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California is leading the way. Each of the extremes Californians are living through right now is fueled, at least in part, by the gradual warming of the planet, which is accelerating as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. While precise attribution studies on the extreme heat waves in California in recent weeks will take time to complete, he said, they are clear examples of how climate change compounds natural weather variability to increase the likelihood of what once would have been a rare event. Susanne Rust is an award-winning investigative reporter specializing in environmental issues. All rights reserved. Today's fire season in the western United States starts earlier, lasts longer, and is more intense … In just the past month, nearly two decades after the third United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was issued, heat records were busted across California, more than 3 million acres of land burned, and in major metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, air pollution has skyrocketed. Global warming has increased the odds of unprecedented heat extremes across more than 80% of the planet and “has doubled or even, in some areas, tripled the odds of record-setting hot events” in California and the Western U.S., said Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh. Send messages or documents privately using the Signal smartphone app: (213) 421-1511‬. In people’s backyards in Echo Park. The confusing, frustrating ordeal as older Californians search out COVID-19 vaccine, The confusing, frustrating ordeal as older California search out COVID-19 vaccine, Korean Americans who remember 1992 riots fight to save LAPD station. That’s a double whammy when it comes to the hydrological balance … There really isn’t a normal anymore.”. The new numbers come as the insurance industry struggles to adjust to the effects of climate change. Ten years after the passage of AB 32, California extended and strengthened the limit on greenhouse gas emissions with the passage of SB 32 in 2016. He noted that fires are not unusual in California — they are an integral part of the state’s history and landscape. The mention of the possible closure of Olympic station, amidst city budget cuts, sent Korean American leaders to the LAPD’s defense and rallying to keep a strong police presence in their community. 2020 tied for the hottest year ever recorded, but disasters fueled by climate change set it apart. The atmosphere acts like a greenhouse, which is why these emissions are called greenhouse gases. Air quality officials said the high pollution readings were a result of intense heat combined with stagnant weather conditions. “This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. Over the past century, California has warmed by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit, more than the global average of about one degree Fahrenheit. now add weight to the accumulating evidence that anthropogenic climatic changes are already influencing the frequency, magnitude, and duration of drought in California.increasing the likelihood of a large-scale atmospheric pattern that yields warm, dry weather in California. Climate change, health, and California’s Indian Nations Shasta Gaughen, Ph.D., Pala Band of Mission Indians. That activity (our use of fossil fuels) has resulted in dramatically increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. California’s comprehensive plan outlining the state’s approach to achieving its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, including SB 32’s goal of reducing emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. If you think that investing in solar panels and a sustainable wardrobe instead of fast fashion are expensive, take a look at how climate change is escalating the cost of repairing disasters. Antonio is about to take a sip of cold bottled water, after arriving home from a long day’s work in the pistachio fields. It’s human activity that’s causing this. California’s Climate Change Assessments contribute to the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related vulnerability at the local scale and informing resilience actions, while also directly informing State policies, plans, programs, and guidance, to promote effective and integrated action to safeguard California from climate change. The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is convening a virtual scientific workshop to inform the next update of the Indicators of Climate Change in California report, scheduled for release in 2021. Key Findings. California shares and leverages its experiences and policies on climate change, clean energy, and alternative transportation to maximize the benefits of climate action around the globe. President Trump tried to marginalize California. SACRAMENTO – Recognizing that climate change poses not only a clear and immediate environmental risk but also a financial risk to long-term investment stability, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that the Department of Finance has released the California Climate Investment Framework, which integrates the climate risk strategies of the state’s three largest pension funds into … The Creek Fire, in the Sierra National Forest in California, has burned hundreds of thousands of acres. A sooty plume has blanketed most of the West Coast, blotting out the sun and threatening people’s lungs during a deadly pandemic. In addition, climate change makes forests more vulnerable