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Megaflood Coming to California?

DROWNED: A 43-day atmospheric-river storm in 1861 turned California’s Central Valley region into an inland sea, simulated here on a current-day map.

On Christmas Eve in 1861 a giant Pacific storm moved into California.  It rained for the next 43 days, and when it was over the central valley had been turned into inland sea 300 miles long. The January Scientific American examines the history of this event.

For  most of the years since 1861 it has been viewed simply as a “freak storm,” and the public has largely forgotten about it.   However, climate scientists have recently gained a much more detailed understanding of how “atmospheric rivers”  (the infamous “Pineapple Express” is just one) create these super-flood conditions.  Further, they have uncovered solid evidence that storms of this magnitude have hit the state roughly every 200 years. Continue Reading →

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Video from “Plan Bay Area” Forum



 On May 9, 2013 Sustainable Marin, along with Sustainable San Rafael, The Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative, The League of Women Voters, The Marin Conservation League and Dominican University sponsored our second forum on the topic of planning the future of our communities in the era of climate change. “Planning the Future We Want (part 2)” drew an energized and attentive crowd of about 200 turned out at Dominican’s Angelico Hall. Click here for pictures from the event (video below.)

This time a panel of experts drilled down into the specific implications of  Plan Bay Area: How it fits into the larger picture of the states efforts to reduce GHG emissions and fight climate change . . . How it continues a long history of enlightened local planning to protect Marin’s unique assets . . .Whether or not it threatens local communities’ ability to control environmental impacts and preserve their quality of life. Watch video of the complete event below:

This was the continuation of a discussion of the shape of Marin’s future that started last September 19, 2012 in a full-house forum at the San Rafael Community Center. (Click here to see video of that earlier event.)





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