SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — California has bounced from its worst drought ever, to record flooding to devastating wildfires, and now a new study says it will only get worse over the next several decades.
A group of climatologists at the University of California have published a study in Nature Climate Change, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, saying that California can expect to see a lot more of these dramatic weather swings.
We have seen many disastrous predictions when it comes to climate change, and this one is among the worse.
Adrian Covert is vice president of public policy for the Bay Area Council, a public policy advocacy organization, and spoke with KPIX 5 about the San Francisco Bay Area’s weather future.
“What we’re now seeing is that the climate science is saying that that volatile weather pattern is about to get more violent,”Covert said.
Precipitation whiplash, or extreme weather conditions instantly changing from brutal dry spells to intense rainfall.
Covert said, “It confirms what the science — that a lot of us that work in water policy — what we’ve been fearing for a long time.”
The Bay Area Council also studied the effects of climate change, specifically looking at the impacts to the Bay Area.
They pinpointed where in the Bay Area has the greatest flood risk.
“So the biggest vulnerability that we found in our storm event report is in Santa Clara County,” Covert said.
Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and most of Marin County are at the highest risk of flooding due to their low-lying areas.
They also have an increased threat of landslides because of numerous nearby creeks and rivers.
The Bay Area Council says projects are underway to protect the Bay Area from extreme flood events and sea level rise.
“In the Bay Area, I’m hopeful because in 2016 voters actually approved a measure by 70 percent, it was called Measure AA, that infused the Bay Area with $500 million for funding for wetland restoration and flood protection projects around San Francisco Bay,” Covert said.
The Wetland Restoration Project is now underway to help with flood protection, wildlife benefits and water quality in the Bay Area.
In San Francisco, voters could decide on a bond measure to bolster the Embarcadero seawall. The cost of San Francisco’s seawall repairs are estimated at $425 million.