Sunday, October 24, 2010

Climate Change

Yikes! I've been away from this blog a really long time. I do have an excuse. A mountain lion ate my lap top.

Okay, seriously, I was single mom all this summer. Then I was drowning in real work (as opposed to this blog, which is just me making unpaid work for myself).

Anyway, among the projects keeping me from chattering is a new mini-gig contributing to ClimateWatch, produced by bay area NPR-station KQED. In radio reports and on it's execellent blog, ClimateWatch covers the science, politics and personal stories of global warming from a California perspective.

My first post for the ClimateWatch blog is a Q&A with David Nahai, former GM of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

I've just returned from the annual Society of Environmental Journalists Conference, held this year in Missoula, Montana. Nobel-laureate Steve Running offered a sobering overview of warming in that state over the last 40+ years: average temps up 1-2 degrees F, snow melting a couple weeks earlier, and aridification (stronger atmospheric evaporation) even though the precipitation is the same. The result, already: increased wildfires, bark beetles killing many conifers, and less water in streams in summer.

Michael Gibson of Trout Unlimited told us lower stream flows and warmer water is prompting the state to shut down trout fishing in August to protect fish. In the next 30 years, he expects trout to lose 5-30% of their Montana habitat.

I'd like to end on a cheery note, but, sorry, not this time.