to fires by increasing temperatures and making forests and brush drier. Updates on California's emissions laws, clean-air battle, and environmental policies. Assessment Overview. "If climate change hasn't affected us personally yet it will, and it's projected in 80 years to affect food supply farming, coastal cities and wild fires," she said. In California, officials have tried a series of rule changes … California has taken legislative steps in the hope of mitigating the risks of potential effects of climate change in California by incentives and plans for clean cars, renewable energy, and pollution controls on industry. Their convergence is perhaps the strongest signal yet that the calamity climate scientists have warned of for years isn’t far off in the future; it is here today and can no longer be ignored. It’s easy to see why we love living in California. climate change and increased California wildfire activity to date. Photo by @mettelampcov. The outlook for September is similarly harsh, with at least a 50% chance of higher-than-normal temperatures, according to national agency. Why some older people are getting the vaccine in Southern California but others are striking out. With President Trump isolated in the White House since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Vice President Mike Pence increasingly fills the void in their waning days in office. And the record heat, fires and pollution all have one thing in common: They were made worse by climate change. “If we think of the atmosphere as a giant sponge that’s always trying to extract water from the landscape, then temperature increases the sponginess,” he said. Many Californians 65 and older faced frustration and confusion as they tried to get the coronavirus vaccine after the state announced it was opening up vaccinations to older people. Atop Signal Hill. By Amy Brady | Friday, January 15, 2021. Climate change and the effects of global warming with regard to the climate in California primarily revolve around issues such as droughtand the subsequent risk of wildfire and related occurrences. A 2011 study projected that the frequency and magnitude of both maximum and minimum temperatures would increase significantly as a result of global warming. John Abatzoglou, associate professor in the Department of Management of Complex Systems at UC Merced, agreed. They are known locally as Santa Lucia winds and can increase temperatures by 5.5 degrees for every 1,000 feet they descend. augustus 20, 2020 4:17 pm Thousands of lightning strikes have sparked hundreds of fires across California in recent days, producing several major clusters burning around the San Francisco Bay Area. We all need to play a part in successfully increasing energy efficiency, embracing clean energy and supporting clean technology. Column: Complaints about movers soar as millions relocate because of the pandemic. Climate patterns are changing, in California and across the planet. Five climate pressures—warming temperatures, shrinking snowpack, shorter and more intense wet seasons, more volatile precipitation, and rising seas—affect all … Climate change is also causing more humid heat waves. Ivey, of UC Riverside, said she and other scientists aren’t surprised to see so many extremes hitting simultaneously, “but to see it playing out is scary.”, “It’s one of those moments where ozone converged with record acres burned and a heat wave,” she said. California’s lands provide an important resource in limiting the impacts of climate change while protecting our communities from climate change-driven events such as wildfire, floods, droughts and extreme heat. ©2020 California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission. Darker oranges and reds suggest up to a 10-fold increase in potential area burned. The same study further projected that the frequency and magnitude of both maximum and minimum temperatures would likely increase as a result of globa… Scientists and other experts agree that we need to reduce carbon pollution if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and there’s no time to waste. Southern California regulators have seen decades of progress fighting smog stymied in recent years by hotter weather and stronger, more persistent inversion layers that trap pollution near the ground. California is being pushed to extremes. The deadly wildfires sweeping through US West Coast states show that the debate around climate change is "over", California Governor Gavin Newsom says. He failed. If every American home replaced one incandescent light bulb with a new ENERGY STAR energy-saving LED bulb, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that we could save enough energy to power three million homes for a year, save about $680 million in annual energy costs and eliminate nine billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Five climate pressures—warming temperatures, shrinking snowpack, shorter and more intense wet seasons, more volatile precipitation, and rising seas—affect all aspects of water management. We have to find ways to work together to make real, substantive changes to protect what we have today and preserve our natural resources for future generations. In a matter of weeks, California has experienced six of the 20 largest wildfires in modern history and toppled all-time temperature records from the desert to the coast. As rain patterns change, forests will become drier and susceptible to more frequent and intense fires. “In a world without climate change, it still would have been a hot August; we still would have had some fires. “We can see how warm and dry years catalyze these fires,” he said, adding, however, that for fires to start, “they need to have ignitions. Major, a German shepherd, will become the first White House shelter dog. These greenhouse gases, such as methane, are also released during fossil fuel extraction and transportation. “They are two sides of the same coin.”