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Tag Archive: california

  1. Iconic coast threatened as rising seas ‘drown’ beaches

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  2. Most of California projected to see more precipitation through this century due to warming tropical eastern Pacific ocean

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    • Researchers analyze 38 climate models and project California will get on average 12 percent more precipitation through 2100
    • warming in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, an area about 2,500 miles east of the international date line, is the main reason for the predicted increase in precipitation levels.
    • The warming sea surface temperatures encourage a southeastward shift of the jet stream, which helps steer more rain-producing mid-latitude cyclones toward California.
    • El-Nino-like years to become norm in California

    July 6, 2017 University of California – Riverside  see full ScienceDaily article here

    Under business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions, climate models predict California will get warmer during the rest of the century and most also predict the state will get drier. But, new research published in Nature Communications predicts California will actually get wetter. The scientists from the University of California, Riverside predict the state will get an average of 12 percent more precipitation through the end of this century, compared to the last 20 years of last century.


    Scientists at the University of California, Riverside predict California will get an average of 12 percent more precipitation through the end of this century, compared to the last 20 years of last century. Credit: UC Riverside Strategic Communications

    ….They also found the winter months of December, January and February, when California traditionally gets the bulk of its precipitation, would account for much of the overall increase in precipitation. During those three months, precipitation levels would increase 31.6 percent in northern California, 39.2 percent in central California and 10.6 percent in southern California.  All these percentages are in comparison to data from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project observed between 1979 and 1999

    …They found that warming in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, an area about 2,500 miles east of the international date line, is the main reason for the predicted increase in precipitation levels.

    The warming sea surface temperatures encourage a southeastward shift of the jet stream, which helps steer more rain-producing mid-latitude cyclones toward California. “Essentially, this mechanism is similar to what we in California expect during an El Nino year,” Allen said. “Ultimately, what I am arguing is El Nino-like years are going to become more the norm in California.” But, Allen cautions that prediction of an El Nino-like year is no guarantee of a more wet winter in California. The 2015-16 winter was an example of that. Many other climatic factors must be considered….

    ….”Most previous research emphasized uncertainty with regards to future precipitation levels in California, but the overall thought was California would become drier with continued climate change,” said Robert Allen, an associate professor at UC Riverside and one of the authors of the paper. “We found the opposite, which is quite surprising.”

    Robert J. Allen, Rainer Luptowitz. El Niño-like teleconnection increases California precipitation in response to warming. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 16055 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16055

  3. Toilet to tap? Some in drought-prone California say it’s time

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    By Devika G. Bansal Bay Area News Group 

    As drought and water shortages become California’s new normal, more and more of the water that washes down drains and flushes down toilets is being cleaned and recycled for outdoor irrigation. But some public officials, taking cues from countries where water scarcity is a fact of life, want to take it further and make treated wastewater available for much more — even drinking. “This is a potential new source of water for California,” said former Assemblyman Rich Gordon. “We need to find water where we can.”

    ….Water recycling is more the norm in countries like Singapore, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Australia, which have long had water shortages. Israel reclaims about 80 percent of its wastewater, while Singapore reclaims almost 100 percent. The reclaimed water is extensively used to irrigate agricultural lands and recharge aquifers in Israel, while most of Singapore’s water is used for industrial purposes.

    SJM-BEER-0612-90

    ….To address the public perception issue, former Assemblyman Gordon was able to pass Assembly Bill 2022 last year. It enables water agencies in the state to distribute bottles of advanced purified recycled water for educational purposes….

  4. Groundwater Recharge- from Drought to Deluge and Back Again

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    June 22, 2017 by Judy Corbett Calfornia Economic Summit

    ….Common sense dictates that we build water reserves during rainy years that will carry us through the lean years. While dams have been the reserve strategy in the past, recent experience has shown they have limitations…..UC Merced scientist Mohammad Safeeq has pointed to groundwater storage as a viable option, noting that California has enough unused groundwater storage capacity to hold 850 to 1,300 million-acre feet of water. This dwarfs the state’s current surface water storage capacity of 42 million-acre feet….

    … NRDC and partners studied the effects of 15 years of development in 20 sprawling cities and found that by covering over aquifer recharge areas, each had lost enough groundwater to meet the average daily needs of 1.5 to 3.6 million of their residents….

    …Fortunately, …are currently researching and mapping areas with good recharge potential – areas with soil types that allow water to penetrate accompanied by a geologic makeup under the soil that filters and sends water to the aquifer.

    Once special recharge sites are identified, we need to preserve or restore them. Here, progress is being made in both urban and in rural areas. For example, Santa Cruz and Butte Counties both have general plan language protecting important recharge sites from development.

    The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is now providing incentive programs to schools, homeowners, and businesses to capture stormwater and direct it to areas where it can be absorbed. While naturally recharged groundwater is a very inexpensive, it still requires funding for infrastructure changes, land purchases, and the like. Funding could come from federal, state and/or local entities, including those responsible for flood management…

    To get where we need to go, multi-benefit groundwater recharge projects must expand in number and scale. …working together, they can assure the ultimate success of California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act….

  5. California’s Delta Poised to Become Massive Carbon Bank

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    Matt Weiser June 9 2017  Water Deeply  see full article here

    A newly certified carbon trading protocol could help solve a number of problems in the West’s largest estuary, including flood risk, water pollution, habitat loss and threats to a critical freshwater supply.

    The largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, the Delta is a network of some 70 islands protected by more than 1,000 miles of levees. The soil on these islands is some of the richest farmland in the world because it is composed of organic material: decaying plants that accumulated over millennia.

