Researcher says climate change may be cooling California
By: By Matt Weiser
Published: Sat, 06/04
Spring passed California by, and summer remains in hiding.
Nine tornadoes have torn up the Sacramento Valley from Oroville to Fairfield. A giant Sierra snowpack, still frozen fast, has put innumerable summer adventures on hold.
The Golden State’s weather has gone haywire.
And it’s not over yet: Sacramento can expect as much as another 1.4 inches of rain this weekend and temperatures 20 degrees below normal, with more mountain snow.
“It’s what I call global weirding,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. “This has been a very strange year all over the planet.”
What’s going on?
Global Warming Impacts in California
Losses to the Sierra snowpack and water supply. The Sierra Nevada snowpack functions as the most important natural reservoir of water in California. Under current conditions, the snowpack is created in fall and winter and slowly releases about 15 million acre-feet of water in the spring and summer, when California needs it most. California’s dams and water storage facilities are built to handle the snow melt as it happened in the past. Higher temperatures are now causing the snowpack to melt earlier and all at once. Earlier and larger releases of water could overwhelm California’s water storage facilities, creating risk of floods and water shortages.