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Publishing a special story series exploring adaptation to climate extremes
September 29, 2022

KneeDeep Times is a San Francisco Bay Area-based digital magazine that tells stories from the frontlines of climate resilience. KneeDeep’s place- and people-based reporting highlights action, finds and lifts up voices from local sources, and builds connections with local communities and their priorities.

The CO2 Foundation is funding KneeDeep to produce a five-part investigative series called Extremes-in-3D, exploring the reverberations of extreme weather events such as heat waves, fire, atmospheric rivers, prolonged drought, and storm surge.

Each part of the series will explore three dimensions of the chosen topic. First, how does extreme weather work and why, and what can be the result on the ground? Each of these stories will dive deep into the science connecting a recent impactful extreme weather event on the West Coast to climate change, aided by a science advisory team including Scripps Institution of Oceanography climate researcher Alexander Gershunov, US Geological Survey coastal geologist Patrick Barnard, and Chapman University social scientist Richelle Tanner.

Second, based on these anchor science stories, KneeDeep reporters will explore how extreme events affect the health and welfare of specific localities, and reveal whether adaptations and solutions promise sustainable and equitable benefits. Third, KneeDeep will visit the daily lives of people both experiencing climate extremes and needing to prepare for future challenges, as well as what activists, government planners, and community leaders are doing to adapt.

Beyond the topics that KneeDeep Times will cover, the organization is also exploring innovative ways of engaging with the broader community. Under this grant, the publication will not only tap its experienced reporters, but also hire or collaborate with locally-based reporters or photographers to report on their own communities, providing additional editorial support to those less familiar with climate reporting.

KneeDeep is only nine months old, but its creators–the writers and editors of Estuary News Group–have a 30-year track record of scientifically sound, evidence-based reporting. The magazine’s agile web platform and social media can support a variety of storytelling formats, enabling coverage of catastrophic and catalyzing events. Currently, KneeDeep Times’ monthly publications reach more than 8,000 people; readers include engaged citizens, looking for ongoing coverage of hyper-local climate resilience efforts they can adapt for their own communities, as well as elected officials, professional planners, and policymakers interested in strengthening the Bay Area region’s climate resilience.

KneeDeep Times aims to use the new Extremes-in-3D series and CO2 Foundation grant to seed an information-sharing hub for building regional solidarity and informed decision-making around climate action and resilience. By relating these extreme weather stories to everyday issues and intertwining key aspects of the stories, our shared hope is that this project will make climate adaptation feel urgent, relevant, and actionable for all KneeDeep audiences.