Climate change is impacting California, report says

Aug 08, 2013 by Alicia Chang
This April 30,2010 file photo shows a stream seen running through snow covered banks near the site of the Department of Water Resources snow survey at Echo Summit, Calif. A new report released Thursday Aug. 7,2013 found climate change is affecting California. Over the past century, snowpack runoff has decreased due to warmer winters and earlier arrival of spring. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

Coastal waters off California are getting more acidic. Fall-run chinook salmon populations to the Sacramento River are on the decline. Conifer forests on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada have moved to higher elevations over the past half century.

That's just a snapshot of how climate change is affecting California's natural resources, a report released Thursday found.

"There's certainly reason for concern," said Dan Cayan, a at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who contributed to the report.

The findings are an update to a 2009 report that documented how a warming California is impacting the environment, wildlife and people.

Among the known impacts: Butterflies in the Central Valley are emerging from hiding earlier in the spring; glaciers in the Sierra Nevada have shrunk; and spring runoff from snowmelt has declined, affecting Central Valley farmers and that rely on snowmelt to produce power.

The latest 258-page report, which cost $282,000 to produce, was compiled from existing climate studies and released by an arm of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Officials hope it will spur the state and local governments to plan ahead and adapt to a hotter future.

Monitoring should continue "to reduce the impacts of climate change and to prepare for those effects that we cannot avoid," George Alexeeff, head of the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, said in an email.

Annual across the state have risen by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) since 1895, with the greatest warming seen in portions of the Central Valley and Southern California.

Levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases in the state increased between 1990 and 2011. In recent years, there has been a slight drop—the result of industries and vehicles becoming more energy efficient, the report said.

Some of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being absorbed by the ocean, altering its chemistry. Scientists have documented changes to waters at Monterey Bay, which have turned more acidic in recent years, raising concerns about impact to marine life.

Ocean warming, among other factors, may be behind the dramatic drop of chinook salmon in Central California since 2004. And certain plant and animals species—such as conifers in the Sierra Nevada and small mammals in Yosemite National Park—have responded to a changing climate by moving to higher ground.

Expect more heat waves, wildfires and higher sea levels as the state warms, the report said.

The report "vastly overstates the impacts of greenhouse gases," said University of Alabama at Huntsville atmospheric sciences professor John Christy, who holds a minority view among climate scientists.

Carnegie Institution ecologist Chris Field, an acknowledged leader in the field of climate impacts, said the observations in the report "are more or less the gold standard of where we are now today" and provide a peek of the future.

Explore further: Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

3.7 /5 (15 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More extreme weather predicted in national climate report

Feb 01, 2013

Americans can expect more heat waves, heavy downpours, floods and droughts, sea level rise and ocean acidification, according to a draft national climate assessment report that included two Cornell researchers as lead authors.

Climate change evident across Europe, report says

Nov 26, 2012

Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, causing a wide range of impacts on society and the environment. Further impacts are expected in the future, potentially causing high damage costs, according ...

Marine life spawns sooner as oceans warm

Aug 06, 2013

Warming oceans are impacting the breeding patterns and habitat of marine life, effectively re-arranging the broader marine landscape as species adjust to a changing climate, according to a three-year international ...

Recommended for you

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

2 hours ago

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

New challenges for ocean acidification research

Dec 19, 2014

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Compromises lead to climate change deal

Dec 19, 2014

Earlier this month, delegates from the various states that make up the UN met in Lima, Peru, to agree on a framework for the Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Paris next year. For ...

User comments : 15

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Neinsense99
2.6 / 5 (15) Aug 08, 2013
John Christy's affiliations:
Heartland Institute — Listed as a "Global Warming Expert" by the Heartland Institute.
Cato Institute — Speaker at a Cato-sponsored event on global warming.
Competetive Enterprise Institute (CEI) — "Contributor."
Independent Institute — On Institute's "Panel on Global Warming." - DeSmogBlog
Take that for what you will.
antigoracle
2.1 / 5 (15) Aug 09, 2013
Neinsense99's affiliations:
AGW Alarmist Cult -- Listed as ignorant Turd.
Take that for what you will.
Neinsense99
2 / 5 (12) Aug 09, 2013
Neinsense99's affiliations:
AGW Alarmist Cult -- Listed as ignorant Turd.
Take that for what you will.

You've just won friends and influenced people -- on the planet Nibiru, that is.
VendicarE
2.4 / 5 (8) Aug 09, 2013
John Christy has been looking for decades for any excuse he can find to deny the impacts of global warming.

