Fire weather and climate change

In Ventura County this week, the local National Weather Service station in Oxnard has issued the following warnings: On Sunday, a Red Flag Warning (for high heats and offshore winds)For the week, a Critical Fire Weather warning (for high heat, low humidity)for the last three days, an Excessive Heat Warning Do these “fire weather”warnings seemContinue reading “Fire weather and climate change”

“We’re living in the future”: rainfall variability

The Ojai Valley News encouraged me while at a scientific conference in San Francisco last December to pursue a story about rainfall variability in Ojai and Southern California: here it begins. “Last month was one of the driest Februaries ever in the recorded history of Southern California, according to the National Weather Service, with one-tenthContinue reading ““We’re living in the future”: rainfall variability”

Climate suicide in Australia: Chernobyl for government?

The horror of the bushfires enveloping the coasts of Australia brings very bad memories back to those of us who survived similar (I imagine) wildfires in Southern California. The orange skies — “blood red” in New South Wales — the vaporized houses, with the roofs flat on the ground, the animal carcasses, the grim expressionsContinue reading “Climate suicide in Australia: Chernobyl for government?”

Ventura County: heating up (Washington Post)

According to a superb reporting “project” from the Washington Post, Ventura County is the fastest heating county in the Continental U.S. “Since 1895, the average temperature in Santa Barbara County has warmed by 2.3 degrees Celsius, according to The Post’s analysis. Neighboring Ventura County has heated up even more rapidly. With an average temperature increase of 2.6 degrees Celsius sinceContinue reading “Ventura County: heating up (Washington Post)”

Into the Red: Ventura County’s new climate

Today the Ventura County Reporter ran my story on a study looking at climate change in this area in the next twenty years. I hope to write a full story on climate action and the underlying question: how much is the county contributing to warming, and how much are we Ventura county residents doing toContinue reading “Into the Red: Ventura County’s new climate”

“a permanent loss of normal”: CA climate today

A couple of years ago I worked hard on a story about a hugely important study from Daniel Swain et al on the all-too-likely re-occurence of the Great California Flood. For personal reasons nothing came of my story, but eventually the news did break in a big (Los Angeles Times) and accessible (Science Friday) sortContinue reading ““a permanent loss of normal”: CA climate today”

Sisyphus and climate activism: the surprising truth

In December, the scientist who — probably more than any other individual — brought ocean acidification to the attention of the world, Ken Caldeira, gave a named lecture to the huge science conference known as the AGU (officially, the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union). He spoke on the legacy of Carl Sagan, andContinue reading “Sisyphus and climate activism: the surprising truth”

Performative Cruelty in the Presidency

The best essay on our very stable genius from last year, it is clear to me now, came from The Atlantic and Adam Serwer: The Cruelty is the Point. Let me quote the “nut graph” as they say in journalism, the simplest possible outline of the argument to be made in the piece. The crueltyContinue reading “Performative Cruelty in the Presidency”

Don’t Push Me Because I’m Close to the Edge: 2019

A generation ago Grandmaster Flash had a huge hit with The Message, with a chorus that went like this: Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge I’m trying not to lose my head It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder How I keep from going under That was 1982, twenty-seven years ago,Continue reading “Don’t Push Me Because I’m Close to the Edge: 2019”

Climate change hits ag in Ventura County

Proud to have published this story recently in a prominent Ventura County publication. With the help of Ben Hatchett of the Desert Research Institute, we showed I think that avocados, though now a substantial part of Ventura County agriculture, will in the not-too-distant future be a much more risky proposition…but that other crops, such asContinue reading “Climate change hits ag in Ventura County”