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Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley
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Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley

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Presentation given by Ryan Lucas with Sierra Nevada Research Institute at University of California, Merced at the Session: "Water, Energy and Climate Change" at the Great Valley Center's Sacramento ...

Presentation given by Ryan Lucas with Sierra Nevada Research Institute at University of California, Merced at the Session: "Water, Energy and Climate Change" at the Great Valley Center's Sacramento Valley Forum on October 28, 2009 in Chico, CA.

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Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley Presentation Transcript

  • Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley Ryan Lucas Sierra Nevada Research Institute UC Merced [email_address]
  • Outline
    • Greenhouse Effect
    • Temperature Forecast
    • Impacts
      • Water/Snowpack
      • Wildfire
      • Vegetation
      • Sea Level
    • Summary
  • Greenhouse Effect
    • Increased concentration of greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere
        • CO 2 – burning of fossil fuels
        • H 2 O – natural, increase from melting of ice
        • N 2 O – manure breakdown
        • CH 4 – landfills, manure breakdown
  • Incoming Solar Radiation Incoming Solar Radiation is absorbed by Earth’s surface. Surface emits long wave radiation to atmosphere A fraction of the long wave radiation escapes from the atmosphere; greenhouse gases absorb the remaining long wave radiation and emit long wave radiation in all directions. Increase of greenhouse gases results in more long wave radiation absorbed and re-emitted and warmer global surface temperatures. Greenhouse Effect
  •  
  • Source: Bales et al 2006
  • Source: Stewart et al 2005
  • Water Impacts
    • Early onset of spring
      • Early stream flow
      • Loss of reservoir and groundwater storage
      • Loss of hydroelectric generated power
    • Large winter storms produce rain
      • Loss of storage in snow pack
      • Induction of floods, rain on snow events
    • Longer, drier summers
      • Crop and stock stresses
  • Wildfires Source: Westerling 2006
  • Source: Westerling et al 2006
  • Fire Impacts
    • More frequent wildfires
    • More intense/larger wildfires
    • Decrease in Central Valley air quality
    • Loss of vegetation
    • Loss of wildlife habitat
    • Release of CO 2 to atmosphere
  • Vegetation Source: Linehan et al 2006
  • Source: Linehan et al 2006 Vegetation
  • Vegetation Impacts
    • Potential migration of plant species
    • Potential loss of plant species.
    • Migration and/or loss of plant species may lead to migration and/or loss of animal species.
  • Sea Level
    • Potential for 1-3 feet sea level rise by the end of the century (Hanak and Lund 2008)
    • Alter salinity, depth, and flood potential in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Impacts to Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley
    • Reduction in water supply
      • Major implications for agricultural and urban communities
      • Impacts to water cycle affects species habitats (i.e. early spring stream pulse effects in salmonid fish)
      • Reduced capacity for hydroelectric power production
    • Decreased air quality
      • Major implications for public health sector
    • Changes to “natural” habitats
      • Major implications on indigenous plant and animal species
    • Sea level rise
      • major effects on Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, plants and aquatic species
  • Thank You!