This article discusses the future climate change swings for California and the rest of the world. Researchers see more frequent severe drought/heavy flooding swings in a warming climate.
Many people are attracted to large parts of California for their reliably pleasant Mediterranean climate. It can be a welcome break for visitors weary of Nor’easters and scorching summers. But in coming decades, California and the rest of the West Coast could see increasingly wild swings in weather – a consequence of continued climate change.
That’s the conclusion of a new study published in Nature Climate Change by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, UC-Irvine, and The Nature Conservancy. The group ran computer simulations that suggest the state will experience more abrupt transitions between severe drought and winter deluges as the century advances.
“My colleagues and I set out to assess how the increasing emission of greenhouse gases will affect California precipitation,” lead author Daniel Swain, from UCLA, wrote in a post at his California Weather Blog. “Rather than considering average precipitation, as most previous studies have, we instead focused on wet and dry precipitation extremes specifically using a large ensemble of climate model simulations.”