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LATEST ENVIRONMENT NEWS

  • Chinook salmon spawning season improves

    Chinook salmon spawning season improves

    The picture has brightened slightly for endangered winter-run Chinook salmon after two disastrous spawning seasons. The number of juveniles migrating downstream this fall is roughly twice what it was last year, thanks to better temperature conditions in the Sacramento River. “We’re declaring success...

  • Climate change is real: Just ask the Pentagon

    Climate change is real: Just ask the Pentagon

    A bitter wind blew across Sewell’s Point on a recent afternoon as ocean waves crashed against a concrete pier where two black attack submarines were tied up for the day. Pier 3 was taking the last hits of a severe storm that had roared ashore a few days before. It flooded four buildings, tore up...

  • La Niña has arrived, with little rain in store for Southern California

    La Niña has arrived, with little rain in store for Southern California

    La Niña has officially arrived, with mixed messages for California. If the weather phenomenon behaves as expected, the Pacific Northwest and far Northern California will enjoy a wetter than normal winter, while the southern swath of the state will remain dry. Federal climate scientists on Thursday...

  • Will Paris climate accord and other environmental pacts survive a Trump presidency?

    Will Paris climate accord and other environmental pacts survive a Trump presidency?

    When Donald Trump takes the oath of office in January, he appears poised to become the only world leader who questions whether climate change is real. The Republican president-elect has called climate change a hoax and said he would “cancel” the United States’ participation in the historic Paris...

  • It's not just California. The Deep South is also reeling from a drought

    It's not just California. The Deep South is also reeling from a drought

    An unusual haze, much thicker than traffic smog, hung over Atlanta on Wednesday. It was smoke, blown in from wildfires in the mountains of northern Georgia, where hundreds of firefighters were battling blazes nourished by a severe drought gripping the nation’s Southeast. How bad is the drought?...

  • Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state experts are still cautious

    Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state experts are still cautious

    A rainy October in Northern California has lifted about a quarter of the state out of drought conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday. It’s the rosiest picture released by federal officials since the spring of 2013, when about 64% of the state was considered to be in “moderate drought”...

  • Water conservation improved in September but is still worse than in 2015

    Water conservation improved in September but is still worse than in 2015

    Californians halted a three-month slide in water conservation in September, saving enough to hearten state regulators who previously had expressed alarm about possible drought fatigue. Residents and businesses cut their water consumption by 18.3% in September compared with the same month in 2013....

  • The drought eased up, and these Californians turned on the spigot

    The drought eased up, and these Californians turned on the spigot

    TThe San Juan Water District showed the rest of California how to save water when the state needed the savings most. The supplier for eastern Sacramento and southern Placer counties cut consumption 41% from 2013 levels during the summer of 2015 — the height of a years-long drought.  District residents...

  • Northern California is seeing two or three times more rain than normal. So why is Southern California so dry?

    Northern California is seeing two or three times more rain than normal. So why is Southern California so dry?

    As the state enters its sixth year of drought, Northern California is seeing some significant relief thanks to a series of powerful storms, while Southern California remains mired in record dry conditions. Despite a rainstorm set to hit the Southland this week, the region continues to face an unprecedented...

  • Southland's major water agency is rebuilding depleted regional storage

    Southland's major water agency is rebuilding depleted regional storage

    The Southland’s biggest water agency painted a surprisingly upbeat picture Monday of the region’s water supplies. Although the Southland remains stuck in a severe drought, officials of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California say they are rebuilding depleted storage reserves with...

  • A governor, a fight and California's public pensions

    A governor, a fight and California's public pensions

    Good morning. It is Saturday, Oct. 8. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend: TOP STORIES Police shootings: The Los Angeles Police Commission is considering sweeping changes to the way the Police Department handles officer-involved shootings. The civilian panel is expected to consider...

  • Weaker water conservation numbers prompt fears that California is going back to its old bad habits

    Weaker water conservation numbers prompt fears that California is going back to its old bad habits

    Californians’ water conservation slipped for the third consecutive month in August, prompting new alarm from regulators about whether relaxed water restrictions may be causing residents to revert to old habits as the state enters its sixth year of severe drought. The trend raises new questions...

  • One word to describe the last water year? Dry

    One word to describe the last water year? Dry

    There were high hopes going into water year 2016. To hear some forecasters and scientists tell it, El Niño was coming to save California. With a little luck and a lot of rain, the drought might finally recede in its fifth year — or at least loosen its grip on the state. The weather phenomenon did...

  • Zika didn't drive her from Miami Beach — but questions about the pesticide being used to stop it did

    Zika didn't drive her from Miami Beach — but questions about the pesticide being used to stop it did

    Zika’s arrival in Miami Beach didn’t drive away Miriam Haskell, who is pregnant with her first child. But her questions about one of the chemicals being used to combat the mosquitoes that are spreading the virus did. Last week, the 36-year-old public interest lawyer packed up and flew to Atlanta,...

  • SoCal air quality regulators mulling hike in vehicle registration fees for smog reduction

    SoCal air quality regulators mulling hike in vehicle registration fees for smog reduction

    Air quality regulators are considering seeking an increase in vehicle registration fees for millions of Southern California drivers to help pay for smog reduction programs. The idea, though still in preliminary stages, would be one component of a funding proposal under development by the South...

