The city of Los Angeles and UCLA today released the results of a new study on the impacts of climate change in SoCal, and it looks like even June Gloom won't be an antidote to a future of increasingly unbearable heat waves. The city commissioned the study, called "Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region," to forecast temperatures 30 to 50 years into the future (more precisely, 2041 through 2060), and it predicts dramatic increases in the amount of extreme heat days (i.e., days hotter than 95 degrees). The city will use the information to prepare adaptation measures. In the LA Times, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says that adaptations "could mean replacing incentives with building codes requiring 'green' and 'cool' roofs, cool pavements, tree canopies and parks"--all measures, you may have noticed, that require new regulation in construction and development.
UCLA used a supercomputer to complete the temperature models, making one quintillion calculations (!) to produce predictions that are 2,500 times more precise than previous climate models for the region. What the computer found is not good for anything that wilts in the sun: "the number of days exceeding 95 degrees a year is likely to increase from eight to 30 in Porter Ranch, 55 to 91 in Bakersfield and from 75 to 119 in Palm Springs. In the L.A. County High Desert community of Palmdale, temperatures will rise above 95 degrees 33 days a year, up from seven currently, according to the analysis."
The temperature models might also foretell rising real estate prices along the coast (that is if it isn't all underwater): "Los Angeles, fanned by ocean breezes, will see 95-and-over days increase a relatively modest three-fold from the current 1 1/2 per year. The Santa Monica Mountains are enough of a barrier to cooler ocean influences that the San Fernando Valley will warm 10% to 20% more than the L.A. Basin...More generally, the research showed that oceans and coasts are likely to warm by 2 to 3 degrees, dense urban areas by 4 degrees, and mountains and deserts by 4 to 5 degrees."
UCLA isn't done predicting either. The current study is just the first in a series, so we can expect more bad news: "Future results will cover other elements of climate change including precipitation, Santa Ana winds, soil moisture, and coastal fog," according to a press release from UCLA released yesterday.
· More, hotter heat waves predicted for Southern California [LA Times]
· 5 SoCal Beaches That Will Be Most Screwed By Climate Change [Curbed LA]
· Mid-Century Warming In the Los Angeles Region [C-Change.LA]