Southern California environment news and trends

Warm milk: Climate change is hard on cows

Kathleen Masterson

A dairy cow peeks out of its stall at Case van Steyn's dairy in Galt, Calif.

With America in the grips of a sweltering heat wave that’s vying to make this season the hottest summer on record, a new study by scientists at the University of Washington reveals that soaring temperatures are just as hard on our bovine friends as humans.

According to the University press release, increasing climate change and higher temperatures has the potential of reducing milk production across America, particularly in Southeastern states like Florida.

Lead researcher Yoram Bauman and his team analyzed climate data in comparison to dairy industry data down to the county level. They mapped out the results through the year 2080 to get their findings.

"Using U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, if you look at milk production in the Southeast versus the Northwest, it's very different," said researcher Guillaume Mauger in a statement. "It's reasonable to assume that some of that is due to the inhospitable environment for cows in the Southeast."


Weather report: America sweats the hottest 12 months in recorded history

Mercer 20657

Image: Cimexus/Flickr

Hot enough for you, America? According to a new study, the answer is a resounding (and somewhat unsettling) yes.

As reported by Treehugger, the latest State of Climate overview from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the twelve months from May 2011 through April 2012 were the hottest in American recorded history, dating back to the late 1800s (1895 to be exact, according to the Washington Post).

While western states like California and Nevada experienced higher than average temperatures, 22 other states (mostly in the Midwest and the northeastern seaboard) saw record-breaking high temperatures. The average temperature for the lower 48 states during that time was 55.7°F, a full 2.8°F higher than the 20th century average. Only Washington and Oregon saw near-normal heat over that time period. All other states ranged from “above normal” to “record warmest.”


Rain, cool temps forecast for Coachella music festival

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011 - Day 3

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Fans from all over the country are preparing to descend on Indio, CA this week for the wildly popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. But if weather predictions hold true, this weekend's festivities could face unseasonably cool temperatures and even rain for the first time in the event’s history.

With Radiohead, the Black Keys and Dr. Dre with Snoop Dogg (and special guests Eminem and Wiz Khalifa, according to persistent rumors) set to headline the three-day festival, a glance at calls for highs of 70 on Friday with a 30 percent chance of rain, which could be as much as one-tenth of an inch, according to Mike Pigott, senior meteorologist for

“That's pretty good for you guys,” he said in the Desert Sun. “It's definitely going to be more than a ground-wetting.”