California's extraordinary ecological and economic diversity has brought it prosperity, pollution, and overpopulation. These factors and the state's national and international ties make California an essential test case for the impact of global climate change--temperature increases, water shortages, more ultraviolet radiation. The scientists in this forward-looking volume give their best estimates of what the future holds. Beginning with an overview by Joseph Knox, the book discusses the greenhouse effect, the latest climate modeling capabilities, the implications of climate change for water resources, agriculture, biological ecosystems, human behavior, and energy. The warning inherent in a scenario of unchecked population growth and energy use in California applies to residents of the entire planet. The sobering conclusions related here include recommendations for research that will help us all prepare for potential climate change.
An analysis of 80-year shelter level temperature records at 112 California sites has been carried out. Results show that sea surface temperature (SST) and urban heat island effects influence the magnitude of the observed warming trend in the overall data set. These effects, however, are masked by averaging all temperature records together. While a warming trend existed in the overall data set, areas with such trends generally corresponded to areas containing the state's major population centers. Warming trend magnitude also increased with county population size, and 20 small inland towns and rural areas actually showed cooling trends. SST trends over the last 40 years showed cooling in mid-ocean areas and an anomalous warming at coastal sites. The warming was associated with a decline in the normal frequency of cold water upwelling in the coastal area. SST warming was found to be highly correlated with the warming of shelter level temperatures at coastal land observation sites.
Valuing the health benefits of clean air. Hall, Jane V.; Winer, Arthur M.; Kleinman, Michael T.; Lurmann, Frederick W.; Brajer, Victor & Colome, Steven D..
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1536006 DOI: 10.1126/science.1536006
An assessment of health effects due to ozone and particulate matter (PM10) suggests that each of the 12 million residents of the South Coast Air Basin of California experiences ozone-related symptoms on an average of up to 17 days each year and faces an increased risk ofdeath in any year of 1/10,000 as a result of elevated PM10 exposure. The estimated annual economic value of avoiding these effects is nearly $10 billion. Attaining air pollution standards may save 1600 lives a year in the region.