Climate Change

Rising seas, droughts, invasive species, and fires are some of the impacts Northern California can expect as the world warms. Climate change is dramatically altering the San Francisco Bay Area’s ecosystems and raising profound questions among conservationists about how to help species best adapt to new conditions.

Latest from Climate Change

Fire Followers Arrive, with Scientists Right Behind

May 09, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

An expert in rare plants, Heath Bartosh is especially interested in “fire followers,” plants whose seeds stay buried in the ground until heat or smoke stimulates germination. These annuals flourish for one to three years. And then they’re gone—until the next fire.

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Living Shorelines

April 07, 2014 by Sean Greene

A few years ago the State Coastal Conservancy went looking for something new: habitat restoration that would also address sea level rise. Two years into a pilot experiment, the results suggest that in the appropriate places this green climate adaptation might work.

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The Elusive Black Rail May Adapt Better Than You’d Think

March 21, 2014 by Alison Hawkes

Black rails are one of the most secretive of birds. But new research is showing that the scurrying marshland species can pick up and move if it must.

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Connecting the Dots for Pacific Marine Life

February 27, 2014 by Beth Slatkin

National Park Service ecologist Sarah Allen has been looking at the “big picture” of marine ecosystem health since the mid-1970s ...

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What’s Causing the Dry Weather — And When Will It End?

January 31, 2014 by Elizabeth Devitt

In the 150-plus years that we’ve been tracking rainfall in Northern California, it’s never been this dry. It was the ...

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Fish Forecast: Swimming Upstream Against Climate Change

January 14, 2014 by Jacoba Charles

The survey research that Peter Moyle started decades ago now has a dual purpose: It offers evidence for the free fall of native fish populations, but it also may ultimately contribute to one of the best opportunities to soften this decline.

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Q&A: The Long Bike Ride from Palo Alto to Tierra del Fuego

January 08, 2014 by Eric Simons

Over two years, David Kroodsma rode his bike 21,000 miles from Palo Alto to Tierra del Fuego and then from New York back home, to study and talk about climate change. A Q&A with the San Francisco-based climate journalist, scientist and educator, who's recently authored a book about his experiences.

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The Rise of Cyanobacteria at Pinto Lake

January 02, 2014 by Patricia Waldron

This past fall a cyanobacteria known as, Microcystis aeruginosa, spiked toxin levels above the state's safe recreational exposure limit at Watsonville’s Pinto Lake. Scientists and the community have begun tackling the problem and hope that conclusions drawn at Pinto Lake will help remedy cyanbacterial blooms elsewhere.

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Capturing King Tides Through Citizen Science

December 13, 2013 by Alessandra Bergamin

Since 2010 the California King Tides Initiative has been documenting king tide events through photography—presenting a very real picture of rising sea levels. This year, the project has expanded to include a citizen science program, that will help researchers ground climate models.

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In Dry Times, California Turns to Cloud Seeding

November 14, 2013 by Alessandra Bergamin

With the persistent drought that has gripped California for the past year, state water managers are increasingly turning to cloud seeding to extract as much water as they can.

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