Study predicts a much hotter, drier California
California will become significantly hotter and drier by the end of the century, causing severe air pollution, a drop in the water supply, melting of 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack and up to six times more heat-related deaths in major urban centers, according to a sweeping study compiled with help from respected scientists from around the country.
The weather expected to be up to 10.5 degrees warmer by 2100. If industrial and vehicle emissions continue unabated, there could be up to 100 more days a year when temperatures hit 90 degrees or above in Los Angeles and 95 degrees or above in Sacramento. Both cities have about 20 days of such extreme heat now.
The good news: If emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are significantly curtailed, according to the report released Tuesday, the number of extremely hot days might only increase by half that amount.
Climactic changes will only aggravate population pressures on the environment. Already, grain production has been flat for the last five years while consumption has grown. Water demand has caused the disaapearance of thousands of streams and lakes.
The federal government has taken a head in the sand attitude toward environmental problems; the solurions--how to live on less-- may very well have to come from the local level