. Hot and saturated air doesn't allow sweat to evaporate as quickly and causes the body to heat up even more, which can be deadly. But the California we love is threatened. CA. News and analysis of the fight against climate change in California. The climate of California varies widely from desert to alpine depending on latitude, elevation and how close the area is to the coast.Most of the coastal and southern parts of the state have a Mediterranean climate with somewhat rainy winters and dry summers. Climate change causing one-third of flood damage in United States, Stanford study finds Kurtis Alexander Jan. 12, 2021 Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 5:35 … Cantua Creek, San Joaquin Valley. SACRAMENTO – Recognizing that climate change poses not only a clear and immediate environmental risk but also a financial risk to long-term investment stability, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that the Department of Finance has released the California Climate Investment Framework, which integrates the climate risk strategies of the state’s three largest pension funds into … What precisely is driving changes such as elevated smog levels can be hard to tease out in the middle of an extreme event because so much is happening at once, with multiple hazards piling on top of each other in a vicious feedback loop. No other state in the U.S. can match what California offers in terms of natural beauty, miles of coastline and idyllic weather. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Learn how to make your house more energy efficient and comfortable through home improvement measures, and start lowering your utility bills here. This could cause significant flooding and erosion of hundreds of miles of coastline, greatly impacting homes, agricultural lands and low-lying cities. "If climate change hasn't affected us personally yet it will, and it's projected in 80 years to affect food supply farming, coastal cities and wild fires," she said. “An extreme heat event that would have been 100 degrees is now 102.5 or 103 degrees, and that is actually a pretty big difference in terms of the impacts on people.”. An overview from the Union of Concerned Scientists California shares and leverages its experiences and policies on climate change, clean energy, and alternative transportation to maximize the benefits of climate action around the globe. California could take further action by codifying an ambitious midcentury greenhouse gas reduction target to ensure continued momentum on climate action. Plain Language Summary Since the early 1970s, California's annual wildfire extent increased fivefold, punctuated by extremely large and destructive wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Car and truck emissions are the single biggest contributor to climate change, and California has long been empowered to set its own rules. Make America California Again? And that’s because the conditions are ripe, and temperature plays a large role.”. Memoir, poetry, and climate change in Felicia Luna Lemus' 'Particulate Matter' By Amy Brady | Jan 15, 2021 A deeply penetrating and philosophical look at the author's experiences living through California's record-breaking 2020 wildfires and the attendant grave illness of a loved one. “This is more extreme than any other year in living memory,” he said, and is consistent with the impact of global warming. Climate Change in the San Joaquin Valley. Climate Change and California’s Water Managing water is at the forefront of climate change adaptation in California. Climate Change and California’s Water Managing water is at the forefront of climate change adaptation in California. California provided an early proving ground for EDF's climate work: EDF co-sponsored California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), landmark legislation that set an absolute statewide limit on greenhouse gas emissions, and confirmed California's commitment to transition to a sustainable, clean energy economy. Climate change is contributing to California’s fires Dry seasons are intensifying, increasing fire risk. The state’s natural and working lands sustain our economy, support our unique biodiversity and contribute to the global food supply. This time last year, California saw 4,927 fires that burned 118,000 acres, Gov. California’s Climate Change Assessments contribute to the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related vulnerability at the local scale and informing resilience actions, while also directly informing State policies, plans, programs, and guidance, to promote effective and integrated action to safeguard California from climate change. Your utility and municipality may also provide rebates and other resources to help you take action. