California Archives - State of the Planet

Flooding in California: What Went Wrong, and What Comes Next

Climate School experts help to explain this devastating weather and what it means in the broader conversation of climate change and disaster response.

by |January 12, 2023

The Demise of the Internal Combustion Engine

The electric vehicle is one element of a system that will some day be less destructive to the environment than today’s system. California will get there first and will need to teach the world how to get the job done.

by |August 29, 2022

A Slow-Motion Section of the San Andreas Fault May Not Be So Harmless After All

The central section of the great fault spanning California, thought to be creeping along harmlessly at the moment, has experienced big quakes in the past, says a new study.

by |February 28, 2022

Supercomputers Simulate 800,000 Years of California Earthquakes to Pinpoint Risks

Scientists are working to improve their calculations of earthquake danger by combining maps of known faults with the use of supercomputers to simulate potential shaking deep into the future in California.

by |January 25, 2021
high voltage signs near electrical facility

What’s Ailing California’s Electric System?

Four “preexisting conditions” need to be addressed in order to avoid power outages in the future.

by Cheryl A. LaFleur |September 2, 2020

Study Bolsters Case That Climate Change Is Driving Many California Wildfires

A new study combs through the factors that can promote wildfires in California, and concludes that in many cases, warming climate is the decisive driver.

by |July 15, 2019

Yes, Climate Change is Making Wildfires Worse

Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has found that rising temperatures influence wildfires in the American West.

by |November 12, 2018
almond orchard in california

Almond Orchards in California: Healthy or Hazardous?

Why California almonds get such a bad rap.

by |September 5, 2018

Increasing Heat Is Driving Off Clouds That Dampen California Wildfires

Sunny California may be getting too sunny. Increasing summer temperatures brought on by a combination of intensifying urbanization and warming climate are driving off once-common morning cloud cover in southern coastal areas of the state, leading to increased risk of wildfires.

by |May 30, 2018

The States Resist Trump’s Environmental Agenda

The Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations is running into the state and local opposition one might expect given this nation’s strong support for environmental protection.

by |May 7, 2018