DAILY DIGEST: Study: Reservoirs a ‘significant contributor’ to climate change; Drought conditions expected to increase flash flood risks; After El Nino, what weird weather could La Nina bring?; Is marijuana farming hurting the environment?; Google’s answer to drought, and more …

In California water news today, Study: Reservoirs a ‘significant contributor’ to climate change; Drought conditions expected to increase flash flood risks; Weak La Nina may ease drought; After El Nino, what weird weather could La Nina bring?; Is marijuana farming hurting the environment?; Species may be listed as threatened based in climate change projections, court says; Removal of Klamath dams would be largest river restoration in US history; Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money; Project to help salmon now halfway complete; Salmonid Restoration moves to Eureka; Monterey Bay: Marine algal bloom could threaten seabirds; UC Merced hosts traveling Delta photo exhibit; More birds, new trees after Colorado River pulse flow; and lastly … Google can solve California’s drought problem with rain catcher boats

On the calendar today …

  • Brown Bag Seminar from 12pm to 1pm on the Delta as Changing Landscapes:  Dr. Letitia Grenier will discuss the transformation of the Delta, focusing on those aspects that support healthy ecologies.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Study: Reservoirs a ‘significant contributor’ to climate change:  “Hydropower dams are generally thought to be a clean source of electricity. By moving water through turbines, dams can generate large amounts of electricity almost continuously and without causing air pollution.  It’s partly for these reasons that more than 3,700 hydroelectric dams are currently proposed or under construction worldwide.  But a growing body of science reveals a dark side. It turns out the reservoirs formed by dams are a significant source of greenhouse gases – particularly methane, about 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In the last 10 years, dozens of studies have shed light on this problem. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Study: Reservoirs a ‘significant contributor’ to climate change

Drought conditions expected to increase flash flood risks:  “Fire and flood officials are warning that drought, wildfire scars and winter weather conditions have combined to increase the potential risks of flash flooding and mudslides in California this year.  Five years of drought have led to increasingly intense wildfires around the Bay Area and state. Those fires destroy the vegetation that is a natural erosion buffer and when storms hit burned areas, the likelihood of flooding and mudslides can increase dramatically, according to officials with the California Department of Water Resources and Cal Fire. … ”  Read more from Channel 4 here:  Drought conditions expected to increase flash flood risks

Weak La Nina may ease drought:  “Federal climatologists predict that dry conditions will generally recede over the winter in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and parts of Northern California, providing an early and upbeat outlook on next year’s water supply.  The Climate Prediction Center forecast a 70 percent chance of a weak La Nina, a cooling of the ocean around the equator.  La Nina generally tilts the odds in favor of wetter and cooler winters in the northern U.S., according to the center. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Weak La Nina may ease drought

After El Nino, what weird weather could La Nina bring?  “This time last year the world’s weather was being dominated by one of the strongest El Niño events on record. As surface waters in the equatorial Eastern Pacific warmed by more than 2°C, a chain reaction of extreme weather events was set in motion. From torrential rains in Peru and huge storms pounding the coast of California, to drought and bushfire in Australia and Indonesia and catastrophic floods in south-east India (submerging parts of Chennai under eight metres of water), this El Niño really packed some punch. By May 2016 the El Niño conditions had gone, but the big question now is whether El Niño’s opposite phase – La Niña – is waiting in the wings? … ”  Read more from The Guardian here:  After El Nino, what weird weather could La Nina bring? 

Is marijuana farming hurting the environment?  “As nine states prepare to vote on marijuana legalization on Nov. 8, a study concludes that more research is needed into how pot farming could hurt the environment.  The study found that siting grows in areas with better access to roads, gentler slopes, and ample water resources could reduce threats to the environment.  The study highlights a “lack of published, peer-reviewed empirical research on all aspects of cannabis agriculture.”  It was conducted by Jake Brenner, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College, and Van Bustic, a specialist at the University of California Cooperative Extension. … ”  Read more from McClatchy DC here:  Is marijuana farming hurting the environment?

