Davis' climate is likely to change in the coming years. The average temperature of the earth's surface has risen by 0.6 celsius degrees since the late 1800s. It is expected to increase by another 1.4 to 5.8 celsius degrees by the year 2100 — a rapid and profound change. Even if the minimum predicted increase takes place, it will be larger than any century-long trend in the last 10,000 years. 1
Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, clearing of forests and certain farming practices have increased the amount of "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Such gases occur naturally and are critical for life on earth; they keep some of the sun's warmth from reflecting back into space, and without them the world would be a cold and barren place. But in augmented and increasing quantities, these gases are pushing the global temperature to artificially high levels and altering the climate. The 1990s appear to have been the warmest decade of the last millennium, and 1998 the warmest year. 2
In the coming decades, the California environment will be adversely affected by climate change. The latest projection suggests temperatures will rise significantly in the next century, which might lead to:
- the early onset of spring
- reduced water resources to the Central Valley during late summer
- a reduced a crop yield in agriculture, such as vineyards
- an increased cost to consumers for water and agricultural goods
California's range of natural ecosystems support various plants and animals and are projected to rapidly change due to increases in temperature and fire frequency. If the issue of climate change is not properly researched and addressed with comprehensive solutions the local environment will suffer. As a community we need to discuss the decisions and solutions so that we can sustainably and comprehensively address the challenges of climate change.
Davis, a coastal city
Simulations of ocean rise show Davis becoming a city on a large bay in the valley with only a few meters of rise. This is remarkably stable for the next ten meters, with a 20 meter rise finally causing the Pacific to flood the city.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- United Nations Framework on Climate Change
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- California assessment of impacts of climate change
- Brent Laabs, the wiki's resident atmospheric scientist