California Archives - State of the Planet

Study Bolsters Case That Climate Change Is Driving Many California Wildfires

A new study combs through the factors that can promote wildfires in California, and concludes that in many cases, warming climate is the decisive driver.

by |July 15, 2019

Yes, Climate Change is Making Wildfires Worse

Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has found that rising temperatures influence wildfires in the American West.

by |November 12, 2018
almond orchard in california

Almond Orchards in California: Healthy or Hazardous?

Why California almonds get such a bad rap.

by |September 5, 2018

Increasing Heat Is Driving Off Clouds That Dampen California Wildfires

Sunny California may be getting too sunny. Increasing summer temperatures brought on by a combination of intensifying urbanization and warming climate are driving off once-common morning cloud cover in southern coastal areas of the state, leading to increased risk of wildfires.

by |May 30, 2018

The States Resist Trump’s Environmental Agenda

The Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations is running into the state and local opposition one might expect given this nation’s strong support for environmental protection.

by |May 7, 2018

California’s First In The Nation Climate Plan

The goal of the energy transition is to create a renewable energy system that is as effective and reliable as the current fossil fuel-based system. Microgrids provide backup capacity and vastly increase the reliability of power systems for consumers. A second goal of the energy transition is to switch off of fossil fuels and rely on solar, wind and geothermal sources of energy.

by |August 8, 2016

California Takes the Lead on Climate Policy

While current technology could be used to achieve the new climate policy goals, it will be far easier to meet and exceed the new standards if new technologies are developed and implemented. For California, the key will be the rapid development of the electric car.

by |September 8, 2015

The Growing Groundwater Crisis

Groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates, not only in drought-stricken California, but around the world. When groundwater is depleted, it can take tens to hundreds of years to for it to reestablish its sustainable level, if at all. What can be done to avert a water crisis?

Revising the Toxic Substances Out-of-Control Act

An unregulated chemical industry is an invitation for disaster. Fortunately, there is at least one place in America where regulation of toxic chemicals is taken seriously—California (of course).

by |June 29, 2015
Mono Lake, Guleed Ali, geology

Climate Change and the Future of Mono Lake

Understanding the climate history of Mono Lake will help scientists understand the future impact of climate change. This is no esoteric question for Los Angeles, which depends in part on Mono Lake’s watershed for drinking water, green lawns, agriculture and industry.

by |December 6, 2013