In a ‘return to nature,’ California legalizes human composting for environmental benefits

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Californians will soon have a new end-of-life burial option: human composting. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Sunday that creates a state regulatory process for “natural organic reduction,” or transforming human remains into soil. The law will go into effect in 2027. California is the fifth state to legalize … Read more

Bumblebees can be classified as ‘fish’ under California conservation law, court says

Credit: CC0 Public Domain In a move that could allow a broad range of insects to be considered for endangered species status, the state Supreme Court has found that California bumblebees can be protected under the law as a type of fish. The decision, which may carry deep consequences for the state’s agriculture industry, focuses … Read more

A ‘fourth dry year’ likely in California, officials say

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain California’s reservoirs will enter fall in a slightly better position than last year, but the Golden State should prepare for more dryness, extreme weather events and water quality hazards in 2023, officials say. The latest climate forecasting update from the Department of Water Resources came Wednesday, just days before the end … Read more

Study finds potentially dangerous levels of arsenic in California prison drinking water

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Ten years after the state of California recognized the human right to water, hundreds of thousands of residents still rely on drinking water that contains dangerous levels of contaminants, including the highly toxic mineral arsenic. Many of them live in low-income and rural communities that struggle to afford the necessary infrastructure … Read more

ULA readies Delta 4-Heavy rocket for weekend launch from California – Spaceflight Now

The payload fairing containing the National Reconnaissance Office’s classified spy satellite is lifted atop ULA’s Delta 4-Heavy rocket before the NROL-91 mission. Credit: United Launch Alliance United Launch Alliance’s ground team recently completed a countdown rehearsal dress and installed a classified spy satellite payload on top of a Delta 4-Heavy rocket at Vandenberg Space Force … Read more

Not even soaking rain can ease fire risk in a California hit by record heat, dry landscape

by Hayley Smith and Alexandra E. Petri Credit: CC0 Public Domain A summer of drought, extreme heat and deadly wildfires will end with much-needed rain this week in parts of California, but it is unlikely to douse the threat of wind-driven fires this fall in a state scarred by record-setting heat waves and bone-dry landscapes. … Read more

Communities of color at greatest risk of pesticide exposure in Ventura County, California

Science of The Total Environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158399″ width=”800″ height=”428″/> Graphical abstract. Credit: Science of The Total Environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158399 In California’s Ventura County, increased agricultural pesticide use and related toxicity risks for humans occur the most in areas with more people of color and limited resources, according to a new study by Environmental … Read more

Tidal marsh or ‘fake habitat’? California environmental project draws criticism

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Southwest of Sacramento, California, the branching arms of waterways reach into a patchwork of farm fields and pastures. Canals and wetlands fringed with reeds meet a sunbaked expanse of dry meadows. These lands on the northwestern edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have now been targeted for restoration following the … Read more

Firefly’s second rocket set for launch from California – Spaceflight Now

Firefly’s Alpha launch vehicle stands on its launch pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base on Sept. 10. Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now A year after an early engine shutdown cut short an inaugural test flight, Firefly Aerospace’s second Alpha launcher is scheduled to take off Sunday from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on … Read more

Risk of catastrophic California ‘megaflood’ has doubled due to global warming, researchers say

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Even today, as California struggles with severe drought, global warming has doubled the likelihood that weather conditions will unleash a deluge as devastating as the Great Flood of 1862, according to a UCLA study released Friday. In that inundation 160 years ago, 30 consecutive days of rain triggered monster flooding that … Read more