Fires Rage in California

It’s wet and cool around San Francisco, but in the north in the Shasta and Mendocino forests, down to Clear Lake (again!) in the Sierras, east of Stockon and Fresno it’s a burning hell.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. (AP) — An explosive wildfire burned largely unchecked Monday after incinerating hundreds of homes and devastating rural communities north of California’s Napa Valley, leaving at least one person dead and sending tens of thousands fleeing down flame-lined streets.

But it’s not the only one. A second massive blaze, less than 200 miles away, destroyed 135 homes as it spread through Amador and Calaveras counties in the Sierra Nevada. That fire was 30 percent contained.

Both fires have displaced 23,000 people…  MORE at AP


AND this word from Science Advances as reported by Andrew Revkin in the NY Times

New Study: Burn it All (Fossil Fuel), Lose it All (Antarctic Ice and Today’s Coasts)

A new study of Antarctic ice and warming finds humanity will have to write off today’s coastal cities centuries from now if it chooses to keep burning fossil fuels…

In interviews, scientists said that such long-term risks raise profound moral questions for people of today.

“What right do we have to do things that, even if they don’t affect us, are going to be someone else’s problem a thousand years from now?” asked Ian Joughin, an ice sheet expert at the University of Washington who was not involved in the new research. “Is it fair to do that so we can go on burning fuel as fast as we can?

Read all. Video chats included.

Another Day Another Record


California’s blistering fall heat wave sent temperatures to an all-time record high of 113 degrees Monday in downtown Los Angeles … breaking the old all-time record of 112 degrees set on June 26, 1990, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist at the National Weather Service office in Oxnard. Temperature records for downtown date to 1877.

The historic mark was part of an onslaught of temperatures well over 100 degrees in many cities ranging from Anaheim, home of Disneyland, to San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Salinas on the usually balmy Central Coast. Many records were set or tied.
Heat Records

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And surely, you haven’t forgotten this:

Scientists track sharp drop in oldest, thickest Arctic sea ice

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While the drought in the American Southwest isn’t news exactly being reminded of something so long known it’s been forgotten can be the biggest news of all.

Barring a sudden end to the Southwest’s 11-year drought, the distribution of the[Colorado]  river’s dwindling bounty is likely to be reordered as early as next year because the flow of water cannot keep pace with the region’s demands.

For the first time, federal estimates issued in August indicate that Lake Mead, the heart of the lower Colorado basin’s water system — irrigating lettuce, onions and wheat in reclaimed corners of the Sonoran Desert, and lawns and golf courses from Las Vegas to Los Angeles — could drop below a crucial demarcation line of 1,075 feet.

… Adding to water managers’ unease, scientists predict that prolonged droughts will be more frequent in decades to come as the Southwest’s climate warms. As Lake Mead’s level drops, Hoover Dam’s capacity to generate electricity, which, like the Colorado River water, is sent around the Southwest, diminishes with it. If Lake Mead levels fall to 1,050 feet, it may be impossible to use the dam’s turbines, and the flow of electricity could cease.

“if the river flow continues downward and we can’t build back up supply, Las Vegas is in big trouble,” …

NY Times: Southwest Water