    But when the levees were built 150 years ago to create farms, this dried out the soil, causing it to oxidize and decompose. As a result, the surface of many islands has slowly sunk below sea level. This results in a stronger leverage force on the levees, making them more vulnerable to failure. That’s a problem because the Delta is also the source of freshwater for 25 million Californians and more than 3 million acres of farmland. If numerous islands flooded due to levee failures, seawater could rush into the estuary and compromise the freshwater supply…

    Campbell Ingram: For every inch of elevation that you don’t lose in a given year due to ongoing agricultural practices, you’re not increasing hydrologic pressure on the levee. And for every inch that you then accrete in elevation, you’re reducing that pressure. It’s a slow process, but it’s at least moving in the right direction.

    A wetland compared to a monoculture of corn is typically going to have higher biodiversity, more use by waterfowl and amphibians and giant garter snakes. You can have some water quality benefits. And obviously the greenhouse gas emissions reduction and subsidence reversal….

    The Air Resources Board recently put out their latest scoping plan, and in that they describe a target of 15,000 to 30,000 acres of managed wetlands in the Delta in the next 13 years. This is one of the best uses of the western Delta because of its importance to the water supply….

  6. What price are Californians paying to fight climate change?

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  7. California signs deal with China to combat climate change

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    See full article here- The Hill

    California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed an agreement to work with China to lower greenhouse gas emissions Tuesday, just days after President Trump pulled the United States out of an international climate change agreement.

    The agreement, though nonbinding, aims to expand cooperation between China and California on renewable energy, zero-emission vehicles and low-carbon urban development, Brown’s office said. It will establish a joint working group of Chinese and Californian officials to come up with ways to work together, and to invest in programs that would cut carbon emissions.

    Brown signed the pact with Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, before meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    “California is the leading economic state in America and we are also the pioneering state on clean technology, cap and trade, electric vehicles and batteries, but we can’t do it alone,” Brown said Tuesday. “We need a very close partnership with China, with your businesses, with your provinces, with your universities.”…

  8. Governor Jerry Brown heads to China to explore carbon trading markets merger

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    By Peter Henderson | SAN FRANCISCO June 2 2017 Reuters  full article here

    California Governor Jerry Brown said on Thursday he will discuss merging carbon trading markets in his state and China when he travels to Asia later this week, a sign of the governor’s ambition to influence global climate change policy.

    Brown discussed his plans in a telephone interview after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, a global agreement to fight climate change. The move fulfilled a major Trump campaign pledge, but drew condemnation from U.S. allies and business leaders.

    Brown, who vigorously opposes the United States’ withdrawal from the pact, lambasted Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord as “insane.”

    He has been working with states and provinces around the world to set voluntary agreements to address global warming. The governor heads to China on Friday for meetings focused on climate change.

    California has the largest carbon trading system in the United States and has frequently hosted officials from China, which has launched seven pilot regional trading schemes.

    China also plans to roll out a nationwide market later this year, but the launch faces possible delays amid unreliable data and other regulatory problems, according to a government researcher.

    California’s system, which is known as “cap and trade,” is already linked to Canada’s Quebec market….

     

  9. California’s Healthy Soils Incentive Program- CalCAN update

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    CA Department of Food & Agriculture Finalizing Healthy Soils Program

    Posted by Brian Shobe, California Agriculture and Climate Network (CalCAN) May 22 2017

    As farmers and ranchers in the U.S. and abroad experience the reality of more extreme and unpredictable weather, soil carbon sequestration is catching national and international attention as a means of climate change mitigation and adaptation. California is poised to lead the way with its soon-to-be-launched Healthy Soils Incentives Program, the nation’s first program to directly incentivize farmers for adopting practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions overall.

    According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) most recent proposed Healthy Soils program framework, farmers and ranchers will be eligible to apply for up to $50,000 to defray the costs of adopting healthy soils practices (pictured below) over the course of three years...

    …some proposed program details raised significant concerns … CDFA agreed to release the program’s draft request for proposal (RFP) for public comment and subsequent revision before officially launching the program….Below, we outline our recommendations for the proposed program framework.

    -Allow on-farm compost to be eligible for compost application…

    -Clarify how payments and payment timelines will work for different practices, as well as how that will affect the 3rd year matching fund requirement…

    -Simplify the application for applicant feasibility…

    -Require soil tests from award recipients, not applicants…

    -Reward applicants for conservation plans and matching funds, but not so much that it creates a structural disadvantage to limited-resource and small-scale farmers…

    -Shift the demonstration program back to its intended goal of expanding the impact and adoption of Healthy Soils practices

  10. California engages world, fights Washington, on climate change

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    California is emerging as the nation’s de facto negotiator with the world on the environment

    By CORAL DAVENPORT and ADAM NAGOURNEY MAY 23, 2017  NY Times

    LOS ANGELES — The environmental ministers of Canada and Mexico went to San Francisco last month to sign a global pact — drafted largely by California — to lower planet-warming greenhouse pollution. Gov. Jerry Brown flies to China next month to meet with climate leaders there on a campaign to curb global warming. And a battery of state lawyers is preparing to battle any attempt by Washington to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards.

    As President Trump moves to reverse the Obama administration’s policies on climate change, California is emerging as the nation’s de facto negotiator with the world on the environment. The state is pushing back on everything from White House efforts to roll back pollution rules on tailpipes and smokestacks, to plans to withdraw or weaken the United States’ commitments under the Paris climate change accord.

    In the process, California is not only fighting to protect its legacy of sweeping environmental protection, but also holding itself out as a model to other states — and to nations — on how to fight climate change.

    “I want to do everything we can to keep America on track, keep the world on track, and lead in all the ways California has,” said Mr. Brown, who has embraced this fight as he enters what is likely to be the final stretch of a 40-year career in California government. “We’re looking to do everything we can to advance our program, regardless of whatever happens in Washington.”…