Climate Change

From UCLA’s Center for Climate Science

The Sierra Nevada Mtn range looms large in the lives of California’s 40 million residents. The food we grow and water we drink depends on the mountains and their effects on climate. That’s why researchers in UCLA’s Center for Climate Science spent the past three years projecting how climate change will affect the Sierra Nevada. On April 2, the final report was released.
The state’s climate is expected to change dramatically by the end of the century, presenting challenges to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to new climate realities.

“There is a lot of positive climate action in California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alex Hall, director of the climate center and a professor with UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “On adaptation planning, the state has shown strong leadership. I’m really encouraged by the openness of officials across the state to examine climate change impacts and plan for them.”

The report synthesizes a research effort that produced five academic publications, including papers on temperature, snowpack during drought and runoff timing. Here are some of the most critical findings, based on what the researchers expect by the end of the century if carbon emissions are not reduced significantly:

On warming:

At middle elevations — 5,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level — temperatures could rise from 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, in part because of the snow albedo feedback, in which melting snow reveals darker surfaces that absorb more heat, further amplifying warming.
In foothills and valleys, temperatures would increase between 5 and 7 degrees.

On snowpack, which serves as a natural reservoir for the state’s water supply:

More precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow, and snow will melt more rapidly.
On average, snowpack across the entire Sierra on April 1 would be 64 percent less than it was when measured in the years 1981–2000.

Recent UCLA article forecasts severe precipitation future for CA

Another Article published 5.21.18

According to UCLA-led research published today, building infrastructure to bolster local water resources isn’t just good for people and the environment — it also makes economic sense. https://www.ioes.ucla.edu/article/making-an-economic-case-for-local-water-in-l-a-county/