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, it reached 120 degrees, the highest reading since record-keeping began in 1869, in an area that is less than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. “People who have lived in California for 30, 40 years are saying this is unprecedented, it has never been this hot, it has never been this smoky in all the years I’ve lived here.”, Los Angeles suffers worst smog in almost 30 years. ‘Cinderella story for a dog’: Bidens’ shelter pet gives adoption trend a boost. “We have seen the rapid warming of California summers really turbocharge the type of conditions that are suitable for rapid growth of wildfires,” Hausfather said. Critics say Newsom frequently hypes announcements and keeps local government and public officials in the dark about his coronavirus plans. Climate change threatens to make such heat waves more frequent. The state’s natural and working lands sustain our economy, support our unique biodiversity and contribute to the global food supply. California is being pushed to extremes. Climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme autumn wildfire conditions across California, the study said. As rain patterns change, forests will become drier and susceptible to more frequent and intense fires. Gavin Newsom suspended air quality rules on power plants and other polluters to ease strain on the grid, allowing more emissions to sully the air. Analyzing historical climate observations from California, we find that precipitation deficits in California were more than twice as likely to yield drought years if they occurred when conditions were warm. Research by Diffenbaugh and colleagues that was published last month found that the number of days with extreme wildfire weather in California has more than doubled since the early 1980s, primarily due to warming temperatures drying out vegetation. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference if all of us get involved. In California, our biggest areas of individual impact are related to reducing our energy use in homes, cars and businesses, while better leveraging the cleaner energy resources available across the state. The Trump administration is seeking to stop California from imposing those rules, even after The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. "Just come to the state of California. Climate change appears to beDiffenbaugh et al. It will take effort and dedication from every Californian and company doing business here. In recent years, extreme drought and heat have killed off over 100 million trees, completely destroying many of California’s treasured forests, and increasing the likelihood of more fires. The recent heat spells, for instance, both fueled smog formation and led to power outages. He has been on staff at the Los Angeles Times since 2006, is a graduate of Pomona College and completed a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. These fires will add even more carbon to the atmosphere, further accelerating climate change. “We’re finding that we’ve lost complete control,” he said. The state raised its goal for greenhouse … Join your fellow Californians in a movement to reduce our impact on the environment as we each better manage our daily energy usage. What Is Climate Change? As deadly wildfires rage across California's wine country, leaving at least 29 dead and a trail of destruction in their wake, the influence of climate change is again being questioned. The pandemic has fueled pet adoptions, “one of the few silver linings to COVID,” one animal rescue official says. now add weight to the accumulating evidence that anthropogenic climatic changes are already influencing the frequency, magnitude, and duration of drought in California.increasing the likelihood of a large-scale atmospheric pattern that yields warm, dry weather in California. These fires will add even more carbon to the atmosphere, further accelerating climate change. Studies show that ozone levels are about two parts per billion higher than they would be without global warming. “It means that even with no change in the frequency of strong wind events, even with no change in the frequency of lightning, the risk of wildfire and risk of large, rapidly growing wildfires goes up as a result of the effect of that warming,” he said. The Creek Fire, in the Sierra National Forest in California, has burned hundreds of thousands of acres. Specifically in California, extreme heat waves — like the ones of recent weeks — are now 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer due to climate change. Key Findings. But the heat and dryness have absolutely set the table for widespread fire activity.”Dreadful air quality Their efforts are being hindered by rising temperatures from climate change, according to air quality experts. In California, the climate change issue is inextricably tied to questions of socioeconomic and racial injustice and inequality. A number of state agencies engage in intergovernmental climate cooperation coordinating activities through the Intergovernmental Climate Action Team (ICAT). A sizzling summer: Hottest August on record in California. California’s lands provide an important resource in limiting the impacts of climate change while protecting our communities from climate change-driven events such as wildfire, floods, droughts and extreme heat. “As we go out in the future, in a world with this exponentially growing risk … we’re going to see fires far different than we’ve seen before.”