Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Extreme Weather Ravages the West Coast

Climate

Climate deniers are gloating that the California wildfire season isn't as bad as seasons past or as predicted in the spring, although that's probably small comfort to the families being evacuated from homes in Orange County near the Cleveland National Forest this weekend. And the fire season isn't over, and neither is the hot, dry weather with temperatures in the triple digits.

Last week a NBC news report said California could lose a quarter of its rice crop. Almond farmers are struggling, and so are organic dairy farms.

The drought continues its negative impacts on California communities and agriculture. An NBC news report last week said California could lose a quarter of its rice crop. Almond farmers are struggling, and so are organic dairy farms.

There's plenty of other evidence from up and down the Pacific coast that demonstrates ample cause for concern about climate impacts. Washington State, for instance, is enduring one of its worst forest fire seasons.

The Washington Olympian reports, "This year’s record-setting season of wildfires in Washington has burned six times as many acres as usual, state officials said Wednesday.  As of the end of August, wildfires had burned a total of about 363,000 acres throughout the state, state forester Aaron Everett said. In the past five years, the average amount of acres burned per year was only about 61,000, he said. 'It’s been a staggering year, and a great challenge,' Everett said."

And while California swelters and Washington burns, Mexican resort areas like Cabo San Lucas are being hammered by Hurricane Odile, the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Baja California peninsula. Flights were cancelled and cruise ships redirected, as the storm left shattered glass, debris, and heavy damage to the area's hotels in its wake, despite being downgraded from Category 4 to Category 1 storm. Flash floods and mudslides could still follow.

We normally hear more about the Atlantic hurricane season, but the year's hurricane season in the eastern Pacific has been a heavy one, with Odile the 15th hurricane formed there so far. The record rainfall in Phoenix last week resulted from the remnants of the previous hurricane.

As the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its report Climate Change 2013, "Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950. It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. There are likely more land regions where the number of heavy precipitation events has increased than where it has decreased."

Residents of the Pacific Coast don't need a report to tell them that.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Stunning Photos Reveal Intensity of Wildfire Season’s Early Start

Obama Attributes Washington State Wildfires to Climate Change

Earthquake, Drought and Wildfires Ravage California

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Shawna Foo

Anyone who's tending a garden right now knows what extreme heat can do to plants. Heat is also a concern for an important form of underwater gardening: growing corals and "outplanting," or transplanting them to restore damaged reefs.

Read More Show Less
Malte Mueller / Getty Images

By David Korten

Our present course puts humans on track to be among the species that expire in Earth's ongoing sixth mass extinction. In my conversations with thoughtful people, I am finding increasing acceptance of this horrific premise.

Read More Show Less
Women sort potatoes in the Andes Mountains near Cusco Peru on July 7, 2014. Thomas O'Neill / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Alejandro Argumedo

August 9 is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples – a celebration of the uniqueness of the traditions of Quechua, Huli, Zapotec, and thousands of other cultures, but also of the universality of potatoes, bananas, beans, and the rest of the foods that nourish the world. These crops did not arise out of thin air. They were domesticated over thousands of years, and continue to be nurtured, by Indigenous people. On this day we give thanks to these cultures for the diversity of our food.

Read More Show Less
A sand tiger shark swims over the USS Tarpon in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Tane Casserley / NOAA

By John R. Platt

Here at The Revelator, we love a good shark story.

The problem is, there aren't all that many good shark stories. According to recent research, sharks and their relatives represent one of the world's most imperiled groups of species. Of the more than 1,250 known species of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras — collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes — at least a quarter are threatened with extinction.

Read More Show Less
The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less