke says Interior should be a partner with oil companies

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says his agency should be a partner with oil and gas companies that seek to drill on public land and that long regulatory reviews with an uncertain outcome are "un-American." Speaking Tuesday to a major energy-industry conference, Zinke described the Trump administration's efforts to increase offshore drilling, reduce regulations, and streamline inspections of oil and gas operators.

Associated Press, 3-6-18




California Shows How to Fight Climate Change and Help Underserved Communities

Something amazing is happening in California. The Golden State has taken bold steps to act on climate change, including regulations to cut carbon consumption and charging polluters for the carbon that they emit.

AlterNet, 3-6-18


Scientists engineer crops to conserve water, resist drought

Agriculture already monopolizes 90 percent of global freshwater—yet production still needs to dramatically increase to feed and fuel this century's growing population. For the first time, scientists have improved how a crop uses water by 25 percent without compromising yield by altering the expression of one gene that is found in all plants, as reported in Nature Communications., 3-6-18


New Report Predicts Rising Tides, More Flooding

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides. Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.

NPR, 3-5-18




Papua New Guinea aid workers race to deliver supplies as aftershocks strike

Aid workers struggled to reach remote areas of Papua New Guinea’s rugged highlands on Tuesday as aftershocks rattled the region, more than a week after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake killed dozens of people.

Reuters, 3-6-18

Long Beach hospital on active earthquake fault set to close

Community Medical Center Long Beach will close within four months after a report revealed the facility sits on an active earthquake fault, hospital officials said Monday.

Los Angeles Times, 3-5-18


Earthquakes Strike Minutes Apart Near Gilroy: USGS

A 3.3 magnitude earthquake and a 2.6 magnitude earthquake struck minutes apart near Gilroy early Tuesday, according to the USGS.

KNTV (San Jose), 3-6-18




A ‘Major Second Wave’ of U.S. Fracking Is About to Be Unleashed Upon the World

U.S. oil and natural gas is on the verge of transforming the world’s energy markets for a second time, further undercutting Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Time, 3-6-18


Inadequate state oil and gas regulations threaten U.S. groundwater resources, study finds

Definitions of “protected groundwater” in 17 state oil and gas regulations are inconsistent and in many cases less protective than federal regulations used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), according to a study published Friday, March 2, 2018 in Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health.

Physicians, Scientists and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy, 3-5-18


Geothermal energy is slowly gaining steam in homes

Steve Smith has had a rough few years. The Greenville, Illinois, resident has been in business for himself since 1996, installing heating and cooling systems.

Moneywatch, 3-1-18


Wastewater injection limit set due to earthquake worries, but Oklahoma could get shakier if oil prices soar again

If oil and natural gas prices begin to soar, wastewater injection linked to Oklahoma earthquakes could climb 40 percent more under a regulatory cap — a disposal level that also happens to be 40 percent shy of the record but would still be a historically large volume.

Tulsa (Okla.) World, 3-4-18




From almonds to rice, climate change could slash California crop yields by 2050

Climate change could decrease the yield of some crops in California by up to 40 percent by 2050. That's a big deal for farmers in the state, which provides around two-thirds of the nation's produce.

Capital Public Radio, 3-2-18


To feed the nation, California farmers must adapt to a warming climate, study says

Heat waves, droughts and floods are climate trends that will force California farmers to change some practices — including what they grow — to continue producing yields that historically have fed people nationwide, a new study by the University of California says.

Fresno Bee, 3-4-18




Jerry Brown's grand California water solution remains in jeopardy as he prepares to exit

Two tunnels, one or none? The question continues to swirl around plans to perform major surgery on the sickly heart of California's water system.

Los Angeles Times, 3-5-18


Sierra snowpack up 80 percent from last week

Last week’s major snowstorms brought a welcome change to the Sierra Nevada Range — the source of nearly one-third of California’s water — boosting the overall snowpack by nearly 80 percent.

Bay Area News Group, 3-5-18




1906 film of San Francisco after quake found at flea market

More than a century after San Francisco's deadly 1906 earthquake, a film reel with nine minutes of footage capturing the city two weeks after the devastation surfaced at a flea market and it will soon be shown to the public, according to a newspaper report.

SFGate, 3-4-18


Garcetti wants better earthquake safety for L.A.'s day care centers, private schools and steel towers

Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday called for Los Angeles to significantly improve its planning for a major earthquake, saying the city should consider mandatory retrofits of steel-framed buildings and earthquake evaluations of private schools and day care centers.\

Los Angeles Times, 3-2-18


(Opinion) Restore earthquake early warning system funding

Talk about misplaced budget priorities.

President Trump proposes $3 billion next fiscal year for his precious border wall. But he has rejected a $10 million request to help complete the nation’s earthquake early-warning system.

Record-Bee, 3-2-18


Mudslides Shut Down Topanga Canyon Boulevard

Officials have blocked off a large portion of Topanga Canyon Boulevard, as a result of a mudslide. The closure sits between Pacific Coast Highway and Grandview Drive. Due to public safety concerns, California Highway Patrol officials have closed traffic in both northbound and southbound lanes.

Canyon News, 3-3-18



Oklahoma adds 3 rigs as US rig count increases to 981

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by three this week to 981.

Appeal Democrat, 3-2-18




To feed the nation, California farmers must adapt to a warming climate, study says

Heat waves, droughts and floods are climate trends that will force California farmers to change some practices — including what they grow — to continue producing yields that historically have fed people nationwide, a new study by the University of California says.

Fresno Bee, 3-4-18




Jerry Brown's grand California water solution remains in jeopardy as he prepares to exit

Two tunnels, one or none? The question continues to swirl around plans to perform major surgery on the sickly heart of California’s water system.

San Diego Tribune, 3-5-18




Along California-Oregon border, debate over protected lands is clash of values

There’s no welcome sign here, not even a marked road to the entrance. Just wide-open countryside.

San Francisco Chronicle, 3-3-17




(news updated as time permits…)




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