Author: Christian

California’s drought is a reminder of climate change

California’s drought is a reminder of climate change

As California droughts intensify, ecosystems and rural communities will bear the brunt. But to what extent will they be decimated and for how long?

Climate change is altering the world’s land mass, changing the way that natural systems interact with one another, and contributing to the accelerated pace of species’ extinction. In the United States, land use and forestry have been identified as the leading contributor to this extinction.

When the Sierra Nevada snowpack is at its lowest point in over a century, it serves as a stark reminder of climate change: a reminder of its importance and its cost.

“The current lack of water in the Sierra Nevada and the amount of snowpack at this time of year remind us as a society that the water supply needs to be made more stable in general,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Jeff Severance. “We have had record snowpack for the entire year. There is not a dry county in the state.”

California is suffering from an increasingly severe drought and the effects of climate change are likely to cause these conditions to worsen, according to Severance.

As much as two-fifths of California’s surface water is lost and three-fifths of precipitation is lost in the Sierra Nevada. Yet, the water is there. Severance noted that water managers plan to increase storage capacity if there is heavy rain.

The California Department of Water Resources is in the process of completing an updated water storage report that will include updated data from the San Joaquin Basin, the Eastern Slope, and the San Francisco Bay Area. “It’s a really good project to get us in the right direction to better understand where our water storage is so we can make good decisions for the future,” Severance told Mashable.

Despite the severity of the drought there is plenty of water to go around

The effects of the drought have been largely overlooked in its entirety, even in California. Even though the drought has gone untreated for three years, the overall number of people living in extreme drought areas has actually increased, according to the California Public Interest Research Group.

“There just hasn’t been the awareness for it to be this large and to be this severe,” said Tim Zimmerman, California director for the PIRG. The organization is

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