Source: The Climate Change ‘Bully’ in California’s Drought, by Brian Kahn, Senior Science Writer at ClimateCentral.org, August 20, 2015.
Notes: To sum up this article by ClimateCentral.org writer Brian Kahn:
As of August 2015, the current California drought cost the state $2.7 billion in losses, and helped burn up at least 118,000 acres of forest. Gulp: the state is also missing a year’s worth of rain.
A key question is just how much, if any, of the drought is due to climate change. New research gives an answer: up to 27 percent. Even worse: climate change with rising global and regional temperatures has made the odds of severe droughts like this California one twice as likely.
Park Williams, a tree ring researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, regarded the impacts of rising temperatures to a bully after your lunch money.
“If we think of precipitation as an income for California, natural variations — evaporation, human water use — are expenses. Then we can think of global warming as a bully that comes by every year and tells you to give him a certain amount of your money. And every year, the bully asks for more and more,” he noted.
Unfortunately, Kahn wrote “the bully isn’t going away anytime soon since human emissions to date have locked in climate change-fueled warming for decades if not centuries to come.”
Events like 2015 California drought should motivate us to do all we can to individually and as a society to reduce our carbon emissions to lessen climate bully for our children and us.
Image Source: ponderthisawhile.com