Climate Change in California: 3 Shocking Truths for 2018 & Beyond

By Scott Laskey | The Latest Solar Energy Information


Last Updated on January 25, 2021 by Scott Laskey
May 18

Climate change in California: it’s a reality every resident of this great state lives with daily.

In fact, you’ve probably seen it yourself. Hotter-than-average summers, aggressive wildfire behavior, rising sea levels, and adverse effects on wildlife are just a few of the ways climate change manifests throughout the state.

While climate change affects the entire globe, it’s especially pronounced in a place like our very own California, where delicate ecosystems come together to support people, animals, and plants.

In this post, we’re going to explore the effects of climate change in California and discuss what you can do in your home to promote a healthier environment.

3 Dismal California Climate Change Predictions

Right now, California is facing many negative repercussions of climate change. In fact, it’s one of the hardest-hit states in the nation, and things won’t get better unless residents take drastic action to protect the environment.

If climate change continues to march along unfettered, though, experts predict these outcomes:

  • More Frequent Droughts and Wildfires

    Today, about 75%-80% of California’s fresh water comes from the Sierra Nevada snowpack. Unfortunately, this resource has diminished in recent years and has plummeted to about 14% of normal during an average winter. This results in an ongoing California drought. As the snowpack continues to fall and the region gets hotter, forests get drier, and wildfires become a larger risk.

  • Decreasing Air Quality

    While California is subject to some of the most stringent air standards in the country, much of the state still suffers from extensive air pollution. According to a recent “State of the Air” report, six of the nation’s top seven worst ozone pollution zones are in California – primarily throughout the Central Valley.

  • Loss of Native Species

    California has historically been home to a vibrant fishing culture. Recently, though, fish species in the region have begun to decline. Species like salmon, steelhead, and trout are now in danger of predation by non-native species and are dying as a result of pollution and warmer water temperatures.  

How Climate Change has Effects on Coasts in California

One of our state’s largest draws is its coastline. Unfortunately, the number of Californians at risk of losing their properties and homes to rising sea levels is increasing.

One of the most insidious climate change impacts, rising sea levels, are a real danger to residents of the state. According to 2014’s White House-sanctioned National Climate Assessment, 480,000 Californians could be exposed to the risk of a hundred-year flood by 2100, due to a projected sea-level rise of about 4.6 feet.

In addition to reducing available oceanfront property, this sea level rise will also affect fresh aquifers and contaminate groundwater.

Learn more about rising sea levels with this NOAA tool.

How Life in California is Affected by a Changing Climate (& What You Can do to Help)

While climate change is a pressing reality, especially in California, there are things you can do to alleviate the effects.

Here are a few simple steps you can start taking today:

  • Go Green at Home

As much as you can, go green at home. This is a simple process and could include anything from switching to reusable shopping bags to using a refillable stainless steel water bottle rather than plastic varieties.

  • Stop Using Disposable Products

Reduce your contribution to landfills by cutting out disposable products. Buy in bulk and use your own mason jars to bring items home, or opt for reusable vegetable bags to keep produce fresh in the refrigerator, rather than grocery store-issued plastic. Even a few small changes like this can make a significant impact on your family’s trash production.

  • Install Solar Panels

Support renewable energy and do your part to sustain the environment by installing solar panels on your home. Not only do solar panels cut down on our collective reliance on fossil fuels, but they’re also an excellent way to increase your home’s value, protect the environment, and promote energy independence.

Do Your Part to Preserve California’s Natural Beauty

California is one of the most incredible states in the country, but climate change is ravaging many of its natural environments. From rampant wildfires to rising sea levels, there’s no doubt that climate change is altering the face of the Golden State.

Luckily, there are steps you can take. By going green in your home, reducing household waste, and committing to renewable energy systems, like solar panels, you can do your part to help California remain the beautiful, healthy state you know and love.

Ready to start your solar panel project? Contact us for a free quote today!

About the Author

Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar & Electric. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.