From the San Francisco Chronicle, in a commentary by David Sedlak:
“Most Bay Area residents obtain their drinking water from a system of reservoirs, canals and pipes that was built during the first half of the 20th century. In the near future, it is likely that we’ll pump a lot of money into this aging system to adapt it to rising sea levels and changes in rainfall patterns.
From the San Francisco Chronicle Politics blog, in a post by Carolyn Lochhead:
“California’s drought will be one of the extreme weather events that the American Meteorological Society will examine later this year to determine whether the cause is natural variability or human-caused climate change, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center said Tuesday.”
“California Democrat Barbara Boxer has put together a new climate change task force in the U.S. Senate. The group is focusing more on keeping current regulations in place than in advancing new legislation.”
“San Pedro, Wilmington, Venice and other low-lying areas of Los Angeles are vulnerable to future flooding that could damage buildings, erode beaches and impair roadways in the event of a storm like Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the East Coast in 2012, according to a new report by USC researchers.”
“Just how much will the Earth heat up over the next 100 or 200 years? Climate scientists are not able to predict with high certainty. They have estimated that average global temperatures will increase by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius — 2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit — given a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
From the Center for American Progress blog, in a post by Shiva Polefka:
“In June, the consulting firm AECOM published a report for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, comprehensively analyzing the change in America’s flood risks due to climate change. Its study found that sea-level rise is projected to increase the flood-hazard area in our nation’s coastal floodplain by 55 percent by 2100.
“At the heart of California’s vast and complex plumbing system, and the plan to re-engineer it with two tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, are two truths. The first is that failing to take any action at all will result in almost certain disaster.
“For the first time, maps and summaries of historical and projected temperature and precipitation changes for the 21st century for the continental U.S. are accessible at a county-by-county level on a website developed by the U.S.
“California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration today released a draft of its action plan on preparations for the impacts of climate change over the next century. The plan addresses the effects of extreme weather, rising sea levels and other issues.”
“The administration of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today [Dec. 10] released the draft Safeguarding California Plan to outline key actions needed to ready the state for the impacts of a changing climate.
“Scientists sounded alarms Tuesday with a pair of studies challenging the idea that climate change is occurring gradually over the century and that its worst effects can be avoided by keeping emissions below a critical threshold.
“A National Research Council report says the planet is warming so quickly that the world should expect abrupt and unpredictable consequences in a matter of years or a few decades.”
“Continued global warming poses a risk of rapid, drastic changes in some human and natural systems, a scientific panel warned Tuesday, citing the possible collapse of polar sea ice, the potential for a mass extinction of plant and animal life and the threat of immense dead zones in the ocean.
“The Geysers wildfire fire scorched more than 3,500 acres in northern Sonoma County last week. Meanwhile, half a world away, representatives from nearly 200 nations continued to stumble toward an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Debate about whether these events are connected will continue.
From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “It’s Our Environment” blog, in a post by Allison Crimmins:
“From the photos my Colorado friends posted this summer, I wasn’t surprised to learn that 2013 has been the wettest on record for Boulder. However, Boulder also experienced drought, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s recorded history, and a week of record heat.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Jeffrey D. Sachs:
“By some early measures, Typhoon Haiyan – which ripped through the Philippines last weekend and claimed thousands of lives – is the strongest storm on record to make landfall. …
“In the past couple of years, the United States has experienced the worst East Coast flooding in decades as well as the most intense and largest drought in decades, and 2012 was the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states.
“At the U.N. climate negotiations in Warsaw on Monday, the lead Philippine delegate, Yeb Sano, made an emotional plea: “Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action.”
“But was Sano’s statement consistent with the science?”