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Sunny California Is Getting a Whole Lot Warmer

With the number of days of 'extreme heat' on the rise, and dramatic increases projected, will global warming melt the Golden State?
September 8, 2012, 11am PDT | Andrew Gorden
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Perhaps unsurprising to many, global warming will be heating cities up and down California. Grist's Philip Bump examines new temperature projections released recently [PDF] by California's Climate Action Team for several of the state's largest cities.

According to the report, "Bakersfield and Fresno, cities in the already-warm Central Valley, will see a number of days with extreme heat - at least 105 degrees - equivalent to three solid months. Temperate San Francisco, known for its not-warm summers, could eventually experience 126 days of extreme heat annually - more than one-third of the year, though at a much more acceptable 77 degrees. In San Jose, where extreme heat means a day of 90 degrees or more, almost four months of the year will see those temperatures." In addition, the risk for wildfires will rise along with temperatures.

Do we have any hope of combating the rise? "Increased use of porous pavement, for example, could combat the urban heat island effect," says Bump. "Other proposals involve increased green space in cities - though that will be of little help in parched areas like Bakersfield."

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Published on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 in Grist
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