We already knew the Godzilla Cthulhu Sauron El Niño of 2015 was gonna be bad. But exactly how bad are we talking? According to the World Meteorological Organization, this year’s El Niño ranks among the three strongest of the past 70 years, and it may become the most powerful El Niño ever recorded. »
Promises of rain to come withstanding, California is still smack in the middle of a long, punishing drought. So what does it look like when a top agricultural state undergoes years of drought? Not good, friends. »
Rice: It’s not just delicious, it’s also the building block of a large percentage of the world’s diet. But rice—and how we finally figured out how to domesticate it—is responsible for shaping a lot more than just what’s on our plates.
Whether or not you’re directly in the path of the impending monster El Niño, if you live in the United States you’re probably going to feel its effects this winter. Yesterday, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued the US Winter Outlook, and the long and short of it is we’re all in for some serious weather weirdness. »
Last Tuesday, the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka, California was swarming with potheads. A pro-cannabis rally had been organized by State Assemblymember Jim Wood, who knows how to grab headlines: In July, Wood walked onto the State Capitol floor carrying a live marijuana plant and asked his colleagues to… »
The largest lake in California is slowly fading away, and that’s bad news for local residents. As the Salton Sea’s water sources dwindle, southern Californians are bracing themselves for toxic dust storms, noxious smells—and disease.
It’s been a hot, thirsty, fire-ridden summer out West. But to really understand the severity of the drought, we need to look beneath the parched vegetation and deep into the ground. Spoilers: It’s looking awfully dry down there. »
It didn’t look good. Dark sapphire pools dotted the bare gray peaks of the Sierras, ringed in too many concentric circles of sediment to count. As I flew above the mountains with NASA scientists on a tricked-out DC-8 plane, the effects of four years of drought were painfully evident to the naked eye. But it’s what we… »
The Mad Max plot playing out in California is causing all sorts of problems, not least for farmers, who have turned to pumping groundwater to irrigate crops. According to NASA, all that pumping is having an effect: in some places, the ground is sinking by two inches per month.http://gizmodo.com/learning-from-... »
Los Angeles has coated its reservoirs in millions of black plastic balls. But why are they a heat-absorbing black instead of light-reflecting white? Because they’re shade balls, and their purpose has nothing to do with the drought. »
The world is dry and getting drier. So when should we expect relief to finally land? Possibly not at all, according to this chart. »
The dry, hot weather of our warming planet doesn’t just mean drought—it also means the fire season is getting longer. Almost six million acres have burned in the US this year, with 45 active large fires currently burning right now. You’d think this would inspire humans to take a look at making our own habitats safer… »
Okay, so drought has come for our coffee, steak, whiskey, and almond supplies. That’s fine. No problem. Let’s just settle in here with an IPA and figure out what — OH GOD, IS NOTHING LEFT?
It’s been a common refrain in the Midwest this year: If only we could pipe all this rain to the West. But a new NASA visualization shows just how drastic the difference has been. »
We know California is very, very dry, right now, but just how dry? Dry enough that the “rain debt” the state has been steadily stacking up in the past three years is now equal to a full year of average rainfall. »
You may have noticed something a little odd happening at your meat counter. Most meat prices, especially for chicken and pork, are down—but beef prices are surging. Just what’s going on here? »
There’s an insidious message being delivered to drought-hit Californians: You can have your lawn, and your water too, with a little help from synthetic grass. But, no, be bold, California! Don’t double-down on a failed experiment. It’s time to tear down your lawns. Each and every last one of them.
Anyone following news about California’s drought has read about its effect on nation-nourishing crop yields. But what you probably haven’t read is how the drought is impacting the Golden State’s homegrown vices, including wine, pot, and craft beer—and how their industries are affecting the state in return. »