Studies: Climate Change & the West Coast

This article discusses how bad climate change will hit the West Coast.

California’s exposure to climate change has been laid bare with warnings that San Francisco faces a far worse threat from rising seas than previously thought, while the agricultural heart of the state will increasingly struggle to support crops such as peaches, walnuts and apricots as temperatures climb.

The findings, from two new scientific studies, come as California’s neighboring west coast states Oregon and Washington have both faltered in their legislative attempts to address climate change and deliver a rebuke to Donald Trump’s dismissal of the issue.

Researchers using satellite-based radar and GPS have discovered large areas of land beside the San Francisco bay is sinking, exacerbating the threat from sea level rise and storms. Places such as San Francisco airport, Foster City and Treasure Island are subsiding by as much as 10mm a year, doubling the area previously considered at risk of flooding by the end of the century, according to the Science Advances-published study.

Recent University of California research found that the yield of some crops could drop by 40% by 2050, with the situation becoming so severe by the end of the century that peaches, walnuts and apricots may be unviable in the central valley. Almonds, avocados, cherries and strawberries also face sharp crop declines.

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