The Science of Sustainability

Environment

California's Farm Belt Didn't Dodge the Summer Heat Wave

California's Farm Belt Didn't Dodge the Summer Heat Wave

Autumn is here, so says the calendar. Living on the coast, it might be easy to think that California escaped the heat wave suffered by much of the nation this summer. While that may be true for most of the large coastal population centers, it was a different story for much of the state's interior farm belt.

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Heat and Harvest: Calif. Farms on a Climate Collision Course

Heat and Harvest: Calif. Farms on a Climate Collision Course

New pests, a shrinking water supply and rising temperatures will alter agriculture in California.

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Heat, Salt and Pests Threaten California Fields

Heat, Salt and Pests Threaten California Fields

California's warming climate is having a big impact on farmers. Find out more from our multimedia series, "Heat and Harvest."

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Culture Clash: Of Cats, Birds and Conservation

Culture Clash: Of Cats, Birds and Conservation

Feral cats threaten native wildlife, from reptiles to birds, and often lead a miserable life. By better understanding the concerns of cat colony caretakers, wildlife biologists hope to find enough common ground to benefit both cats and wildlife.

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Coastal Cleanup by the Numbers

Coastal Cleanup by the Numbers

The annual cleanup is the largest, international volunteer event. How much trash has been collected and why is it important?

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Expanding Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – Round Table Discussion on Google+

Expanding Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – Round Table Discussion on Google+

KQED SCIENCE is hosting its first Google+ Hangout On Air round table discussion about the proposed expansion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 1-2PM PDT.

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Braking for Beetles: When Recreation and Conservation Converge

Braking for Beetles: When Recreation and Conservation Converge

The endangered Ohlone tiger beetle, found only in Santa Cruz County, depends on disturbed landscapes to hunt and breed. Migrating woolly mammoths and more recently grazing elk helped maintain that habitat. Recreational trails might prove a good replacement–as long as mountain bikers follow rules to reduce beetle casualties.

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Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook hired Frank Gehry to design its new building. Why? If the 'book wanted a green building (and who'd dare to build in the Bay Area without "a big emphasis on being eco-friendly"?), Gehry is a less than obvious choice.

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The Heat is On For California Wines

The Heat is On For California Wines

You’ve probably heard of the wines that made Napa and Sonoma famous, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. But what about Negroamaro or Nero d’Avola? They’re wine grapes that are well-adapted to hotter temperatures — the kind of conditions that California may be facing as the climate continues to warm.

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Waterways of the Largest Estuary on the West Coast

Waterways of the Largest Estuary on the West Coast

San Francisco Bay's watershed extends to the Sierras. Ponder the waterways of the largest estuary in western North America.

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Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery

Starbucks' Food Waste Fuels Experimental Biorefinery

Most of our plastics come from petroleum-based chemicals. Now, thanks to engineered microbes, similar materials might be made using food waste from Starbucks.

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Energy Geeks Converge at ACEEE's Boot Camp

Energy Geeks Converge at ACEEE's Boot Camp

Every two years the staff of the magazine I edit, Home Energy, is invited down to the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, to publish a daily newsletter for the biennial ACEEE Summer Study of Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

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Building a Better, Tastier Tomato

Building a Better, Tastier Tomato

Many tomatoes have been bred to travel well and look appealing, but now researchers are focusing on making them more nutritious and better tasting.

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What Is That Unusual Smell In Walnut Creek?

What Is That Unusual Smell In Walnut Creek?

The city's hospital sits at the site of an ancient sulfur spring.

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Fracking Gives Hydrogen Fuel Cells New Life

Fracking Gives Hydrogen Fuel Cells New Life

In 2009, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Energy Steven Chu dismissed zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as an impractical alternative to electric cars. Now an abundant supply of natural gas, from which hydrogen can be extracted, is changing Chu's mind, but that natural gas comes from the controversial hydraulic fracturing process.

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Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Many people continue to doubt the evidence for climate change, evolution, and vaccine safety, even though the scientific consensus on these issues is rock solid. Among the most troubling evidence-resistant theories is the long-debunked yet persistent myth that vaccines cause autism—a completely unfounded belief–leading to general doubts about vaccine safety, with dangerous public health consequences.

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We Are the Desert: Tackling California's Water and Electricity Woes

We Are the Desert: Tackling California's Water and Electricity Woes

As we approach the limits of our power and water, we will face some wrenching decisions with geological dimensions.

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Prescription Drug Disposal: Who Should Foot the Bill?

Prescription Drug Disposal: Who Should Foot the Bill?

A new ordinance in Alameda County requires the pharmaceutical industry to pay for disposal of extra medicine. The regulation is part of a larger movement to shift responsibility for waste disposal from local governments to companies that make products like paint, medicine and batteries.

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California Considers Banning Dogs in Bear Hunts

California Considers Banning Dogs in Bear Hunts

The legislature is considering a bill that would ban the use of hounds in both bear and bobcat hunting in the state.

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Picturing Biodiversity: Cultivating an Eye for Conservation

Picturing Biodiversity: Cultivating an Eye for Conservation

Environmentalists have long relied on spectacular photography to show people why wilderness is worth preserving. The nonprofit ARKive builds on that tradition, using the power of wildlife imagery, from photos to film, to promote conservation of the world's threatened species, now approaching 17,000 plants and animals, based on the latest IUCN estimates.

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