SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — 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.
“We still have to adapt, no matter what we do, because of the nature of the greenhouse gases,” said Tony Brunello, deputy secretary for climate change and energy at the California Natural Resources Agency, who helped prepare the report. “Those gases are still going to be in the atmosphere for the next 100 years.”
The draft report to be released Monday by the California Natural Resources Agency provides the state’s first comprehensive plan to work with local governments, universities and residents to deal with a changing climate. A final plan is expected to be released in the fall after the public weighs in.
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.” (Read more.)
B.S. Report–It’s no secret that the environmental groups run California politics. And look what they have done to the state. There are all sorts of laws that prohibit building through “open space” legislation and the protection of any number of animals and plant life.
The whole state government is committed to fighting global warming even as the rather dubious science behind it becomes more and more obvious. This legislation will further devastate the California economy and even hasten the flight of the productive from the state. Will the last small business owner in California please turn off the lights when you leave the state?