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California drought: The climate change connection
April 2, 2015
After four years of drought and facing a historic low in the snowpack that feeds their reservoirs, Californians were ordered to reduce their water use by 25 percent.
The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada stands at the lowest level ever recorded. Average statewide snowpack, based on measurements that go back to 1950, is 63 inches. This year’s average measures 1 to 2 inches.
"No one has seen anything like this," a state employee was quoted as saying.
While Californians figure out how to slash their water consumption, they’re probably also asking themselves: Is this caused by climate change? Drought results from lack of rainfall combined with hot weather which increases water evaporation. There is some controversy over whether climate change has caused the rain deficit, but climate scientists generally agree: rising global temperatures have brought increased heat to California and the southwest.
The drought is the worst in the 120 years of California weather record-keeping.
Time to get serious about replacing fossil fuels with energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, friends.