Impact of Climatic Change on Southern California
How Climate Change Will Impact Southern California
Southern California currently has a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and slightly rainy winters. The temperatures are also moderate with warmer winters and cooler summers. However, the environment is slowly changing to more temperate conditions and will continue to change in several subsequent decades. The changes will have significant impacts on agriculture, energy, human health, forests, ecosystem, recreation, and economy of the region. In line with this, the effects are likely to be adverse to the population.
Impact of Climatic Change on Southern California
Impacts on Agriculture. The warm climate will affect the agricultural sector in various ways. For example, very high temperatures will fasten the rate at which plants grow. Therefore, crops will reach maturity without essential development; this will lead to their poor quality (Johansen 125). Besides, the coastal waters will become more acidic given the increasing amount of heat-trapping gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane (Semmler 648). Such acidity will hinder the use of such waters for irrigation and domestic purposes such as cooking and washing, and also endanger the life of aquatic animals. There is also a likelihood of drought and at times floods, which present extreme conditions for the practice of farming (Casper 136). Drought is more likely to occur because of decreased amount of rainfall while the rising sea level might cause floods. In fact, the growing sea level will further limit the amount of farmland because it will rise and reclaim the agricultural fields surrounding the sea (Semmler 576). Agricultural animals such as cows will also die given the reduced amount of plant feeds. In line with this, high temperatures might increase the risk of contracting diseases that are very dangerous for animals.
Impacts on Energy. There would also be a problem with hydroelectric power generation given the irregular supply of water from the snowmelt. The differing levels of water often interfere with the production of electricity (Johansen, 368). Therefore, South California might have to invest more in using other sources of energy such as sunlight and oil generators for the supply of electricity.
Impacts on Human Health and Population. Increased warming will further cause heat waves that are dangerous for people. For example, high temperatures might lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat rush (Semmler 1). The flooding from increased sea level will also create breeding grounds for mosquitoes that cause malaria in human beings. Besides, people are likely to suffer from inadequate supply of food crops, some of which are essential for a balanced diet. Apparently, the situation will force a substantial number of residents to migrate to other environmentally favorable places (Johansen 249). A significant number will move to higher lands and even outside regions to avoid the effects of high temperatures and flooding. Additionally, there are likely to be disputes over the sharing of limited resources such as land that would be scarce to support the entire population.
Impacts on Forests and Ecosystem. There is also the likelihood of increased wildfires due to the drying up of forests. Forests will easily catch fire and burn with minimal intervention. This will also affect the ecosystem since fire often burns some animals and plants, thereby interfering with the natural habitat (Parry 486). Eventually, the area might receive a limited amount of rainfall because of inadequate number of trees that might further contribute to the expansion of the desert in the region.
Impacts on Recreation. Recreation is another area that the increased warming will impact negatively. For example, the melted snow will exterminate the snow meant for skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing (Haldar 37). Therefore, people might have to seek other methods of recreation. Moreover, the climate will adversely hinder the sports such as football and athletics that require moderate temperatures. This implies that the region might not host any international or interstate sports competition.
Impacts on Economy. The economy of the region will greatly suffer from increased warming. A point to note is that the area will have less agricultural activities such as crop farming. Therefore, residents will have to rely on other areas for their food supplies (Parry 797). Such situation will significantly reduce the potential of trade on agricultural goods between the region and the other parts of America and the entire world. Hot temperatures will also lower the productivity of laborers. For example, those who work in open areas might spend limited time working because of the heat. Consequently, South California might not create surplus goods for the outside market. Tourism will also reduce substantially given the damage to the natural snow whereby people will not visit South California for hiking.
Other businesses that depend on the tourists such as those selling hiking and skating materials will most likely close down. The government is also likely to spend a lot of money on solving problems relating to electricity, food crisis, and diseases instead of focusing on economic growth and development. Also, the migration of people to safer regions will limit the number of working citizens in South California. The increasing sea level will additionally interfere with the property and infrastructure set in potential flood areas. For example, the increased amount of water in the sea will flood the surrounding regions ending up destroying the property (Semmler 576). Some property and infrastructure such as roads will also be trapped under water, thus making it impossible to use them for any economic benefits. Finally, the rising weather condition will affect the learning process in schools since students might find it hard to learn during the day given the hot temperatures.
Prevalently, climate change, particularly increased warming, is dangerous for the South California population. It will lead to problems that will influence the economy, health, energy, ecosystem, and agriculture of the region. The nature of challenges will ultimately narrow down to life since the changes will affect the health of both humans and other living being. Most probably, high temperatures will cause illnesses and at the same time lower the production of crops. Apart from the direct effects on life, the climate change will also interfere with leisure and energy sources of the region. Fortunately, the foretold results might prompt the government and the public to take necessary measures to minimize such effects. For example, the people might start to reclaim safer areas to avoid being affected by the increased floods. On the other hand, the government will adopt alternative economic activities to replace the extent of damage to the agricultural sector. Despite such moves, it is critical for the government together with the concerned NGOs to control human activities that are likely to contribute to climate changes.
Casper, Julie Kerr. Changing Ecosystems: Effects of Global Warming. New York: Infobase Pub., 2010. Print
Haldar, Ishita. Global Warming: The Causes and Consequences. New Delhi: Mind Melodies, 2011. Print.
Johansen, Bruce E. The Encyclopedia of Global Warming Science and Technology. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print.
Parry, Martin L. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
Semmler, Willi. Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.