He is a complete failure.
Egleton
1.6 / 5 (12) Aug 09, 2013
You are going to be taxed.
How do you want to be taxed?
Income tax? Road tax? Import duties?Traffic infringements? Value added tax? How do you want to be taxed?
I choose a carbon tax.
That way all my rich friends have to pay too. No ducking and diving, no special deals, no offshore accounts.
If they consume they pay.
And there is the rub. They dont want to pay.
NikFromNYC
2.2 / 5 (13) Aug 09, 2013
VendicarE one of the Net's most notorious sockpuppet account trolls, revealed by a Google search for VENDICAR BUSH.
Neinsense99
1.9 / 5 (14) Aug 10, 2013
Neinsense99's affiliations:
AGW Alarmist Cult -- Listed as ignorant Turd.
Take that for what you will.

Dear Denialist Shill/Troll:

Your comment history indicates you are here to further a political or economic agenda, not to engage in honest discourse.

Your arguments are as original as they are sound, which is to say, not at all. Your tactics are insinuation, smearing, misqoting, diversion of threads, distortion of facts/meaning, pointing the finger, projection, targeted down-voting, and sock puppetry.

Neither insults, lies, nor goading will cause me to waste time playing your game. I will not grant your comments the undeserved dignity of a customized response.
antigoracle
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 10, 2013

Dear Denialist Shill/Troll:

Your comment history indicates you are here to further a political or economic agenda, not to engage in honest discourse.

Your arguments are ... BLAH BLAH BLAH... sock puppetry.

Neither insults, lies, nor goading will cause me to waste time playing your game. I will not grant your comments the undeserved dignity of a customized response.


Dear AGW Alarmist Turd,
Your comments indicate a history of utter stupidity and unquestionable mental disease. I would not venture to accuse you of having a political or economic agenda as that would require you to have a brain.
You obviously find the truth insulting, as you should, since it's a common trait among the ignorant and deceitful. You claim you will not respond to my comments, yet here we are. How stupid are you?
ScooterG
1.9 / 5 (14) Aug 10, 2013
John Christy's affiliations:
Heartland Institute — Listed as a "Global Warming Expert" by the Heartland Institute.
Cato Institute — Speaker at a Cato-sponsored event on global warming.
Competetive Enterprise Institute (CEI) — "Contributor."
Independent Institute — On Institute's "Panel on Global Warming." - DeSmogBlog
Take that for what you will.


I'm reminded of that `80's SNL skit...I can picture John Christy saying "AGW been veddy, veddy good....to me!"
Neinsense99
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 10, 2013
Dear AGW Alarmist Turd,
Your comments indicate a history of utter stupidity and unquestionable mental disease. I would not venture to accuse you of having a political or economic agenda as that would require you to have a brain.
You obviously find the truth insulting, as you should, since it's a common trait among the ignorant and deceitful. You claim you will not respond to my comments, yet here we are. How stupid are you?

Dear Denialist Shill/Troll:

Your comment history indicates you are here to further a political or economic agenda, not to engage in honest discourse.

Your arguments are as original as they are sound, which is to say, not at all. Your tactics are insinuation, smearing, misquoting, diversion of threads, distortion, pointing the finger, projection, targeted down-voting, and sock puppetry.

Neither insults, lies, nor goading will cause me to waste time playing your game. I will not grant your comments the undeserved dignity of a customized response.
zaxxon451
3 / 5 (4) Aug 10, 2013
Can we please drop the Frank Luntz speak and stop calling it "Climate Change". Global Warming is much more appropriate for what is actually happening
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (6) Aug 18, 2013
Can we please drop the Frank Luntz speak and stop calling it "Climate Change". Global Warming is much more appropriate for what is actually happening
Consensus definition of global warming:

"global warming
n.
An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change."

Global temperatures: http://www.woodfo....5/trend

And there's been no warming in California for more than a quarter century, either: http://www.ncdc.n...ter=true

This article appears to be nothing more than hokum.

zaxxon451
1 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2013
"An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change."

This article appears to be nothing more than hokum.


http://www.thegua...techange
Gmr
3 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2013

And there's been no warming in California for more than a quarter century, either
...
This article appears to be nothing more than hokum.


Of course! Global means local. I forgot. I can be such an easily led simpleton sometimes. The world, after all, is a single metal sphere that heats evenly without any regard for atmosphere, convection, weather pattern, jet stream, Hadley cells, ocean currents, altitude...

It's so obvious. All we have to do to cure global warming is wait until nightfall.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (6) Aug 19, 2013
And there's been no warming in California for more than a quarter century, either
...
This article appears to be nothing more than hokum.
Of course! Global means local. I forgot.
Typically ignorant AGWite believer, can't be bothered with actually READING the article being discussed.

I can be such an easily led simpleton sometimes.
You said it.

The world, after all, is a single metal sphere that heats evenly without any regard for atmosphere, convection, weather pattern, jet stream, Hadley cells, ocean currents, altitude...
Typically ignorant AGWite believer simply won't be bothered with understanding the concept behind "global temperature."

It's so obvious. All we have to do to cure global warming is wait until nightfall.
Typically ignorant AGWite believer simply won't be bothered with the facts.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.