precipitation


Photo: Patrick Dirden/Flickr

Why Wet Weather in California Now Doesn’t Equal Lots of Water for Californians Later

, Senior Climate Scientist

California has been blessed with a wet winter this year. At the time of publishing, most of the state is at or well above the historical average precipitation to date for this time of year and Sierra Nevada snowpack is at more than 140% of historical average. That’s been good news for the California plants, animals, and humans that rely on water to survive and recreate. But lots of precipitation now doesn’t necessarily mean that California will have lots of water when it needs it. That’s because what matters is not only how much water we get, but when and how we get it.

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Photo: Patrick Dirden/Flickr
CA Department of Water Resources
UCS
Singh et al., 2013
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North Carolina Army National Guardsmen and local emergency services assist with evacuation efforts in Fayetteville, N.C., Oct. 08, 2016. Heavy rains caused by Hurricane Matthew led to flooding as high as five feet in some areas.

What a Difference 0.5°C Makes! Or, How a Seemingly Small Amount of Global Warming can Lead to a lot More Rain

, climate scientist

The soon-to-be released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (IPCC 1.5) assesses, among other things, the impacts that could be avoided if global warming is kept to 1.5°C instead of 2°C, and the ways we can limit some of the worst impacts of climate change and adapt to the ones that are unavoidable. Let us pause and think for a moment about this business of 1.5°C and 2°C, because 0.5°C just seems like such a small difference. Why so much discussion about this seemingly small difference in global temperature? Read more >

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