Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley


Published on

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.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley

  1. 1. Climate Change Implications to the Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley Ryan Lucas Sierra Nevada Research Institute UC Merced [email_address]
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Greenhouse Effect </li></ul><ul><li>Temperature Forecast </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water/Snowpack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wildfire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vegetation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sea Level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul>
  3. 3. Greenhouse Effect <ul><li>Increased concentration of greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CO 2 – burning of fossil fuels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>H 2 O – natural, increase from melting of ice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>N 2 O – manure breakdown </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CH 4 – landfills, manure breakdown </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 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
  5. 6. Source: Bales et al 2006
  6. 7. Source: Stewart et al 2005
  7. 8. Water Impacts <ul><li>Early onset of spring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early stream flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of reservoir and groundwater storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of hydroelectric generated power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Large winter storms produce rain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of storage in snow pack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Induction of floods, rain on snow events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Longer, drier summers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crop and stock stresses </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Wildfires Source: Westerling 2006
  9. 10. Source: Westerling et al 2006
  10. 11. Fire Impacts <ul><li>More frequent wildfires </li></ul><ul><li>More intense/larger wildfires </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease in Central Valley air quality </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of vegetation </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of wildlife habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Release of CO 2 to atmosphere </li></ul>
  11. 12. Vegetation Source: Linehan et al 2006
  12. 13. Source: Linehan et al 2006 Vegetation
  13. 14. Vegetation Impacts <ul><li>Potential migration of plant species </li></ul><ul><li>Potential loss of plant species. </li></ul><ul><li>Migration and/or loss of plant species may lead to migration and/or loss of animal species. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Sea Level <ul><li>Potential for 1-3 feet sea level rise by the end of the century (Hanak and Lund 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Alter salinity, depth, and flood potential in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta </li></ul>
  15. 16. Impacts to Sierra Nevada and the Central Valley <ul><li>Reduction in water supply </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major implications for agricultural and urban communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impacts to water cycle affects species habitats (i.e. early spring stream pulse effects in salmonid fish) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced capacity for hydroelectric power production </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decreased air quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major implications for public health sector </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes to “natural” habitats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major implications on indigenous plant and animal species </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sea level rise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>major effects on Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, plants and aquatic species </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Thank You!