One Year After Napa Quake, Scientists Still Puzzled...08/24/15
In the year since the deadly South Napa earthquake, geologists have been digging in - sometimes literally - trying to better understand the puzzling West Napa fault zone.
Toxic Algae Is Killing Sea Lions, Shows No Sign of...
Scientists are studying the cause of a toxic algae bloom that stretches from the California coast to Alaska.
Possible Spoiler for El Niño: A 'Battle of the Blobs'
One climate scientist postulates that the high pressure behind freakishly warm northern waters could put a flow restrictor on El Niño.
State Passes Historic Water Conservation Rules
The state-mandated water conservation "tiers" assigned to local water agencies don't tell the whole story. Some cities are already there, some have a lot more work to do.
Amid California’s Drought, Should Cemeteries Stay Green?
New drought restrictions are prompting cemetery managers to look at the water they use to keep lawns green. Some worry that for family members who visit this summer, parched grass might feel like insult on top of loss.
Alien Life Might Live in Our Own Solar System
NASA's top scientist says she thinks evidence of life beyond Earth will turn up in the next couple of decades. Why so optimistic? Scientists have been discovering liquid water all around the solar system, and even though life on other planets might...
Why Isn't Desalination the Answer to All California's...
After four years of nowhere near enough rain, Californians are wondering where else to look for water, and many are talking about the ocean -- desalination. The problem is, it’s really expensive to turn salt water into drinking water. And it’s hard to...
A Candid Conversation With California's 'Water Czar'
The State Water Resources Control Board is California's top arbiter of water supply conflicts. Lately it's been caught in a tug of war between those who would have it tread lightly with local water agencies and those calling for aggressive statewide...
Does California Need More National Monuments?
Despite initial objections, most national monuments have withstood the test of time. We get some perspective from a leading authority on public lands law.
'Ridiculous Ridge' May Be Back to Prolong California...
Scientists hope a stubborn high-pressure bubble over the West Coast isn't a replay of the last two winters.
Tiny Parasite Threatens Native Plants
A microscopic pathogen got into the roots of some native plants at a restoration project in Alameda County, despite massive efforts to prevent it. Now officials are hoping to stop this microbe before it spreads.
Future of Berryessa-Snow Mountain Lands in Limbo
Faced with a new Republican-led Congress, supporters of special protections for the area are taking their case to the president, urging him to create a new national monument. But there are no guarantees there, either.
How Science Can Help Prevent a (Bad) Hangover
In the annals of medical research, you won’t find many studies on the common hangover. But one intrepid Bay Area scientist has taken on the topic -- and even has an inexpensive remedy you probably haven't heard about.
Designing the Interstellar Doorbell (Or How to Talk to ET)
Humans have been sending messages into outer space for decades, hoping some intelligent extra-terrestrial might come upon them. Now, for the first time in history, we have addresses. So, what should we say?
How California's Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage...
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...
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...
California Utilities and Solar Companies Battle Over...
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...
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...
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.
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.
- San Francisco, CA