Los Angeles, United States | Last Saturday, the California capital surpassed its record for days without rain, and the next day, Sacramento set a historic record of precipitation: these extreme variations are more frequent in the American West and predict the rest of climate change. From the country.
“Look when you take a canary into a coal mine and find out that the air is poisonous because the canary is dead?” It’s like the California Canary, ”said Justin Mankin, a professor at the American University of Dormouth.
According to the researcher, California, the most populous American state and the fifth largest economy in the world, is “a critical indicator of society’s ability to respond to this type of climate stress”.
The identified variants have always been part of the California climate, but global warming has made this phenomenon a priority. “We see very severe dry seasons, which are prone to fires, droughts and heat waves. These very heavy showers are intermittent with mudslides, landslides and floods,” Mr Mankin explained.
To understand the impact of this sawmill weather look at last quarter’s data: first emergency calls from authorities to save water, and then a wave of deaths associated with abnormal heat before fires occur. This year it stretches over 10,000 km2. In California.
Some residents in the upstate were hit by thunderstorms from evacuations related to wildfires on the roads due to heavy rains last weekend.
These variations have been steadily increasing over the past decade and this is not surprising, said Marty Ralph, director of a center for the study of extreme weather events in the western United States. This is “in line with what weather forecasts suggest,” said a San Diego-based researcher.
Can California achieve such phenomena without loss? “I don’t really know. All I can say from the weather events of the last few months is that the people of California are not exactly fit for the current climate, let alone what can be expected, ”Mankin said.
“Collecting enough water during periods of low rainfall makes it very difficult for existing infrastructure,” Marty Ralph said.
His ability to predict severe rain episodes and adapt to canals and dams is crucial. “If we have a reliable forecasting system, we can release water before storms to help absorb floods,” he explained.
The torrential rains put an end to the fire season, but were not enough to solve the extreme drought in the West.
“There will be more drought next week. It’s like you owe $ 1000 and you earned $ 200, you still owe $ 800, ”Justin Mankin emphasized.
He recalled that for California, climate change was not an option, and that it was already a fact that world leaders were preparing for a conference in Glasgow (Scotland) on Sunday for a key conference to combat COP26, global warming.
“If we limit our (greenhouse gas) emissions – this should be our immediate priority – we will prevent it from deteriorating further.” That fact must be taken into account. “
“The climate is changing according to the best scientific estimates available. He has changed and he will probably continue to do so,” Marty Ralph adds.
“It is very slow compared to human life. All over the world, it is in the blink of an eye, ”he said.