Climate change is rapidly accelerating in California, state report says.
On April 27, California’s environmental regulator released a report confirming that the impact of climate change is increasing the likelihood of heat waves and other extreme weather events in the state. The report, compiled by the state Board of Global Climate and Water Solutions (Board), makes the case that the state’s future is tied to its capacity to adapt to that future, and a hotter and drier climate poses a greater threat.
“For more than 50 years, the Board has considered climate change and water scarcity as a top priority for California”, the board’s report says. “Today, the Board released its findings on the effects of climate change on California’s natural resources.”
The report notes that the state’s existing water supply will be increasingly limited as a result of a warmer climate, and the state’s aging infrastructure has been made more vulnerable by climate change. But the report also highlights California’s ability to adapt to the impacts from climate change.
The report says that the state’s economy, infrastructure and population are set to expand in the decades ahead as a result of the economy recovering from the 2008 financial crisis and as an aging population in the state continues to grow. California’s growth will be compounded by a lower cost of energy in the future, which means that homes will be more energy efficient and Californians are expected to live longer. An increase in the minimum wage is intended to help mitigate the effects of climate change on low-income households.
The report says that California’s water resources will be degraded by a hotter and drier climate. And the state’s economic growth will be tied to the economy’s demand for water.
As the report notes, a warmer climate will raise the temperature of the state’s surface waters and reduce the flow of precipitation, which will threaten California’s water supply.
The risk of drought in California is also expected to increase.