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. “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.”. So the impact is cumulative and maybe even synergistic to each other.”. We all need to play a part in successfully increasing energy efficiency, embracing clean energy and supporting clean technology. Farmworker Communities Under Fire & Heat: Climate Justice Learnings Maricela Morales, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) Disproportionate impacts of climate change on communities Amee Raval, Asian Pacific Environmental Network. 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. “If the writing isn’t on the wall, then I don’t know what to tell folks.”. “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. And the record heat, fires and pollution all have one thing in common: They were made worse by climate change. The Creek Fire, in the Sierra National Forest in California, has burned hundreds of thousands of acres. Cantua Creek, San Joaquin Valley. Atop Signal Hill. Carbon dioxide isn’t harmful at natural levels, but too much can act like a layer of plastic wrap around the Earth that lets in heat from the sun but doesn’t let it escape. As rain patterns change, forests will become drier and susceptible to more frequent and intense fires. “You just don’t expect Death Valley temperatures along coastal California.”, Lindsey, who acknowledges that he was a bit of a climate skeptic in the past, said seeing the increase in seawater temperatures, in particular, over many years “was a real epiphany or wake-up call.”, “By now, there’s no doubt in most people’s minds that the atmosphere is warming and the ocean is warming,” he said. In addition, climate change makes forests more vulnerable to fires by increasing temperatures and making forests and brush drier. But the effect of climate change is real and growing. Newsom’s COVID-19 briefings often leave more questions than answers, some officials say. Climate change will affect tree survival and growth, reducing these lands’ productivity and changing their habitats. Gov. Darker oranges and reds suggest up to a 10-fold increase in potential area burned. 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. “This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. 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. By taking bold action California is a leader on climate change. Oil wells are everywhere in and around L.A. You sure don’t see that in Paris (France). “They are two sides of the same coin.”. Climate Change in the San Joaquin Valley. 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. 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. Why there are oil wells all over Southern California. The state's outsize influence over automobile sales has traditionally pushed automakers to adopt the California rules as their national standard. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference if all of us get involved. 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. Los Angeles County had its hottest temperature on record when Woodland Hills hit 121 degrees Sept. 6. Along La Cienega near Inglewood. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases are released into the air. 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. 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. The latest one caused a wildfire, Kamala Harris says nation will ‘find a moment’ to celebrate inauguration amid pandemic grief. Another ferocious heat wave over the Labor Day weekend brought Death Valley-like heat to other areas. 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. We’re also home to world-renowned entrepreneurs, inventors and dreamers—the kind of people who believe we can do anything once we set our minds to it. She is based in the Bay Area. We can expect more frequent and longer heat waves, and drier summers. An overview from the Union of Concerned Scientists 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. In California, the climate change issue is inextricably tied to questions of socioeconomic and racial injustice and inequality. Climate change is contributing to California’s fires Dry seasons are intensifying, increasing fire risk. “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.”. California is leading the way. Make America California Again? That activity (our use of fossil fuels) has resulted in dramatically increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Trump retreats from his job, and Pence fills the void as ‘acting’ president. That activity (our use of fossil fuels) has resulted in dramatically increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. News tips? The deadly wildfires sweeping through US West Coast states show that the debate around climate change is "over", California Governor Gavin Newsom says. John Lindsey, a marine meteorologist with Pacific Gas and Electric, said the mercury rose to unprecedented levels in San Luis Obispo due to hot, downslope winds blowing from the northeast. Air quality officials said the high pollution readings were a result of intense heat combined with stagnant weather conditions. The Creek Fire, in the Sierra National Forest in California, has burned hundreds of thousands of acres. As one 1988 internal Shell Oil Co. document noted, “by the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation.”. California says complaints about moving companies more than doubled last year as millions of Americans sought new homes because of the pandemic. Since the 1980s, government and oil industry scientists have been anticipating the events that have transpired across the state this past month. California summers are 2.5 degrees warmer than they were in the 1970s and are on track to heat up an additional 4.5 degrees by the end of the century if the world’s current emissions trajectory continues, said Hausfather. 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. During the mid-August heat wave, Death Valley soared to 130 degrees, one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth. Climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme autumn wildfire conditions across California, the study said. A sizzling summer: Hottest August on record in California. Climate change appears to beDiffenbaugh et al. Send messages or documents privately using the Signal smartphone app: (213) 421-1511‬. The new numbers come as the insurance industry struggles to adjust to the effects of climate change. 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 … John Abatzoglou, associate professor in the Department of Management of Complex Systems at UC Merced, agreed. 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 … “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. Those added emissions are only going to get worse as the severity and frequency of fires increases. These fires will add even more carbon to the atmosphere, further accelerating climate change. Over the past century, California has warmed by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit, more than the global average of about one degree Fahrenheit. , health, and drier summers, Death Valley soared to 130 degrees, one of the few linings. 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