Climate change impacting California, says EPA report
August 8, 2013
Climate change is “an immediate and growing threat” affecting California water supplies, farming, forests, wildlife and public health, according to a report issued Thursday by the California Environmental Protection Agency. [Mercury News]
Fifty-one scientists combined to author the 258-page report, which found that annual average temperatures in California have increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895. The CalEPA report also stated that the sea level at the Golden Gate Bridge rose eight inches over the last century.
The authors of the report came from the University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies and institutions.
“A report like this is Paul Revere,” said UCLA economics professor Matthew Kahn. “It provides an early warning, an early indicator of the challenges we face.”
Kahn said Californian entrepreneurs will combat climate change by providing electric vehicles, wind turbines, ocean desalination projects, better air conditioning systems and denser housing in coastal areas, which will remain cooler than inland areas.
The report also found that fires have become more prevalent in the state in recent years. An average of 598,000 acres in California have burned annually since 2000, compared to average of 264,000 in previous years.
“Climate change is not just some abstract scientific debate,” said California EPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez. “It’s real, and it’s already here.”