Climate Impacts and Basics Pages Unveiled on Cool Davis Website
The work of several Cool Davis interns, expert reviewers and contributors, and dedicated staff has finally culminated in the posting of two new Cool Davis web pages. The Climate Change Impacts page, easily accessible from the home page, summarizes global and regional impacts down to one of the very specific, and very local impacts expected to hit our community the hardest: extreme heat. Data around extreme heat in Davis paints the picture of a shifting climate from our current conditions to a local environment more akin to what we expect for Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona. The Climate Basics page provides an overview of some of the key points and data that indicate the atmosphere is changing and temperatures are rising as a result.
Extreme heat days in Davis in the future
The Climate Impacts page outlines several areas of global or regional concern, from drought, to shrinking snowpack, to threats to human health. As far as local temperatures, extreme heat days (defined as over 103.9 degrees in Davis) are expected to increase in number: “If human emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise after 2040, climate models project that Davis will experience an average of 32 extreme heat days per year by 2070—compared to just 5 days in 2005.” Again, for Davis, this means 32 days of 104 degrees or higher on average per year. Thanks to the new Cal-Adapt resources online, anyone can explore this scenario and various other California data points like wildfire and drought and impacts to sea level.
VISIT OUR NEW CLIMATE IMPACTS PAGE NOW
Information from Yolo County about preparing and helping others cope with extreme heat.
Carbon dioxide on the rise … for the past few hundred years mostly
A quick click on the blue button at top left sends visitors to the new Climate Basics page, which addresses basic questions about the Greenhouse Effect, rising temperatures, and normal glacial and interglacial patterns from a global perspective. What’s the point? The rate of global temperature change has increased about 10 times faster than rates seen during past glacial-interglacial transitions.
A short scroll down the Climate Basics page reveals the shocking reality demonstrated by a rather persuasive graph of commonly known data sourced from the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) housed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are dramatically higher than they have been in the past 800,000 years! 300 parts per million was the previous highest concentration in this time period at around 330,000 years ago.
The updated atmospheric carbon dioxide thermometer — displayed on both pages — reports the current parts per million data: 414.31 as of June 16, 2019. The atmospheric parts per million data generates what’s known as the Keeling Curve, with seasonal fluctuations. A twitter site hosted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego reports updates daily. Visit @Keeling_curve for updates.
VISIT OUR NEW CLIMATE BASICS PAGE NOW
Selection of extensive research and resources
The pages were developed using a wide range of reputable national and state level data and sources. Readers are encouraged to visit these informative and essential resources for understanding the changes we have put into motion and what we can do to respond.
To serve the residents of Davis, Cool Davis has provided four checklists that provide concrete, easy to challenging, impactful steps we can all take or encourage others to take to reverse this trend and send temperatures and CO2 back down where they belong.
VISIT OUR COOL SOLUTIONS PAGE NOW
Climate Science Basics
- NASA’s Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet – more information on the evidence for and impacts of climate change.
- NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) hosts and provides public access to one of the most significant archives for environmental data on Earth.
Carbon Calculators & Emissions Inventories
- California Air Resources Board’s California Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory
- CoolCalifornia.org’s Carbon Footprint Calculator
- U.S. EPA’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks
- California’s 4th Climate Change Assessment – updated projections of possible climate futures and associated impacts for California.
- The Sacramento Summary Report gives projections specific to the Sacramento Valley region.
- Climate Change and Health Profile Report Yolo County
- Cal-Adapt – tools and data to explore how climate change might affect California at the local level
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Climate Effects on Health
- National Integrated Heat Health Information System – heat safety tips and heat warming in the area
- Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District’s Wildfire Smoke Information – interactive maps and information on current air quality conditions and fires
- U.S. EPA’s AirNow How Smoke From Fires Can Affect Your Health
- CA Department of Water Resources’ Climate Change Basics – impacts of climate change on California’s water resources
- U.S. EPA’s Climate Impacts on Water Resources
- California Data Exchange Center’s Daily Statewide Summary of Snow Water Content – interactive map displaying California’s daily snowpack levels as a percentage of what’s normal for a given date
- The National Drought Mitigation Center’s United States Drought Monitor – maps and data tracking current drought conditions across the U.S.
Vegetation and Wildlife
- US Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center’s Wildlife and Climate Change – information on how climate change is impacting wildlife
Credits and acknowledgements
Most photos for the pages are from the personal collection of Annie Merritt, Cool Davis intern and recent UC Davis graduate, majoring in Environmental Science and Management with a focus on Natural Resource Management and minoring in Professional Writing, who patiently drafted and re-drafted and gently yet persistently pushed these pages through to completion. Thank you to professor Cort Anatasio, UC Davis Professor of Tropospheric Chemistry and Assistant Tropospheric Chemist with the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, for reviewing and correcting drafts (although any errors or omissions are solely the responsibility of Cool Davis). Thank you to two more dedicated interns, Anya Rehon and Jessica Driver, and longtime contributor and former board member, Lynne Nittler, for their research and first drafts of the material found on these pages. Cool Davis thanks you!
Cool Davis is a coalition of citizens, the City of Davis, and community organizations working to empower our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.