climate change

Treating wildfires as a public health issue

Deadly fires across California over the past several years have shown how wildfire has become a serious public health and safety issue. Health effects from fires close to or in populated areas range from smoke exposure to drinking water contaminated by chemicals like benzene to limited options for the medically vulnerable. These kinds of threats are becoming major, statewide concerns. Many people still think of…


Climate Action Plans: A Tale of Two Cities

A funeral was held last month at the site of Iceland’s Okjökull glacier. A century ago it covered nearly six square miles, measuring 164 ft. deep. Today, it’s less than one square mile, 49 feet thick. The shrinking sheet of ice can no longer be called a glacier. A tombstone plaque was placed at the site. A Letter to the Future  This monument is to…


UCSD study links climate change to wildfires

A new study by researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and colleagues combs through the many factors that can promote wildfire, and concludes that in many, though not all, cases, warming climate is the decisive driver. The study, led by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, finds in particular that the huge summer forest fires that have raked Northern…


UCSD Report: El Nino costs state big bucks

Considering it’s been long known that El Niño conditions often bring about flooding precipitation to California, a ripe field for study would be a thorough study of the damage wreaked. And who knows catastrophic damages better than insurers? Their specialized knowledge prompted a pair of San Diego researchers to compare 40 years of insurance data against climate and water data to quantify the effect of…


Kids are the grownups in climate crisis room

The next U.S. presidential election is being transformed because children everywhere, watching in disbelief as grownups fail to address the climate crisis, are launching their own climate movements. In contrast to the 2016 election – where exactly zero questions about global warming were posed during the general election debates – the lineup of presidential candidates are already being pressured to do something about the climate…


As climate change erodes US coastlines, an invasive plant could become an ally

Many invasive species are found along U.S. coasts, including fishes, crabs, mollusks and marsh grasses. Since the general opinion is that invasives are harmful, land managers and communities spend a lot of time and resources attempting to remove them. Often this happens before much is known about their actual effects, either good or bad. The common reed Phragmites australis is a tall perennial grass with…


Finally, a bill in Congress to fix climate crisis

But it needs your support. It’s hope-inspiring that a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in January which could save our children and grandchildren from what scientists tell us is an ongoing and growing climate disaster. The evidence is incontrovertible that the climate is in crisis and that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause. A recognized global authority on climate change has warned…


Why won’t scientific evidence change the minds of Loch Ness monster true believers?

You may have noticed a curious recent announcement: An international research team plans to use state-of-the-art DNA testing to establish once and for all whether the Loch Ness monster exists. And for those locally, check out The Grapevine’s consideration of our local monster wannabe, Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Moster, posted above, and here… Regardless of the results, it’s unlikely the test will change the…


Climate change challenges San Diego farms

Facing the heat of global warming, farmers in San Diego are trying to survive and build resilience through practice—and are pushing policymakers to keep up. At Pauma Valley, a flat stretch of crop- and rangelands at the base of the Palomar Mountains in North San Diego County, July is usually a month of hot weather and raucous growth—with lemons, avocados, blackberries, and peppers all flourishing….


Don’t kick climate change down the road

Mankind has only 12 years left to make unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if we want to stave off unimaginably catastrophic effects of runaway global warming. This is the warning detailed in October’s report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the recognized global climate authority which represents the investigations of hundreds of climate scientists and 195 participating nations. A…