Environment

Climate change and land subsidence pose threat for coastal Bay Area

The Bay Area is sinking and climate change is speeding things up, according to a new study published in Science Advances this month. The study was conducted over the span of two years by researchers Manoocher Shirzaei and Roland Burgmann, who used satellite images to evaluate regions of the Bay Area, such as Treasure Island, which are experiencing sea level rise because of the accelerated melting of polar ice. Shirzaei is a former UC Berkeley post-doctoral student, and Burgmann is…

Researchers team up to solve a ‘50-year old murder mystery’: What’s killing sharks in the San Francisco Bay?

Spirits were low in McCovey Cove as the San Francisco Giants played a discouraging game against the Kansas City Royals. The visitors were on track to win, holding on to an 8-1 lead for several innings. The atmosphere was buoyed, however, when a cameraman spotted an unlikely supporter in the cove: a leopard shark swimming along the surface of the water. Giants player Jeff Samardzija’s nickname is “Shark,” and fans seemed to interpret the animal as a good omen. The…

Is Richmond ready for electric vehicles?

The underground parking is cool and dark, even on the sunniest day. Bulbs let off pale white light, and green exit signs emit a neon glow. Three electric chargers are located near the building entrance, surrounded by six electric cars. By the time Cesar Zepeda leaves his office in downtown Oakland, his white Ford Focus Electric is fully charged. The ring-shaped LED indicator of the charge port shines brightly. The screen reads “thank you” when he pulls the plug out…

Bay Area air-quality board approves aggressive, ‘unprecedented’ toxic-emissions regulations

The Bay Area air-quality board approved some of the most aggressive toxic-emissions regulations in California on Wednesday, a move one official described as “unprecedented.” The rule, passed by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), reigns in toxic emissions at facilities varying from oil refineries to mom-and-pop dry cleaners. The unanimous vote is considered a victory for local environmental groups and communities living in the shadow of the Bay Area’s worst polluters, such as Chevron in Richmond. The rule…