Snow in L.A.? Don't say I didn't warn you
NOAA's predictions of extreme weather for the coasts seem to be coming true.
Monday, February 28, 2011 - 09:27
Photo: Glenn Fay
Now that snow storms are blanketing Los Angeles after epic floods, polar ice melts, out-of-season tornadoes and the hottest years on record, skeptics are starting to accept the possibility that we had better get used to extreme weather. NOAA climate models have predicted extreme weather as a result of climate change for 30 years. The latest models from NOAA (the independent U.S. government authority on weather and climate) show that we can expect these changes on the East and West Coasts:
Significant sea-level rise and storm surge will adversely affect coastal cities and ecosystems around the nation; low-lying and subsiding areas are most vulnerable.
More spring runoff and warmer coastal waters will increase the seasonal reduction in oxygen resulting from excess nitrogen from agriculture.
Higher water temperatures and ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will present major additional stresses to coral reefs, resulting in significant die-offs and limited recovery.
Changing ocean currents will affect coastal ecosystems.
What are the implications of these predictions?
Hopefully you are paying attention, in the midst of rising gas and fuel prices, with food and commodities close behind. For me, I will back off on that multi-million dollar vacation home on the beach I was going to buy! But I wonder what will happen to the insurance companies when they are no longer able to afford to pay out for damages on coastal property losses? Can you say "bailout?" Might be a good time to bone up on gardening if we plan on eating in the future.