Species may be listed as threatened based in climate change projections, court says:  “Federal authorities may list a species as “threatened” based on climate models that show habitat loss in the coming decades, an appeals court decided Monday.  The state of Alaska, oil company groups and Alaskan natives had challenged a decision by the federal government to list a sea ice seal subspecies as threatened and deserving of protection.  The  challengers maintained the subspecies’ population was currently healthy and the climate projections were speculative. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Species may be listed as threatened based in climate change projections, court says

Removal of Klamath dams would be largest river restoration in US history:  “Our metal powerboat is puttering near a bend low in the Klamath River. Morning fog pours off the hills against a flat gray sky, but we can see a fight up around a bird’s nest.  “The eagles are perched up here in the tree,” says Mike Belchik, a fisheries biologist for the Yurok tribe, whose lands extend 44 miles from the Pacific Coast inland. “The osprey is dive-bombing them.”  Belchik claps loudly to break up the birds. “They both live around here and they fight all the time,” he laughs. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Removal of Klamath dams would be largest river restoration in US history

Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money:  “Backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir west of here believe they have plenty of momentum going into next year’s application period for Proposition 1 water bond funds.  The number of agencies signed on to participate in the project has grown from 14 to 34, including from the San Francisco Bay area and San Joaquin Valley, said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Authority.  And the Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 2553, a bipartisan measure that will give flexibility in construction methods to help speed the project.  “With what we’ve put together now, we are on track to making the Sites Reservoir a reality,” said Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, who authored the bill. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Project to help salmon now halfway complete:  “The first of three projects to help Salmon on the Sacramento River is now half complete.  Kristopher Tjernell is with the California Natural Resources Agency. He says the project, near Knights Landing, will stabalize the Wallace Weir -or berm- keeping it from washing out.  Tjernell says this will prevent salmon from straying into flood plains on their way up the river. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Project to help salmon now halfway complete

Salmonid Restoration moves to Eureka: Garberville-based water non-profit Salmonid Restoration Federation is pulling up stakes and moving to Eureka.  “We’re moving to better serve the needs of our state-wide initiatives,” said Dana Stolzman, executive director of the Salmonid Restoration Federation. “We intend to keep a regular presence in Southern Humboldt through our water rights clinics and we welcome public feedback.”  Stolzman spoke to The Redwood Times by phone on Friday. Earlier that day, they issued a press release explaining their plans. ... ”  Read more from the Redwood Times here:  Salmonid Restoration moves to Eureka

Monterey Bay: Marine algal bloom could threaten seabirds:  “Experts are concerned that a marine algal bloom, similar to the one that killed hundreds of seabirds in Monterey Bay in 2007, may jeopardize our winged wildlife once again.  But no one is panicking just yet.  Dr. Corrine Gibble, an environmental scientist at California Fish and Wildlife, said of the algal bloom: “It’s been pretty sporadic. It just comes from time to time.”  An influx of Akashiwo sanguinea phytoplankton, the cause of Monterey’s November 2007 mass seabird mortality event, began in early October. On Oct. 12, UC Santa Cruz’s Ocean Data Center recorded 108,460 Akashiwo cells per liter of water off the Monterey Municipal Wharf. This was a four-fold increase from the previous week. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Monterey Bay: Marine algal bloom could threaten seabirds

UC Merced hosts traveling Delta photo exhibit: The UC Merced Library is hosting a traveling exhibit of photos of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta through November that will feature a talk with the photographer on Thursday.  The exhibit, called “The Delta Grandeur: The Bucolic Splendor of California’s Inland Estuary,” showcases the beauty and diversity of the largest estuary on the West Coast. The exhibit was developed in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council and photographed by Rich Turner, a fine arts, commercial and aerial photographer based in Stockton. It focuses on the relationship between humans and wildlife. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  UC Merced hosts traveling Delta photo exhibit

More birds, new trees after Colorado River pulse flow:  “Fresh stands of cottonwood and willow trees rising in the Colorado River Delta are evidence of the lasting environmental benefits an eight-week “pulse flow” of water deliveries to the area more than two years ago, according to a newly released report by U.S. and Mexican scientists.  The study delivered to the International Boundary and Water Commission also showed an increase in the number and diversity of birds in the area following the unprecedented binational effort. ... ”  Read more from the U-T San Diego here:  More birds, new trees after Colorado River pulse flow

And lastly …

Google can solve California’s drought problem with rain catcher boats: With a few inches of much-needed rain having fallen over the weekend around the Bay Area, it’s yet to be seen whether the region will see a return this winter — or the next, or the next — to sustaining precipitation levels.  And indeed, climate change and human water use spread the risk of catastrophic drought over much of the world.  Who can save us?  Possibly Google. ... ”  Of course!  Read more from the Silicon Beat here:  Google can solve California’s drought problem with rain catcher boats

Precipitation watch …

  • From the National Weather Service:  “Rain will retreat northward today as high pressure temporarily builds across NorCal ahead of the next developing weather system off the coast. Widespread rain is expected to return to the region on Thursday.”

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

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