. The data in this climate tool display the projected increase in potential area burned given three different climate models and two different scenarios. The trends presented in the third edition of the report, Indicators of Climate Change in California, serve as evidence that climate change is continuing to occur in California and is having significant, measurable impacts on the state and its people. Los Angeles County had its hottest temperature on record when Woodland Hills hit 121 degrees Sept. 6. A number of state agencies engage in intergovernmental climate cooperation coordinating activities through the Intergovernmental Climate Action Team (ICAT). Anthropogenic climate change is commonly debated as a driver of these recent wildfire changes, but there are many ways in which anthropogenic climate change could conceivably affect wildfire and many variables that wildfire in California is sensitive to. Specifically in California, extreme heat waves — like the ones of recent weeks — are now 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer due to climate change. The FBI searched the Huntington Beach apartment of a far-right extremist who previously claimed to have attended the Capitol riot. “I’m only sorry that in 1989, I could not get an audience for what I wanted to communicate,” said Jim Hansen, a retired NASA researcher and early climate change scientist, of testimony he made to Congress about the issue. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases are released into the air. Learn how global warming is affecting California and the western states, and the solutions states are taking to address the growing risks of climate change. team of international scientists projected that during the next 100 years, third United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, As one 1988 internal Shell Oil Co. document noted, spiked to their highest levels since the mid-1990s, ‘Gender reveals’ are all the rage amid COVID-19. Energy Upgrade California® is making it easier for you to reduce your carbon footprint by providing you with a variety of ways to save energy and water. FBI searches home of Huntington Beach far-right extremist who posted about attending the Capitol riot. Climate patterns are changing, in California and across the planet. Another ferocious heat wave over the Labor Day weekend brought Death Valley-like heat to other areas. “The baselines we’ve used for decades no longer apply. There are things each of us can do to minimize our environmental impact. “We see fires growing from essentially nothing to a quarter of a million acres in one day. “That’s why, I think, you keep reading quotes from these firefighters who say they are seeing fire behavior unlike anything they’ve seen before,” he said. Meeting California’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions remains a priority for the State, especially given updated climate impact results from the Fourth Assessment. “California has a choice in how it wants to adapt its water sector to the impacts of climate change,” Deshmukh stated. Oil wells are everywhere in and around L.A. You sure don’t see that in Paris (France). The new numbers come as the insurance industry struggles to adjust to the effects of climate change. With so many fires burning, millions of people in the Bay Area, Central Valley and parts of Southern California are breathing dangerous levels of particle pollution. It was no coincidence that ozone pollution levels in downtown Los Angeles spiked to their highest levels since the mid-1990s on a day in which temperatures reached an all-time high for the county, said Cesunica Ivey, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UC Riverside who studies air quality. Forest and rangelands cover over 80% of California’s 100 million acres. At Beverly Hills High School. Tony Barboza is a reporter who covers air quality and the environment with a focus on Southern California. In April 2013, UCS held a panel discussion on the latest science of likely climate impacts in the San Joaquin Valley and how local officials and businesses are planning for changes to water availability, increased wildfires, and more frequent extreme heat days. In 2020, there have been 7,606 blazes thus far. The credit is from a state government program that requires power plants and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits from auctions managed by the California Air Resources Board. “When you add COVID, extreme heat, wildfires and air pollution all together, they’re all detrimental to public health, and it just makes things worse,” said Yifang Zhu, a professor of environmental health sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health who studies air pollution and its effects. Along La Cienega near Inglewood. Statewide. So I’m concerned about the future. And it’s that atmospheric warming that has set the stage for the fires raging throughout the western U.S., said Park Williams, a hydroclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Now, with Joe Biden and Democrats taking power, no state is more influential in setting a policy agenda. Updates on California's emissions laws, clean-air battle, and environmental policies. Trump retreats from his job, and Pence fills the void as ‘acting’ president. “With the way greenhouse gases are increasing, in my mind, there’s no doubt that we’re causing this. The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling: Global Temperature Rise. Cantua Creek, San Joaquin Valley. Why there are oil wells all over Southern California. “If the writing isn’t on the wall, then I don’t know what to tell folks.”. As soils become drier, heat waves become more intense. Climate change: California wildfires 'can now happen in any year' By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Being early adopters of a clean-energy future the insurance industry struggles to to. 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