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Climate Models Essay

1950 words - 8 pages

According to climate models studied for this assignment, climate change in California will have many negative effects in its hydrological cycle and environment. By the empirical and historical evidence, it is clear to expect higher temperatures throughout the state as well as erosion of our beaches, lower precipitation, lower actual evapotransportation, and lower runoff. In order to understand how to best adapt to the problems created by climate change such as high sea levels due to global warming, one must also understand the past and derive lessons from it. It is the purpose of this assignment to explore possible scenarios by looking back at history and project future scenarios by using ...view middle of the document...

Figure 2 illustrates the areas in blue are currently in present danger of flooding, while the areas in yellow are projected by the models to be threatened by higher sea levels. The areas climbs from 4,250.3 acreage in 2000 to 6,566 in 2100, totaling a +36% increase of land in danger of flooding. Figure 3 is a close up of the city showing more in detail the areas that may be affected by flooding, which include freeway 101 and Pacific Coast Highway. These two highways play the most important role when reaching Santa Barbara via automobile. Figure 3A shows that the precipitation trend for Santa Barbara has been unevenly going down until today. It is also projected in both low and in high emissions scenarios that precipitation will be down about 5 inches from its highest peak by 2099. Figure 4 demonstrates that the risk of wildfires in Santa Barbara also get higher. It appears that as climate changes, summers will start earlier and will last longer. Autumn and summer are the seasons where wildfires are abundant in Southern California (http://cal-adapt.org/blog/2011/apr/12/wild-fire). Figure 4 also shows that by 2020 wild fire risk will be and 0.81 fold low-emissions projections and by 2085 it will come down to 0.7 fold in low-emissions projections 0.76 fold in high-emissions projection. Overall the most prevalent danger for Santa Barbara is flooding. It seems that the city’s roads and freeways will be highly compromised by the effects of global warming.

Lake Arrowhead.
Figure 5 shows the historical average temperature for Lake Arrowhead is 55.8. In a low-emissions scenario the average temperature will rise 4.0 degrees Fahrenheit. In a high-emissions scenario the temperatures will rise 7.0 degrees Fahrenheit. Because Lake Arrowhead is a mountain community, its snow water equivalence (SNWE) will be greatly affected by higher temperatures. Figure 6 shows that historically Lake Arrowhead has had a higher SNWE. It is projected in both high and low emissions that the SNWE will be down by 20%. Wildfires will also be a big problem in that area due to its forest and exposure to high winds. Using the snow pack tool, figure 6A shows the snowpack loses at least two inches by 2020. Figure 7 shows that by 2020 wildfire risk will be 1.02 fold in low-emissions scenarios and by 2085 it will come down to 0.98 fold in low-emissions scenario, and 1.0 fold in high-emissions scenario. Besides the environmental concerns, the local economy in the area is already being affected. Presently, without snow or colder temperatures to create artificial snow, resorts were forced to close earlier in the season than expected. The community is already having to re-invent their tourism branding by attracting more tourism during the summer and fall seasons.

Barstow.
Figure 8 shows the historical average temperature for Barstow is 63.8. In a low-emissions scenario the average temperature will rise 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit. In a high-emissions scenario the temperatures will...

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