From Huffington Post
August 4, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Even if the world is successful in cutting carbon emissions in the future, California needs to start preparing for rising sea levels, hotter weather and other effects of climate change, a new state report recommends.
It encourages local communities to rethink future development in low-lying coastal areas, reinforce levees that protect flood-prone areas and conserve already strapped water supplies…
The report was compiled after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed agencies in November to devise a state climate strategy. It comes three years after the Republican governor signed California’s landmark global warming law requiring the state to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Most countries have focused on cutting greenhouse gases in the future, but researchers say those efforts will take decades to have an effect while the planet continues to warm. States have only recently begun to look at what steps they must take to minimize the damage expected from sea level rise, storm surges, droughts and water shortages because of the climate changes.
Over the last century in California, the sea level has risen by 7 inches, average temperatures have increased, spring snowmelt occurs earlier in the year, and there are hotter days and fewer cold nights.
The report warns that rising temperatures over the next few decades will lead to more heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods.
“We have to deal with those unavoidable impacts,” said Suzanne Moser, a research associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. “We can’t pretend they are not going to happen and we have to prepare for that.”
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See also: It’s Official: This July Was State’s Coldest Since 1924→