Saturday, August 04, 2012

California Prepares to Meet Climate Change Head On

Reports released this week by the California Energy  Commission and the California Natural Resources Agency reveal adaptation measures the state will need to take to address climate change impacts and they're innovative.

State researchers foresee temperature increases of 2.7F over 2000 averages by 2050.   Note that's 2.7F higher than the state was averaging just 12-years ago.   The reports explore how California will be impacted - everything from agriculture and irrigation, habitat destruction and species extinction, urban living and energy risks and vulnerabilities.

Among the proposals are the creation of "migration corridors" to permit animal and plant species to escape uninhabitable regions and relocate to new locations capable of supporting them.   Some creatures, however, simply can't migrate.   Alpine species, for example, cannot survive when taken out of their colder environment so they will have to be trapped and transported for suitable relocation.

California will prepare for sea level rise by retreat from especially vulnerable parts of the coast.   This is something much easier done well in advance than only when immediately necessary.  It's a process that begins by prohibiting new development in areas that are to be subject to inundation.

The state is expected to create a network of "chilling stations" for urban populations to escape the impacts of heatwaves.   Identified as particularly high risk are poor neighbourhoods that have density, transportation and lack of tree cover stresses.   They point out the particular problems faced by inland cities.   Sacramento, for example, has historically had four 100F+ days per year.   That is predicted to increase to 25-days of extreme heating per year - heat that kills the young, the old and the infirm.

California, unlike your own province, is putting these challenges out in the open, loud and clear.   They're talking about what is coming and options for dealing with those dangers.

They're interesting reports, almost forty of them, and reviewing some of them is helpful if only to get you asking why your province isn't doing the same for its citizens.

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