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California’s Drought: Is it Global Warming?

KQED Science | December 8, 2014 | 8 Comments

California’s Drought: Is it Global Warming?

Not really, says a new report from federal climate scientists. But others say that report doesn't show the whole picture.

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How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought

KQED Science | December 8, 2014 | 12 Comments

How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought

Here’s the thing: Water rights in California are based on who got there first. It’s as if you had to line up with all your coworkers to get a cup of coffee at work, and maybe the pot’s empty when the new guy gets to the front. Some are asking, in a drought like the one we’ve been having, is that really fair?

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Study: California Drought Most Severe Dry Spell in at least 1,200 Years

KQED Science | December 4, 2014 | 2 Comments

Study: California Drought Most Severe Dry Spell in at least 1,200 Years

Low precipitation and record high temperatures combine to set startling record.

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New Residential Water Use Numbers Indicate Conservation Backslide

KQED Science | December 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

New Residential Water Use Numbers Indicate Conservation Backslide

The year-over-year water-saving rate slid by more than a third in October, worrying officials calling on residents to reduce water usage during record drought.

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California Drought Boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ Programs

KQED Science | December 1, 2014 | 5 Comments

California Drought Boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ Programs

California homeowners are replacing Kentucky bluegrass with native species and other water-friendly options to try and cut back on outdoor watering. Depending on what replacement residents choose, water districts may offer a cash reward for tearing out that thirsty lawn.

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Stalled Clean Power Alternative to PG&E Looms Large in New S.F. Electricity Law

KQED Science | November 25, 2014 | 4 Comments

Stalled Clean Power Alternative to PG&E Looms Large in New S.F. Electricity Law

A city-run alternative to PG&E could rake in millions for San Francisco but faces opposition from the business sector.

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California Utilities and Solar Companies Battle Over Electricity Prices

KQED Science | November 24, 2014 | 22 Comments

California Utilities and Solar Companies Battle Over Electricity Prices

Solar companies in California have long been able to tell homeowners they can save a lot of money on power bills by going solar. Now PG&E is proposing a rate change the company says will be more fair for everyone. But solar companies say it’s simply an attack on their industry.

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AT&T Could Pay $50 Million for Illegal E-Waste Dumping

KQED Science | November 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

AT&T Could Pay $50 Million for Illegal E-Waste Dumping

Preliminary settlement agreement directs new funds to prosecute environmental and consumer crimes.

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California Drought: A Glimmer of Hope For Winter Rain And Snow

KQED Science | November 20, 2014 | 2 Comments

California Drought: A Glimmer of Hope For Winter Rain And Snow

But given the state of long-range forecasting, climatologists admit that the glimmer could be a mirage.

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This Week’s Rain Unlikely to Dent Drought

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

This Week’s Rain Unlikely to Dent Drought

Rain systems so far this season have been on the wimpy side. This next series is likely to continue the trend.

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Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 12 Comments

Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought

Scientists say it’s possible California’s drought may last a lot longer than a few years. No one knows for sure, but we could all simply have to adjust to a drier climate. That could mean changing the way we build cities to make them more porous. The 'Hydramax,' a futuristic design pictured above, rises with the tide and captures water from the air.

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Scientists Suspect a Virus is Causing Sea Star Die-Off

KQED Science | November 17, 2014 | 1 Comment

Scientists Suspect a Virus is Causing Sea Star Die-Off

But the virus isn't new to sea stars, so what triggered the current outbreak remains a mystery.

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Study: Warming Climate Means More Lightning

KQED Science | November 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

Study: Warming Climate Means More Lightning

Memo to firefighters: Modeling by Berkeley researchers suggests a 50 percent spike in ground strikes this century, like the strikes that started last season's largest wildfire in California.

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U.S. and China Greenhouse Gas Deal: Landmark Move or More Hot Air?

KQED Science | November 12, 2014 | 1 Comment

U.S. and China Greenhouse Gas Deal: Landmark Move or More Hot Air?

President Obama sets ambitious goals for greenhouse gas reductions, but the deal faces political battles here and overseas.

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Parched: California Wildlife Suffers in Drought

KQED Science | November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

Parched: California Wildlife Suffers in Drought

Birds, salmon and snakes depend on marshes and rivers for survival and migration, and to propagate the species. But many wildlife species are unable to find the water they need as the drought shrinks rivers and dries up wetlands.

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Life Aboard a ‘Polar Roller': America’s Last Heavy Icebreaker

KQED Science | November 6, 2014 | 2 Comments

Life Aboard a ‘Polar Roller': America’s Last Heavy Icebreaker

And a trick to prevent seasickness that the skipper swears by (other than staying ashore).

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New California County Fracking Bans Likely to Face Challenges

KQED Science | November 5, 2014 | 1 Comment

New California County Fracking Bans Likely to Face Challenges

Passage of two out of three local measures may just set the stage for next battle.

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Bay Area Votes in Favor of Open Space and ‘Smart’ Growth

KQED Science | November 5, 2014 | 1 Comment

Bay Area Votes in Favor of Open Space and ‘Smart’ Growth

A local environmental group is declaring victories for open space preservation and smart growth in the Bay Area.

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New Numbers Highlight Contrasts in California Water Use

KQED Science | November 4, 2014 | 3 Comments

New Numbers Highlight Contrasts in California Water Use

Who's using the most -- and the least water? The numbers are in -- but officials warn that they can be misleading.

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Aging U.S. Icebreaker Fleet May Imperil Polar Science

KQED Science | November 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Aging U.S. Icebreaker Fleet May Imperil Polar Science

The last of the Coast Guard's big icebreakers departs San Francisco Bay this week, a rare sight on the Bay and a reminder that the U.S. is falling behind in the race for polar dominance -- and knowledge.

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