  • Hanging on in Navajo Nation: First the water turned orange, then the air went bad

    Hanging on in Navajo Nation: First the water turned orange, then the air went bad

    A year ago, the people of Shiprock watched their crops shrivel as a week without water stretched into a month, and then a whole lost season. Bertha Etsitty’s watermelon vines curled and stiffened, even as her grandchildren emptied their water bottles on the leaves in a failed bid to keep the patch...

  • Nearly 50 million children uprooted: A global crisis by the numbers

    Nearly 50 million children uprooted: A global crisis by the numbers

    The haunting images of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach, and of Omran Daqneesh’s bloodied and bewildered face after his home was destroyed in Aleppo, have become emblems of the heavy toll inflicted by war and displacement on the world’s children. But the sheer magnitude...

  • California's water conservation dips in July — are eased rules to blame?

    California's water conservation dips in July — are eased rules to blame?

    Urban water conservation across California dipped slightly during the second month that less stringent conservation requirements have been in place, state regulators said Wednesday. More alarming to some, the 20% water-use reduction in July, compared with the same month in 2013, also marked a sharp...

  • U.S. clears way for cleanup of Colorado mine after huge spill

    U.S. clears way for cleanup of Colorado mine after huge spill

    A Colorado mine that spilled 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into rivers in three Western states has been designated a Superfund site.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's action Wednesday clears the way for a multimillion-dollar federal cleanup of the Gold King Mine and 47...

  • This Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year. Here's why that won't change any time soon

    This Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year. Here's why that won't change any time soon

    A macabre fireworks show unfolds each day along I-15 west of Las Vegas, as birds fly into concentrated beams of sunlight and are instantly incinerated, leaving wisps of white smoke against the blue desert sky. Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Plant have a name for the spectacle: “Streamers.”  And the...

  • Reward to find killer of sea otters off Central Coast doubles to $20,000

    Reward to find killer of sea otters off Central Coast doubles to $20,000

    The reward to find whoever is responsible for fatally shooting three sea otters off the Central Coast has been doubled to $20,000. On Thursday, the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity announced it would contribute to the reward announced by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife earlier...

  • Hot? You can cool down by suiting up in this high-tech fabric

    Hot? You can cool down by suiting up in this high-tech fabric

    Just in time for scientists to declare 2016 the hottest year on record, scientists at Stanford University have developed a material that could make the coolest clothes ever — shirts and pants that block the sun’s warming rays while venting body heat more efficiently than cotton or other conventional...

  • Legislature declines to add 'environmental justice' members to Southern California air quality board

    Legislature declines to add 'environmental justice' members to Southern California air quality board

    The state Legislature has rejected a controversial measure that would have shifted the political balance of Southern California’s air-quality board by adding three state-appointed “environmental justice” members to represent low-income communities suffering from pollution.  The legislation to expand...

  • Meet the pangolin, the most poached mammal in the world

    Meet the pangolin, the most poached mammal in the world

    As the congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources gets underway Thursday in Hawaii, environmental policymakers and conservation experts will discuss managing the environment, protecting wildlife and how best to chart the direction of conservation efforts....

  • L.A.’s mountain lions could be near extinction in 50 years

    L.A.’s mountain lions could be near extinction in 50 years

    Mountain lions living in Greater Los Angeles could be at risk of extinction within the next 50 years if the population remains isolated by freeways and other forms of human development, UCLA and National Park Service wildlife ecologists are warning. About 15 pumas survive in the Santa Monica Mountains,...

  • Take the gnatcatcher off the endangered list? Here's why wildlife officials say no

    Take the gnatcatcher off the endangered list? Here's why wildlife officials say no

    Federal wildlife authorities on Tuesday said that a review of genetic tests has led them to conclude that the coastal California gnatcatcher is a valid subspecies and therefore worthy of protections that have barred development on tens of thousands of acres of prime Southern California real estate...

  • L.A. betting that stormwater can help ease California's drought

    L.A. betting that stormwater can help ease California's drought

    Five years of drought have struck different parts of California unevenly.  Cities with multiple sources of water have weathered the crisis relatively well, even after important reservoirs have hit bottom. But residents of some small towns in the San Joaquin Valley and northern California, who depend...

  • California's ocean waters due for a cooling trend after period of damaging heat, scientists say

    California's ocean waters due for a cooling trend after period of damaging heat, scientists say

    As a series of marine heat waves linked to climate change has thrown ocean ecosystems out of whack from Australia to the coast of California, a cooling trend called La Niña has given scientists hope that water temperatures could come back into balance. But so far, the cooling weather pattern —...

  • Expedition documents sea life, habitat around Channel Islands

    Expedition documents sea life, habitat around Channel Islands

    Beneath the waves, flame-colored rockfish slipped past coral fans, brittle stars lay in wait for prey, and anemones swayed with the current. It’s a scene often featured in photo spreads of tropical atolls and islets, but these coral gardens are in the chilly waters off California’s Channel Islands,...

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