Climate Change Has Arrived in California
A new State of California report verifies what scientists have been telling the public for some time — climate change is here, and it is now affecting California’s water supplies, farm industry, forests, wildlife and public health.
Among other findings, the report concluded that:
Warming temperatures have accelerated since the 1970s, with nighttime temperatures increasing much faster than daytime;
Changes in precipitation patterns have had the effect of decreasing water supplies, even when overall rainfall remains the same;
Carbon dioxide levels in coastal waters are harming species and having effects throughout the marine food chain;
Over the past century, water levels have risen along the California coast by an average of 7 inches (18 centimeters), and levels have risen by 8 inches (20 centimeters) at the Golden Gate;
Annual acreage burned by wildfires since 2000 is double the rate of the previous 50 years, from less than 300,000 acres to almost 600,000; and
It may have triggered a growth spurt in two of California’s iconic tree species: coast redwoods and giant sequoia.