California drought

Putnam studies glaciers around the world, part of an effort to understand past climate change and the potential impacts of warming today.

In High Sierras, Remnants of Ice Age Tell a Tale of Future Climate

Aaron Putnam’s research in the California Sierras is part of an effort to study glaciers around the world—in Europe’s Alps, the Himalayas, Mongolia, Patagonia, New Zealand. He’s working on an important piece of the worldwide climate puzzle that can help us understand what’s ahead in a warming world.

by |February 14, 2017
The State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Photo: roamandshoot

Californians Are Ready for Recycled Water

Water reuse is a proven technology that can produce a drought-proof sustainable water supply. Yet historically, there has been some reluctance to adopt it here in the United States. Xylem commissioned a poll to try to better understand perceptions about recycled water in drought-stricken California. And the findings were eye-opening.

by |March 18, 2016
Park Williams recent study looked at what percentage of the drought in California has been caused by human-induced climate change. Photo: calfire.ca.gov

The Human Contribution to the California Drought

“Future extremes are going to occur more and more frequently. In planning, we don’t need to plan for the 2 degree warming that we are aiming for as a globe, we need to plan for the 10 degree increase in a day, or the year when there’s no water.”

by |December 7, 2015
1862 Flooding in California

With El Niño, Be Careful What You Wish for

In Southern California, a strong El Niño usually signals rain. Given that California is now in the throes of a severe drought, it seems like that should be a good thing, even if it comes with risk of floods. But the reality of climate is more complex and counter-intuitive than it first appears.

by |November 16, 2015

Ancient Pollen Points to Mega-Droughts in California Thousands of Years Ago

Ancient pollen spores that were in the air when mammoths roamed Southern California are providing new insights into historic droughts in the region, including how a series of mega droughts 25,500 to 27,500 years ago changed the ecological landscape.

Tree ring research was a young field in 1975 when Ed Cook (above, in Nepal) and Gordon Jacoby founded the Tree Ring Lab at Lamont. The Lab would become a world leader in tree ring sampling and analysis and a source of technology and training for dendrochronologists around the world. Photo by Paul Krusic

Translating Nature’s Historians: The Tree Ring Lab Turns 40

In its first 40 years, the Lamont Tree Ring Lab tracked changing climates around the world, building an international reputation as a global leader in research, training and technology.

by |September 16, 2015
Park Williams

Q&A: Park Williams on Drought, Climate and ‘Cracking the Code’

“Future extremes are going to occur more and more frequently. In planning, we don’t need to plan for the 2 degree warming that we are aiming for as a globe, we need to plan for the 10 degree increase in a day, or the year when there’s no water. We need to plan for worst-case scenarios.”

by |September 4, 2015