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Not Enough Water: How Climate Change Has Affected California
The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is another reminder of the dire effects of climate change. While climate projections often look to the future when discussing the worst impacts of climate change, we are already feeling the effects across the United States. To better understand the impact of climate change on the country, Stacker has compiled a list of the impacts of climate change in each state, using local and national news stories, government reports, and scientific journal articles.
Although these impacts are related to weather conditions, for example heat waves, droughts or storms, individual weather events cannot be attributed on their own to climate change. Rather, it is when these events are viewed as part of larger trends that they can be understood as part of a pattern resulting from climate change.
Keep reading to find out how your state has been affected by climate change, or read the national history here.
California: not enough water
According to The Hill, California is the second most vulnerable state to climate change, with only Florida the most vulnerable. In recent years, California has experienced increasingly bad wildfire seasons, and its water supply from the snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a critical source, is expected to drop by two-thirds of a year. by 2050. This potential drought, along with worsening fires, will make it harder to produce important crops. However, California is proactive. The state passed Senate Bill 100, also known as the 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018, and pledged to put 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads by 2030.
Across the country, there are increasing trends in temperatures, storms of increasing frequency and severity, and more erratic rainfall patterns, causing disruption of food systems and sometimes even resulting in death. While the US government has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, it is clear that the climate emergency is already underway and that in addition to emission reductions, mitigation of the impacts of climate change should be a priority as well.
Read below to see how other states in your area have been affected by climate change.
Arizona: decades of drought
The year 2021 marked the 26th year of long-term drought in Arizona. This drought dried up water sources, decimated crops and killed livestock. One group particularly affected by this drought is the Hopi tribe. Due to the dramatic drought, the Hopi Tribal Council has called on pastoralists to reform their herds to conserve water and prevent an even greater death toll. This caused a lot of tension within the tribe, with Hopi herders protesting the decision, which the Council ultimately overturned.
Nevada: Extreme heat
Nevada experienced record heat in the summer of 2021. Las Vegas was particularly hard hit as it is an urban heat island, and the county where it is located recorded 82 heat-related deaths in 2020 impact on everyone, this is especially bad for Nevadans who suffer from respiratory illnesses, the elderly and those who live in areas with low air quality, who are often people of color and those who live in poorer communities. States at Risk estimates that in Nevada, approximately 70,000 people are among those vulnerable communities that will be most affected.